Ardingly man prepares for gruelling marathon across desert for NSPCC

Philip Payne from Ardingly prepares for his gruelling charity challenge SUS-150316-113120001
Philip Payne from Ardingly prepares for his gruelling charity challenge SUS-150316-113120001

It’s less than three weeks to go before Ardingly Postmaster, Phil Payne, runs in the world famous Marathon des Sables on behalf of the NSPCC and the pace is hotting up.

The Marathon des Sables is known as the most gruelling multi-stage adventure in the world because it involves 156 miles across the Sahara desert in 6 days with day time temperatures which can reach up to 50 degrees centigrade but also because everything he needs has to be carried on his back – including all his food, a sleeping bag, cooking stove and an anti-venom pump.

In order to get fit for this challenge Phil is now maintaining a 7 days a week rigorous training regime which has to fit round his full time job at the Post Office.

Apart from his daily running he has completed various endurance challenges, all wearing his 8 kilo back pack.

These have included celebrating his 30th birthday by completing 100 miles across the South Downs way in 2 and a half days, and weekend back to back half marathons .

Phil has had to buy specialist running gear in order to be able to tolerate the high temperatures, protect him from the sun’s rays and to prevent the sand from getting inside his shoes as this can cause severe blistering.

The weight of everything in his back pack has also to be carefully calculated, particularly his food as he has to ensure that when he starts the race he is carrying sufficient calories to enable him to complete the whole course.

Phil has currently raised over 80% of his target for the NSPCC which is £8,000. If you would like to sponsor him for this worthy cause then please go online to justgiving.com/Phil-Payne1 or drop in to Ardingly Post Office.

Report and picture contributed by Philip Payne.