Marcus Baker (W 97-02) & Robert Buchanan (S 97-02) Currently Tackling The Legendary Marathon Des Sables

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An inspiring Old Sedberghian pair of endurance runners, Marcus Baker and Robert Buchanan, are currently competing in the legendary Marathon des Sables, or MdS, which is known as “the toughest footrace on Earth“. Competitors take on the gruelling challenge of six marathons in six days across the scorching Sahara Desert, covering over 250km (approx 150mi.) in temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius, all while carrying the equipment on their backs and sleeping on the desert floor in traditional Berber tents each night. The environment is one of the world’s most inhospitable, with endless sand dunes rising hundreds of meters out of the desert, rocky jebels and white-hot salt plains. 

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Having decided in December 2018 to embark on a new challenge together, it took four years of preparation, training and hard work for the pair just to reach the starting line. The first stage of the marathon commenced on Friday March 25th, with six stages in total culminating on Monday 4th April.

Marcus and Robert both work in finance but before the world of banking, Robert served for six years as a rifleman, which included two tours of Afghanistan in 2009 and 2013. The duo are therefore running to support two charities that help former servicemen and women – Walking With The Wounded and Veterans Aid. On their fundraising page, they explain, “both of these charities provide vital help to Veterans that have served and deserve our help. We have experienced first hand the crucial work that they do.”

At the time of writing, the pair have already raised over £12,000 for this important cause and all of the money raised will be split evenly between the two charities.

Earlier last week, in preparation for the desert, the pair spoke to Brian Wood, MC for his insights on resilience and overcoming challenges, where they received some helpful tips. The interview can be watched here.

You can follow Marcus’ (runner number 701) and Robert’s (runner number 706) progress via the MDS Live Website, where you can also send a message which they will receive as a printout in the evenings after each stage of the challenge. Click here to visit their fundraising page.

We wish the pair the best of luck as they complete this amazing challenge!