5 April 2016
With a few days to go until the gruelling, 156-mile, 6-day Marathon des Sables kicks off in the gruelling Saharan Desert, we reflect on the incredible world record set last year by Cordon Rouge Club member, Sir Ranulph Fiennes. At age 71, he became the oldest Briton to complete the epic race to date.
Ranked by the Discovery Channel as the toughest footrace on earth, the Marathon des Sables is not simply about running remarkable distances in sweltering heat each day (minimum distances range from 21km to 82km/day, while the average temperature is 120 degrees). Competitors also have to carry everything they need to survive on their back – from equipment to food. Communal tents await the competitors each night.
Sir Ranulph is used to conquering extreme distances and intense climates - his ultra-endurance feats include being the first individual to reach both Poles, to cross both the Antarctic and Arctic Oceans and to circumnavigate the earth along its polar axis. He also defies those who believe that age will slow him down, aside from his staggering Marathon des Sables achievement, he is also the eldest individual to scale Mount Everest, a triumph he completed aged 65. Having overcome two heart attacks, a three day coma, cancer operation and double bypass, Sir Ranulph is an inspiration to anyone – of any age or either sex - embarking on this year’s Marathon de Sables.