Monthly Archives: April 2017

Marathon Day and oh what a day it was!

Started off stiff and had difficulty fitting my feet into my shoes. But, with the Stage starting early at 7:30, everyone was a bit slow getting going.

Gentle dunes to start with and after about 10 mins. or so, I fell into step with Ignacio, who I finished Stage 3 with. We stuck together and decided to push it a little bit to see how we felt.

We felt epic and ran 95% of today, (obviously more of a shuffle than an actual run!) until it got hot. At about 1PM, we were cruising. However, a few hitches due to the heat – I had a rather drastic nose bleed and only peed blood at one point… But, do not fear – all has returned to normal now.

Ignacio cruised in ahead of me. But, I got THE BEST HUG ever from Patrick Bauer as he gave me my medal. I believe the media took a good photo of us. He told me my smile lights up the desert every day!

Just a light jog tomorrow across the biggest ever dunes and one more night in this incredibly beautiful place.

The desert has excelled itself and I will be back to this EPIC LAND. X

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Sorry for no mail yesterday… Had to visit Doc Trotters – have some “jolie” blisters!

So, end of Day 3. What can I say? The MDS is living up to its billing as the toughest.

Yesterday was long, hot, sandy and tough. But, I got a hug and kiss off Patrick Bauer. I ran with some wonderful people, not least, Yoshizu from Japan who is dressed as a cow – we finished the stage together, alongside Al and Mark from my tent and Vivienne all holding hands.

Today may have been shorter, but, it had three ridiculously big climbs and tricky descents. The final descent down the canyon from the peak (after a ridiculously steep climb) hit 50 degrees and felt every bit of it. But, despite the toughness, it has been a glorious day. I put on some music and the first two tunes were my Daddy’s and I literally danced across the desert plain to Check Point 3, running past everyone (although not for long). I finished today with Phil and Ignacio. They totally saved me in the last 2 kilometres.

It is magic here and I love you all. Jim – golf email very popular!!


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SALUT!!!! Hello from the beautiful Sahara Desert, at end of Stage 1.

It is incredible to be back here in all the sand, dust, heat, smell of tent mates, energy food, blisters and general bivouac banter and MDS magic!

Arrival into Ouazarzate on Friday morning already seems like a long time ago. I was on the first plane and after a long hot bus journey with lots of first time MDSers and all their nervous energy. We arrived at our first bivouac at about 5pm. My fellow tent mates arrived later at about 6.30pm. And what a wonderful tent we have. We are just six of us as there have been some withdrawals over the last couple of days. So, my boys are: Kevin, Matt, Aiden, Alistair and Mark. We have barely stopped laughing! And, we are a very supportive tent.  Kevin and Matt are the speedsters. The rest of us finished a hot, dusty first stage together!

Very sobering at CP1 when someone collapsed in front of me and within seconds was receiving CPR! It was a slow but steady pace for me…  It’s only Day 1 after all and S2 looks big. X


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It’s here – one day until the desert! MDS 2017….

…and how excited am I? Very excited…actually I can’t believe 5 years have been and gone and here I am having a delicious brunch prepared by my lovely mummy, sitting in my kitchen in Cornwall all ready to set off once more to the Sahara Desert!

I said farewell to work colleagues and patients on Tuesday, and was wished “happy holidays” and “good luck”.

I’ve scrambled around Wadebridge gathering the last minute bits of kit/food/stuff that I need to take to the desert.  I’ve been through my kit and rucksack several times…trying to argue the case for every item I am taking, sawing off the handle of my toothbrush to save a couple of grams in weight here, explaining to Mummy what the venom pump is for, and also how I will manage with only one wet wipe per day to clean myself with.  The difference between this time preparing for the desert and the last two times is having Mummy watch me pack my kit.  It’s the look of horror on her face when I say I only need one pair of pants for the whole week that makes it all worthwhile!  We are having a lot of giggles interspersed with her saying every so often “I’m so worried about you, I don’t know why you want to put yourself through it all again!”

And that brings me to you, all my wonderful friends and family, supporters, colleagues old and new, and patients.  You have all been so wonderful in supporting me again, and helping me to raise money for Medecins Sans Frontieres – I am currently nearing £2,000 which is just fantastic, so thank you all so so much – you are all brilliant. If you would like to make a donation please go to 

So, I fly up to London tonight and have the stylish luxury of staying in an airport hotel, as I am on the 7am flight to Ouazuarzat in Morocco.  There are two flights of runners after mine.  All my tent boys are on the second flight (Kevin, Aiden, Mark, Matt & Alastair).  On arrival in Morocco we then have a 5-6 hour bus drive to the bivouac. As first person from my tent to arrive it is my dubious responsibility to bags a good tent! No pressure!  We are fed by the race organisers on Friday evening, and all day on Saturday throughout which we have our admin & medical checks.  And then from Sunday 9th April we are self sufficient relying on whatever delicious nutrition we have deemed calorific and light enough to bring to the desert! MMMMmmmmm! Right now I am indulging on some local toast and mum’s homemade marmalade – and a very fine vintage it is this year!

From Sunday 9th April, when the race starts, you my good supporters will be able to follow the race live on line, and as technology has improved you will be able to follow me closely as I “run” through the desert, and cross each day’s finish line, where there is a web cam to capture those painful moments! Here is some blurb from the race organisers as to how follow me and the race:

My running number is 813

You will want to send supporting emails and track my progress during the race – you can do both of these via the organisers’ website:  and you can pre-register to follow me.

 HOWEVER, none of the facilities will go live until Saturday 8 April, so if you click on it now, you won’t find anything! Once they are live, the instructions are easy to follow. You will need my running number for the email – number 813.  If you have any problems using the site, please call 08444 874064 and speak to Sarah in office hours.

All competitors are issued with a GPS tracker that will allow the staff on the course to track their position, to monitor if they are off course and it also has an SOS facility in the event of emergency. The GPS tracker also allows friends / family to track competitors progress in real-time. You should be aware, however, that on rare occasions the tracker may lose signal or have battery power issues. This is usually a short term issue and should not be a concern for anyone following the race. Runner’s positions are updated approximately every 10 minutes and it is not unusual for a competitors position to remain static for a while….!!!!
Please, please please send me an email during the race – it is a very important part of each day when we receive emails from back home.  I have kept all the messages I received in 2007 and 2012, and it is lovely to reread them and to know that for one week no one in my family did any work at all.  It is moving and nostalgic to read the messages my wonderful daddy sent me, and gives me an idea of what he might send me this time if he were here – although he probably thinks along the same lines as everyone else “bonkers”! 

I will be sending my one email a day to my brother Nick, who will post it here on my blog – so watch this space!

Right – I have to go and pack my rucksack one last time so signing off here and wishing you all lots of love….



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