Sir Ranulph tells of marathon

Published: Tuesday 7th April 2015 by The News Editor

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Sir Ranulph Fiennes has spoken of his fear that he is “holding up” fellow participants after finishing the second day of the punishing Marathon des Sables challenge.

The explorer, 71, is facing temperatures of more than 50C (122F) and endless sand dunes as he attempts to become the oldest Briton to complete the six-day marathon, dubbed the toughest footrace on Earth.

After covering more than 31.1km (19 miles), he described the impact of the gruelling event.

“My shoulders and feet are sore,” he said.

“There are places that feel like they are bruised but not blisters. I have a constant pain across the shoulders so I’m constantly having to lift the pack and I have this dreadful feeling that I am holding people up behind. This is constantly on my mind.”

He said the final uphill trek was “very tricky”, but added: “I remembered back 30 years ago to the technique I used for coming down hills so was much faster on the descent.”

Earlier Sir Ranulph’s coach Rory Coleman he had been overtaking people a quarter of his age.

At the end of the second day, Mr Coleman said: “It was extremely hard, it was like a grill pan coming into checkpoint 2.”

Today Sir Ranulph will attempt to cover 36.7km.

His trainer said: “Although a little longer, it is a much easier day. We have to prepare ourselves for the long day, 91.7km, which is coming up on Wednesday.”

The Marathon des Sables in Morocco covers 251 kilometres (155 miles) including the distance of a marathon a day and a double marathon one day, with runners carrying everything they need on their backs.

Sir Ranulph received a message from the Prince of Wales wishing him the very best of luck before taking part in the race.

He hopes to raise £1 million for charity Marie Curie.

Published: Tuesday 7th April 2015 by The News Editor

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