Desert marathon was a challenge for friends

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Two former Lisburn men, David Henry and Adam Harvey, have just returned from taking on the challenge of a lifetime when they competed in the Marathaon des Sables in the Sahara Desert,

Running for hours every day in soaring desert heat was not easy but the two former Wallace students are delighted to have completed what has come to be known as “the toughest race on earth”.

David and Adam took part, along with 1,400 other competitors, in the race in April and were thrilled to finish 332nd and 333rd.

The duo ran for sixteen hours on one of the days, from 8 in the morning until after midnight, in 45°C heat.

“It was pretty grim,” said David. “We had done all the training but it was still pretty brutal.

“Once you got the longest day over, the marathon at the end felt like quite a relief.

“There were eight of us crammed in a tent with just a blanket to sleep on so you didn’t get very much rest.

“On top of that, Adam suffered very badly with blisters and I took food poisoning on the first night, which was unpleasant.

“Once we got over the difficulties we could enjoy parts of it but it was a massive relief to get to the last night.

“Seeing the desert at sunset is really beautiful. It is an incredible place.

“Morocco is a beautiful country and the scenery was wonderful but I can honestly say I would never do it again.”

David and Adam weren’t just competing in the race for the challenge, they also wanted to raise money for charity.

Adam, who is a doctor working in the field of heart research, is raising money for the British Heart Foundation and David is raising money for Cancer Research.

“I have had family members pass away from cancer so it is something that is close to my heart,” explained David.

Between them, the pair have raised around £6,000 for their chosen charities.

David and Adam would like to thank everyone who has supported them and donated to their charities.

The pair are now recovering from their ordeal but they are already thinking about what challenge the could tackle next.

“We are very, very pleased to have finished the race,” continued David.

“At the minute there is a lot of sitting down and eating quite a lot.”

If you would like to support David and Adam in their fundraising efforts, log onto their individual Just Giving pages, where you can donate online - www.justgiving.com/David-Henry9 and www.justgiving.com/Adam-Harvey4