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Adventurous dads brave Sahara in gruelling Marathon des Sables

John Macnamara is running the Marathon des Sables. John Macnamara is running the Marathon des Sables.

Thursday, February 20, 2014
2:36 PM

Two school dads are training for the world’s toughest running event through the Sahara, the Marathon des Sables.

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Mark Clark and John Macnamara are pushing themselves to the limit in the gruelling race for charity Whizz-Kidz, which provides powered wheelchairs and mobility equipment for disabled children.

The men, who both have children at Forest School, Snaresbrook, aim to raise more than of £50,000 with the feat.

They will begin the Marathon des Sables in April, running roughly one marathon a day for six days – 150 miles in total.

The Sahara is one of the world’s most inhospitable climates and temperatures regularly reach 50C.

Mark and John already hold a Guinness World Record for the furthest distance run on a treadmill in 24 hours.

It was set with a team – including Paralympian Noel Thatcher – at Forest School in 2012.

But running the Marathon des Sables through saltpans, desert mountains, ruined towns and the occasional sand storm will be a very different challenge.

Mark said: “Despite being a non-runner and threatening to burn my trainers after each of the four marathons I have run, it is the thrill of the challenge, the fear of the unknown, that has kept me running.”

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