Desert marathon test for footballer

PUBLISHED: 14:18 13 March 2008 | UPDATED: 15:42 11 May 2010

MARTIN WESTCOTT: ”Test of stamina.
Picture Supplied by Mark Parry

MARTIN WESTCOTT: "Test of stamina. Picture Supplied by Mark Parry

THE world s toughest foot race is awaiting footballer Martin Westcott. Former Royston Town forward Martin will be taking part in the Marathon des Sables, a 151-mile endurance race through the Sahara Desert, later this month. Martin, 30, will be raising mo

THE world's toughest foot race is awaiting footballer Martin Westcott.

Former Royston Town forward Martin will be taking part in the Marathon des Sables, a 151-mile endurance race through the Sahara Desert, later this month.

Martin, 30, will be raising money for pupils at Castle School in Cambridge, a specialist school for children and young people with complex learning difficulties.

All Martin's sponsorship money will go directly towards providing a disabled child with a specially-adapted trike.

He said: "I have been training for the race for the last 12 months, running regularly, and taking part in a number of distance events, but I have yet to experience running over such difficult terrain, or in high temperatures."

The race, which begins on March 27, will take place over a week, and will be broken down into six stages.

Contestants will be running anything from 15-50 miles per day, with temperatures averaging 50 degrees centigrade during the day, and falling to sub-zero at night.

Martin, who has three daughters, and works for Melbourn Scientific, said: "I like to think I am quite fit.

"I play football in the Eastern Counties league for Haverhill Rovers, but I reckon this race will really test my stamina, and mental and physical endurance."

Martin will be joined by his brother-in-law Simon Fisher.

The pair will have to carry everything they need to cross the desert, including sleeping bags, food, medical supplies, and clothing - only drinking water will be provided.

Carol McCarthy, head teacher at Castle School, said: "This is great news. Trikes are invaluable for supporting mobility and building self-esteem, and need to be specially adapted.

"It is fitting that Martin's multi-marathon effort will help a child gain freedom of movement."

To sponsor Martin, contact martin.westcott@melbournscientific.com or visit www.martinwestcott.saharamarathon.co.uk

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