On Easter Sunday, I woke up in our tent. I was quite cold and I hadn’t had much sleep owing to sharing with someone who hadn’t quite got to grips with sleeping in the fresh air.
As I sat around feeling sorry for myself, an email came through on my phone. The email said that Sir Ranulph Fiennes was about to start the Marathon des Sables.
This is generally accepted to be the toughest race on earth. Sir Ranulph Fiennes is 71 years old.
And I am a total loser for moaning about camping.
I went to listen to Sir Ranulph speaking at Malvern Theatre a few years ago. He was both captivating and inspiring. And yet he was also down to earth.
He is a world renowned explorer who has achieved things that the rest of us can only dream of. And yet as he spoke, he made me feel as though we all have the potential to do the things that he has done.
I have heard of Marathon des Sables. I’ve always wanted to do an ultramarathon, but as a nearly 35 year old overweight mother of two who ran her last (and only) marathon 12 years ago, an ultramarathon seems totally out of reach.
And yet, a gentleman who is older than my dad, and who has endured unimaginable physical trauma in his life took on the toughest ultramarathon on earth in aid of an amazing cause.
Sir Ranulph lined up for the Marathon des Sables to raise money for Marie Curie. This fabulous charity provide care and support for people who are terminally ill and their families.
The Marathon des Sables is a 156 mile race across the Sahara. I know, that sounds a long way to drive. And yet, competitors are in fact running.
For young people at the peak of their physical fitness, this is a challenge and a half. As you can imagine, many of them don’t complete the race.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes is 71 years old and has had two heart attacks, a cancer operation and a double heart bypass. He is also fighting diabetes.
And today, he has finished the Marathon des Sables.
If you are inspired like me by this incredible feat, you can text RUN to 70007 to donate £5, or visit www.justgiving.com/ranulph.
And Sir Ranulph, there are no words to express the awe with which you are regarded by us all. Massive congratulations. You are an inspiration and a living legend.