mark's superhuman desert ultramarathon - Seasalt Blog Seasalt Blog

mark’s superhuman desert ultramarathon

posted on August 17th, 2012 by rosie

Mark Fuszard Namib Challenge Finish Line

Mark Fuszard at the finish line of the Namib Desert Challenge

A few months ago we were approached by Mark Fuszard to help him raise money for Cornwall Air Ambulance. He is a paramedic on the air ambulance and was taking part in the Namib Desert Challenge – a bit of a bonkers 220km multi day endurance footrace through the desert, it is basically 5 marathons in 5 days in 40 degree heat! Of course we gave Mark a bag full of Seasalt goodies to auction off at his fundraising evening earlier this year and he has sent us a little report on what it was actually like to run 220km in the baking heat of the Namib desert…

Well I actually made it!! Finished in a respectable time and position too!! FANTASTIC!!

My trip to Namibia went extremely well – what a beautiful country!! The race started in rain and mist and not the extreme heat and sunshine we were all expecting so I managed to run a fairly quick pace (for me!) and finish in 15th place overall – this was completely unexpected and gave me a huge boost. I only had one tiny blister too!! Day 2 was a little warmer and we had to wade through some standing water due to the significant rainfall overnight which made the going a little tougher – one minute your feet are dry, the next they are cold and wet and then the next all covered in fine sand – probably why the race went a little slower and I finished the race with more blisters than I could count — aaaaagghhh!!. Day 3 was really hot and I managed to make up a little lost time from day 2 and finished the race a little lighter – I lost 2 toenails!! – saw 2 snakes that day too!. Day 4 was the big one and a huge sand dune to race up at the very finish – this was a really tiring day with probably the most demanding of terrain to traverse. Day 5 was the shortest day and I had trouble making the start due to badly blistered and injured feet but as soon as the pain killers kicked in and I started running it then went really well – finished in 12th place on this stage – really pleased with this result! I finished the race in 19th position overall. I could hardly walk after the event with my feet only just fitting into my shoes – walked like a duck through 2 airport terminals on my 32 hour journey home.

Namibia has some stunning scenery along with some wonderful wildlife – we had hyenas in the camp on occasions and Jackals every night – we had to be careful not to leave training shoes outside the tent as the Jackals would eat them – mmmmmm that’s a brave animal!! – Springbok and Oryx ran wild and free through most of the stages and was a fantastic sight to see. The food in Namibia was also of a very high standard.

Thank you to all that wished me well throughout the race and to all that sponsored me including Seasalt. I have still got a little way to go to reach my £10K target but I am as determined to do that as I was to finish my run in the desert so if you haven’t sponsored me yet please visit my Justgiving page and donate today.

Well I hope you have enjoyed reading about my adventure and I really hope that this has inspired some of you to do something similar – you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it – go for it!!!!!

If that wasn’t enough Mark is planning on taking part in the 6633 Ultra Marathon next year – a 350 mile footrace in the Arctic Circle! Mark – you must be super human and we salute you!


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