Marathon man takes on Sahara sand

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Lee Quinn preparing for the Marathon des Sables © Lee Quinn

Lee Quinn preparing for the Marathon des Sables © Lee Quinn

A West Kirby man has vowed to conquer the heat of the Sahara as he sets his sights on a gruelling charity run.

Lee Quinn, 40, is set to run the arduous Marathon des Sables (MdS) across the Sahara Desert in aid of British cancer charity Neuroblastoma UK.

The married father-of-one and personal injury lawyer will embark upon the challenge of the race ranked by the Discovery Channel as the “toughest foot race on earth” when it begins in Morocco on the April 8th.

The tiresome trek – which covers 160 miles in total over six days – requires participants to run across an array of different surfaces such as hard ground, sand dunes and salt plains, whilst also carrying a bag equipped with essentials like food, water and clothing – all of which can weigh up to seven kilograms.

More than 1,000 individuals have registered this year to run in temperatures that can range between 40-50 degrees Celsius, something that Lee has prepared for with the help of the LJMU Sports Science Department.

He told JMU Journalism: “I will be going in a heat chamber at JMU three times a week for an hour at a time to help me acclimatise to running with my MdS kit on my back. I will start this in mid-March, three weeks before I fly out to the race.

“Other than that I’ve spent the past 14 months in the gym training my strength and endurance alongside doing all types of running on the side. It’s been incredibly tough but it will definitely be worth it once I cross that finish line.”

Mr Quinn chose to run the race in aid of Neuroblastoma UK, a charity which specialises in helping combat a deadly type of cancer commonly found in children under five years old, and one that currently makes up 8% of the total number of children’s cancers.

He told JMU Journalism: “I decided to run for Neuroblastoma UK after going to a charity night in Edinburgh which was being run by a friend of my sister-in-law.

“Her son, a little boy named Alex, unfortunately suffers from the disease, and all proceeds went towards his treatment. His story was touching and it was one that definitely stuck in my mind, so I thought it would be good to help out the charity as much as I could.”

Lee has raised over £6,000 so far and if you would like to donate, click here.

About Michael Henry, JMU Journalism