British adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes has recently completed the Marathon des Sables, an extreme desert endurance race, in the process raising nearly £1m for cancer charity Marie Curie. The 71 year old completed the marathon yesterday, and crossed the finish line at 7:37 pm. The race was an astounding 256km over six days in temperatures over 122F(50C) earning it the title of what some people call “the toughest footrace on earth”.
Fiennes did have some trouble in the Marathon des Sables ran, especially in the last portion. Fiennes ran for 10 hours, afterwards complaining of back pain and having to rely on painkillers to finish the race.
There were also concerns during the penultimate 91km part of the Marathon des Sables, where Fiennes ran over 30 hours on just one hour of sleep. He described that part of the marathon as “more hellish than Hell”.
Prior to running in the Marathon des Sables, Fiennes had suffered two heart attacks, and in 2003 had a double bypass surgery.
The Marathon des Sables or the Marathon of the Sands or Sahara marathon is a 6 day, 251km (156 mi) ultra-marathon, with the longest stretch for 91 km (57 mi) long. It is held every year in southern Morocco, in the Sahara. It first began in 1986 and has continued to present day.
After completing the marathon, Sir Ranulph Fiennes thanked those who supported him with donations to the charity. Dr. Jane Collins, chief executive of the Marie Curie charity was also very gracious to Sir Ranulph Fiennes to complete the race for the charity. They hope that his commitment inspires others to donate to the charity in their own challenges.
The adventurer has done other events besides the Marathon des Sables for the charity. In 2007, he climbed the north face of the Eiger for the charity and in May 2009 at the age of 65, he became the oldest Briton to climb the summit of Mount Everest.
Prior to the Marathon des Sables, Sir Ranulph had assumed over £6.5 million for the charity.
It is safe to say that this adventurer is really taking his cause to the next level and redefining what is possible for a 71 year old!