March 11 2014 Latest news:
Lizzie Dearden, Senior reporter
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Two school dads are training for the world’s toughest running event through the Sahara, the Marathon des Sables.
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.”