Daymark Director Richard Peters has just returned from completing Marathon des Sables – a 240km, seven day run in the Sahara desert, Morocco. There were more than 1000 competitors from 40 countries and to add to the challenge, you have to take everything you need for the seven days on your back (apart from water). And yes it is a long way.
Asked about his reflections, Richard could only say it was hard. After reminding him he is in the communications game, he offered these insights.
“It was of course a physical challenge – you had to be fit enough to recover well between stages. But the biggest stretch for me was the mental challenge. There is a 86km stage which goes through the night, your feet are sore, you are in the middle of the desert and four days into the event you are wearing out. It is at this point you do question why you are here, but that is quickly followed by ‘how am I going to get to the next point?’, and that’s when the mental challenge kicks in.
You also realise you can’t do this thing on your own. Your tent mates, support crew at home and people you meet along the way all help. When you finish, it’s a massive sense of relief. The warm glow of achievement does not really happen until a few weeks later. It is at that point you start thinking about what is next…I am not quite there yet!
My thanks to all the people who followed my progress during the event, and in helping me get to the start line.”