9th Dec, 2016

Inspired runner completes world's toughest footrace in Sahara Desert

Shaun Reynolds 1st Aug, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A KEEN runner endured the equivalent of six gruelling marathons through the Sahara Desert to raise thousands of pounds for a children’s charity.

Phil Vibert has raised more than £12,500 for the NSPCC after taking on the Marathon Des Sables, a six day run across the sand dunes and mountains of the central area of the Sahara Desert.

Known as the toughest footrace on earth, the run is the equivalent to running approximately 150 miles – though this event takes place on sand, rocks and mountains in temperatures of 45 degrees.

The marathon fanatic, who lives in Appleby Magna, Leicestershire, works as a platform director at Lear Corporation in Coventry.

However he put his work commitments to one side for the herculean race, which he trained six days a week for.

Phil said: “My training consisted of running six days a week, which equated to around 100 miles per week.

“On top of that, swimming and gym sessions would also be in the mix.

“Everything from the training right through to the end of the race was mentally and physically challenging.

“The race is self sufficient so you have to carry all your own equipment – every gram becomes critical and you become weight obsessed.

“When I finished the race I was absolutely exhausted but at the same time was on such a high, it’s euphoric.

“I told myself I’ll never do anything like it again, but after the blisters have gone and I’m no longer sleep deprived, I’ll remember the highs, forget the lows and soon start trawling back through the internet finding the next challenge.”

Les Ratcliffe, chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Business Group which raises funds for the NSPCC, said: “This is an extraordinary achievement which will help the NSPCC support hundreds of children across our region.

“We’re proud to support such a great charity and hearing stories like this is inspirational – we wish Phil luck with future races.”