Niki Doeg, of ‘Yorkshire Rows’ fame was our speaker at a fundraising dinner on 17th February. She gave a most entertaining talk about her latest challenge, “Le Marathon des Sables”. This involves completing six marathons in five days (86 kilometres on one day!) across the Sahara Desert, carrying all food and equipment, except tents which were erected for them. She talked us through the preparation – training, kit, medical tests necessary before they could participate.
We were treated to photos of the wonderfully varied scenery – the sand dunes, the salt flats (where mirages were experienced) to jebels (small hills), to rocky mountains – ropes were needed to guide the runners/walkers on the worst slopes and heard of the animals she saw and the inspiring people she met. There were less inspiring photos and tales – of the bandaged feet, the toilet arrangements, the daily routine…she had never known such a tough week. Perhaps surprisingly she would do it all again – and the fact she probably she didn’t convince any in her audience to accompany her is more a reflection on age and ambition than her ability to inspire! The money raised will be split equally between Maggie’s and St Vincent’s Support Centre, both in Leeds.