A living legend

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. 




  1. April 10, 2015 / 10:19 pm

    I have no words. What an incredible man! x

    • monsterid April 10, 2015 / 10:41 pm

      I know Donna, so difficult to blog about, when all I can think of to say is “wow!”

  2. April 10, 2015 / 10:53 pm

    Great post! What an incredible man and such an inspiration. I think you’re completely right when you say people so much younger and in better physical health do this so for him to do it is remarkable. The sheer training needed to run a marathon is impressive so I can imagine this is even more. Fantastic inspiration to all.

    • monsterid April 10, 2015 / 11:14 pm

      Thank you Martyn, I agree, such an inspiration to us all. I need to get my arse in gear to do an ironman or something, enough excuses.

  3. April 11, 2015 / 6:40 pm

    Truly amazing man. I will def be donating what a thing to do.

    • monsterid April 11, 2015 / 10:06 pm

      Thank you Hannah, I agree, such an incredible achievement.

  4. April 13, 2015 / 3:24 pm

    Awesome guy 🙂 You have got to stop calling yourself overweight though 😉

    • monsterid April 13, 2015 / 6:11 pm

      Haha thanks Maz. I think it’s fair to say that I’m not at the peak of my physical fitness though 😉 And he is an amazing man, such an inspiration. I even went for a run today 😉

  5. April 15, 2015 / 8:21 pm

    My god that is truly amazing. I sponsored a work colleague for this and I thought he was crazy to attempt it. Must find out how he did

    • monsterid April 15, 2015 / 8:30 pm

      Oh my word, definitely crazy to attempt it but also amazing! Please let me know how he got on, what an amazing achievement.x

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