In April, the amazing Doug Ruddock ran the Marathon des Sables to raise money for COCO and The Lighthouse Trust Summer School, two causes close to his heart. Doug has raised money for COCO in the past by taking part in Iron Man New Zealand, climbing Kilimanjaro and running all over the UK - but this was his biggest challenge to date. Here is what Doug has to say about his experience running 250km across the Sahara Desert.
The race was really tough but in the same breath it was the experience of a lifetime. I, along with everyone else had to deal with extreme heat during the day, close to zero deg at night, sandstorms, sleep deprivation, starvation, next to no hygiene (didn't wash for a week as no spare water), primitive ablutions not to mention a brutal environment to compete & race in. Don't think I'm selling it to you am I 😊 LOL. They may seem like negatives to most but to all those competing that's why we signed up.
It was billed as the 'Toughest Race on the Planet' & while it is hard to say it was without having done other extreme races that are also vying for that title, I can assure you it was the toughest I have ever done. Believe me I have more than my share of extreme sport 😉.
Apart from the satisfaction of completing Marathon des Sables & 'getting the Tee Shirt' I made so many friends for life, saw such a wonderful, vast, brutal but beautiful landscape & experienced the ultimate challenge to how far I could push myself physically & mentally. I examined parts of myself in the moments of solitude & pain that I never would have otherwise.
Unfortunately, like the rest of life, time has passed since crossing the line, memories are fading, good & bad, blisters & aches are healing, the kilograms lost have returned & issues I thought I had resolved still exist. Is there a lesson I ask myself. Yes. If you have a goal do everything in your power to achieve it but it won't be the 'silver bullet' of life. That will be found in the relationships & friendships you have with special people & not just in the challenges.
You can sponsor Doug's amazing efforts by sponsoring him online here. Or if you're feeling inspired, have a look at what events COCO are organising for you to get involved with here