Written by DB
Dr Catherine Sweeney-Reed,Dr Mark's intrepid wife,tackles the 6-day 151-mile incomparable Marathon Des Sables across the Sahara,starting on the 9th April,and in aid of the charity Facing Africa.
You can follow her progress,as well as that of the other 'crazy'(her husband's word!!) competitors,on www.darbaroud.com ,which has an English translation(though it is reminiscent of Gerard Hoffnung - ask your dad or just Google his name).Catherine's race number is 648.
You can also learn more on Catherine's own website - www.catherinesweeney-reed.saharamarathon.co.uk
DAY 1 - Wind something rotten!! Catherine finishes in 6h.03.20 - in 594th place overall with 676 completing,the last one in 7h.16.19 - a few have called it a day already BUT NO WAY WILL CATHERINE!!!!!!!! She is about halfway up the Womens List of about 50-60 est. Familiar name in 300th - Robert Treadwell! Full results are on the Darbaroud site.
DAY 2 - No weather report other than it's bleedin' hot and there's a lot of sand about! Still going strong,our heroine moves into 586th in an overall time of 14h.31.21 - she's 60th woman and 661 contestants have completed,with 4 days to go.
DAY 3 - Temperature at 39c - Many abandonments but our girl is still right in there. Only 607 completed this 3rd stage and Catherine is 541st with an overall time of 24h.38.56 - that's 8 hours running per day.
Day 4 - Best part of 150 have abandonned so far,but not Catherine,of course. There are 585 finishers to Stage 4 and C is now 512th with a total running time of 41h.25.24. There are now only 48 women ahead of her. The leader has a total time of 13h.14.25,so he is a 'pro'! The leading woman has 20h.50.15 on her clock and the leading GB runner,Philip Adams,is on 18h.47.15.
Days 5 & 6 - Very few withdrawals as the final 2 legs offer the haven of the finish! Catherine reports via satellite to Mark that things have gone well and she has felt stronger the more the race evolves. With a final overall time of 51h.59.08,she places 509th of 585 finishers,and is 48th woman to finish out of 65.Bravo,I say!!!! Winning time is 17h.14.01 and the final finisher's time was 67h.09.35!!!!
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