Friends take on toughest race on earth

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Two former Lisburn men are training hard to take part in what has been described as the ‘toughest footrace on earth’.

David Henry and Adam Harvey, who are both former pupils of Wallace High School, are getting ready to take on the challenge of a lifetime when they compete in the Marathon des Sables at the beginning of April.

The pair, who began running when they took part in the Lisburn Half Marathon, have been setting themselves tougher and tougher challenges and now are ready to take on the six day race through the Sahara desert. David and Adam will join 2,000 other competitors in the race, which is completed in five stages, the longest of which is some fifty miles.

The competitors must be self-sufficient during the race and will carry their clothing, food and sleeping bags.

At night they will sleep in an eight man tent and David is hoping the two friends will enjoy some craic with their fellow competitors along the way.

“We have been doing marathons and we wanted to do something a bit different,” explained David. “About a year ago we came up with the idea of the Marathon des Sables.”

David and Adam are using the race as a good reason to raise funds for two very worthwhile charities.

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.

The friends, who live at opposite ends of the country in Glasgow and London, have been training every weekend and have been running on local beaches to get used to the sandy terrain in the Sahara.

They will also have to get acclimatised to the 40 degree heat they will face in the desert. “We have to get used to the temperature,” continued David.

“Over the next six of seven weeks we will be spending a lot of time in the sauna and there are heat chambers we can use to acclimatise. The heat will be the most difficult thing to get used to.

“We have never done anything like this before and we know it will be very difficult. It will definitely take us out of our comfort zones. We are not setting ourselves a time, we just want to make it to the end.”

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