Marathon completed in 35 degree hit

There are a few things on this planet that most sensible people would never contemplate doing. However, for a minute group of others, the challenge of pushing yourself mentally and physically to the limit, seems well worth the effort.

Take the Petra Desert Marathon, a challenging adventure marathon set in the beautiful desert region of Jordan. Starting in the ancient city of Petra, the route takes runners on a remarkable journey through the area surrounding Petra. From the lunar-like mountain landscape to the arid desert, runners navigate challenging terrain in the dry, desert heat… 35 degree plus!

Mark Swaine, along with his brother, put themselves through this crueling challenge recently and also decided to support United Through Sport in the process. In Mark’s own words:

“After a groggy start at the hotel, the group met in the Petra Visitor Centre for a wondrous walk down through the narrow Siq gorge, before it cleared to reveal one of the seven wonders of the world, resplendent in the empty morning mist.

There was only a few minutes to take it all in before a controlled start through the archaeological sight then hitting some steep hills to wake up our legs. Bedouin tribes littered the desert and looked on in mild confusion at these maniacs running through their desert on sandy tracks that wove up and around the red rocks and sand. The scenery was spectacular, and due to only 50 or so runners, was also tranquil enough to really enjoy.

The enjoyment ceased at 31km where the biggest hill I’ve ever been up by my own steam, beckoned in the 35 degree heat; 450m up over about 3 kilometres. My legs couldn’t even run initially when I got to the top. I scrambled down the loose rock path before getting to a village, and hobbling my way through to the finish. A joint 7th place with my brother, and an end to an astonishing and once-in-a-lifetime experience!”

A huge thanks goes out to Mark for his mighty effort in getting to the finish line and showing us he is one tough mudder with a compassion to help others less fortunate.

If the Petra Desert Marathon interests you for next year (3rd Sep 2016) then check out their website here.

Alternatively, check out our fundraising page if you would like to take on another charity challenge in aid of United Through Sport by clicking here

Phil Races 370km for United Through Sport

This year, Phil Hatzis ran, swam and cycled his way to 370km and nearly £1,200 for United Through Sport. The challenge involves completing a series of grueling sporting events starting with The London Marathon in April and culminating in the famous Ironman UK in September.

A first year engineer at Durham University, Phil has only recently taken up triathlons but was determined to rise to the challenge. “I have always enjoyed my sport; mainly rugby and tennis when I was younger through to cross-country running and triathlon now.”

The Ironman UK is a triathlon race and consists of a 2.4 mile open-water swim, 112 mile cycle and finishes with a marathon run of 26.2 miles. The time limit is 17 hours.

“Having been accepted in all these races through the ballots, I realised it was a great opportunity to raise a lot of money for charity. I chose to fundraise for United Through Sport as I have been to Africa and South America where I have seen children happily playing sport with whatever they could find. Sport has always been a large part of my life and I relish the opportunity to share my enjoyment of it through benefiting the lives of these children.”

Follow him on twitter here:

Crazy Marathon Canoeists

On 2nd July 2006, a group of river-hardened canoeists took to the Thames to paddle 26 miles for United Through Sport. The team took in the picturesque sights of Marlow, Bourne End, Bray and Windsor on their way to the hard-fought finish.

The marathon event raised over £400 for the charity.

Many thanks to the Marlow Canoe Club for all their support.