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!