Steps In The Sand: My Marathon des Sables Journey - October
1 November 2023
Welcome to month four of my MDS training blog. For those of you new here; I'm on a daring quest. I’ve set myself the goal of competing in the Marathon des Sables in 2024, "the toughest footrace on earth", and I’m inviting you to join me on my journey. As I navigate my training and preparation for this daunting task, I aim to raise funds for three incredible local charities; Autism Guernsey, Jersey Hospice Care and Guernsey Society for Cancer Relief.
How can you help?
Primarily, by donating to the three charities, I'm raising funds for, here. At the time of writing, we're at £1,170 of £10,000 raised.
Or helping me knock something off my Amazon wishlist, I've got a lot of kit to buy for the big week.
Sponsor a long run, I love my little island home, but racking up double marathons at the weekend in Guernsey is not fun, ship me off to England or France and I'll give you a big hug and a shout-out on my socials 🙂 Please reach out to via the contact us page on our website or message me on Instagram
Give me a follow on Instagram with some words of encouragement (or heckle me, whatever floats your boat).
So, month four by the numbers: 263km (+45% on September), 27h on my feet and 3,256m of elevation.
September was a bit of a let down to me, it was a tough month on all fronts and I was determined to grab October by the short and curlies and show it who was boss (for the avoidance of doubt, it was me, I was the boss). I upped my mileage and time on feet by almost 50% and doubled the amount of elevation covered - suffice to say; James 1 - 0 October.
It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows though, the target was actually just over 300km for the month and one of the runs just took me past what I was capable of in all honesty and I had to take a couple of days to reset before getting back out there - but, I'm happy with where we're at so far, I'm close to 1,000km and and out of over 100 runs scheduled I think I've missed 3 maybe 4, that's pretty good going.
Anyway, big highlights this month, I set another weekly distance PB of 93K, narrowly missing out on my first 100K week, but I'll give it another whirl in February. I also went out and broke my very long standing 10K PB, not once, but three weeks on the trot, from 47:50, to 47:20, to 45:10 and finally 44:32 and I'm confident that outside of an ultra-training plan I'm sure I could get 42:XX. In the throws of that, I ended up setting a new 5K (road) PB of 21:50 and a 2-mile PB of 13:55 too! To say I never train or race for anything below a half, it's great to be able to see these numbers in the thick of training.
Also, the lovely guys over at Givestar (the fundraising platform) covered my training in a reel, the lovely guys at Resolution IT bought me a fresh pair of wheels and I also had a two-minute spot on the BBC about my training too!
So, what's on the agenda for November then? So, November 18th is the GUN31, this 31-mile ultra features over 2K of elevation across Guernsey's south coast and it's in the pitch black for added fun. This race battered me last year, but I'm back with a vengeance this year, no surrender.
Oh and December I hear you ask... I'm going to South America and I CANNOT WAIT, lots of runs planned across Colombia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil - I am so stoked!
Thanks for reading and the continued support, see you next month! 👋
I’m here to share my journey and learn from others. If you have any questions, suggestions or even some firsthand experience with the MDS, please don't hesitate to reach out on Instagram @fromtidestotrails. Every bit of advice and encouragement is invaluable to me!