Whalley man takes on one of toughest challenges in world for MENCAP

Marathon Man: Phil White in training for the 27th Marathon Des Sables. (s)
Marathon Man: Phil White in training for the 27th Marathon Des Sables. (s)

FORMER mental health nurse Phil White is taking part in one of the toughest human challenges in the world as part of his quest to raise £10,000 for MENCAP, the learning disability charity.

Phil (59), of Whalley, will run the 27th Marathon Des Sables in April, a massive undertaking that is a 155 mile race across the Sahara desert, carrying all of his own food and water.

Known as the ‘toughest foot race in the world’, the marathon is a six-day self sufficient stage race across some of the world’s toughest terrain including barren wilderness and rocky, uneven ground, with day temperatures reaching in excess of 48˚c. The race is the equivalent of five and a half full marathons, with a full 50 miles being run in the sixth and final stage of the competition.

Phil commented: “As you can imagine, training and full physical fitness is my number one priority. I am following strict exercise and running schedules and maintaining a carefully planned and nutritionally balanced diet. I will be carrying all my own equipment for the duration of the event, including an essential medical kit, in case of scorpion and snake bites. At the start and end of each daily stage, I will be preparing my own meals, typically freeze dried with energy drinks, while lunch will be mostly on the run and consist mainly of energy bars, gels and a few treats!”

Phil has been hard at work aside from his training and has hosted fund raising nights at Whalley Conservative Club and taken part in bag packing in supermarkets in Blackburn. He has received massive support from fellow members of his running club Blackburn Road Runners, who have also helped him with sponsorship and fundraising activities.

• To sponsor Phil in his marathon challenge, visit: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/philwhite3