UPDATE: I’ll be flying out to Morocco on Thursday 31 March 2011 to take my place on the start line to the Marathon des Sables race. The race itself starts Sunday 3 April and ends 9 April.
FOLLOW ME AS I RUN – I’m race number 905. You can follow me one of two ways: (1)You can follow me live by going to 26mds.liveracetracker.com (Please note, the website will only be live during the race from 3-9 April) ; or (2) alternatively, end of day results will be posted on the race organiser’s website at www.darbaroud.com/index_uk.php.
SEND ME AN EMAIL – You can also email me while I’m away. At the end of each day running, some words of encouragement to help me get round would be particularly welcome. To do so, you need to go to www.daraboud.com and click under the special heading “ecrire aux concurrent” (write to competitors) and fill in a message form, which requires my surname (Goldthorp), first name (Wendy) and my race number (no. 905). Messages are printed and distributed each evening. Unfortunately I am only allowed to send one email to one person per day, but if you would like to be added to my distribution list, I will ensure that my email is forwarded to you.
Hello, my name is Wendy Goldthorp. Welcome to my website and thank you for visiting.
I’ve run various half marathons and shorter distances, the London marathon and taken part in a couple of Tough Guys and some long distance cycling events over the years. However, I’ve never felt that I’ve pushed myself to my ultimate limits…until now.
To celebrate my 40th birthday next year, in April 2011 I’ll be taking part in the 26th Marathon des Sables, also known as the toughest footrace on earth, covering some 243km (that’s 151 miles) across the Sahara desert. This is going to be the most challenging thing I’ve ever done!
So why am I doing this?
I’ve been lucky to have a good start in life and have been fortunate to enjoy good health. I would like to be able to use this as a way of giving something back.
I’m competing in the Marathon des Sables, therefore, not only to test myself to my mental and physical limits, but at the same time to use this as an opportunity to raise both awareness of and funds for Facing Africa, which provides funds to help treat victims of Noma. Noma is a ravaging gangrenous disease of the face, which affects mainly children under the age of 6 and leaves its victims with hideous disfigurement, functional impairment and as social outcasts.
Facing Africa helps by funding teams of volunteer surgeons from the UK, Germany and Holland to visit Ethiopia and Nigeria to perform facial reconstructive surgery on the victims of Noma, and the acquisition of related equipment for hospitals in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and Sokoto (Nigeria). I’ve committed to help by raising at least £5,000 between now and April 2011.
You can find out more about Facing Africa and Marathon des Sables by visiting the other pages of my website. You’ll also be able to use this site to track my training progress and fundraising activities over the course of the next several months in the lead up to the Marathon des Sables.
I hope you enjoy.