Marathon Des Sables will test Hastings ace Stewart to limit

HY Runners ace Stewart Ide is running the Marathon des Sables through the Sahara Desert in southern Morocco next month.
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The event involves six marathons over seven days – a total of 250km – and is considered the toughest foot race on earth.

The course involves energy-sapping sandy, hilly and rocky terrain with temperatures reaching up to 50C, and sandstorms can arise, resulting in zero visibility.

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Runners must carry everything they need with them for the duration of the race on their back including food, clothing, medical supplies, sleeping bag and tent.

Stewart Ide is training hard for the Marathon Des SablesStewart Ide is training hard for the Marathon Des Sables
Stewart Ide is training hard for the Marathon Des Sables

It starts on Friday, April 21.

Each night Stewart will sleep on the ground in his tent.

Stewart is running in aid of St Michael’s Hospice and is looking to raise £5,000.

It costs £14,400 per day to run the hospice and £5,000 would mean Stewart would be funding eight hours and 20 minutes of care.

Stewart started his training in January running 70 to 80 miles a week and has so far worked his way through eight pairs of trainers.

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His aim has been to keep on his feet for as many hours as possible.

So far his training has involved running 40 miles from Hastings to Brighton – and he now plans to cover 60 miles from Hastings to Dymchurch and back.

During the marathon Stewart will be carrying a backpack weighing 12 kilos with his essential items, so he's keen to get some practice wearing this.

Stewart has been looking at ways to achieve his £5,000 target.

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He will be wearing a special UV protective T-shirt emblazoned with the St Michael’s Hospice logo, and for a donation (suggested minimum £5) people can have their loved ones’ names printed on Stewart's top to run in their memory.

On Sunday, April 30, the last day of the marathon, the Nags Head in St Leonards will be holding a fundraising day with live music from three local bands and a raffle with fantastic prizes up for grabs including a 55-inch smart TV and a three-night break in a luxury lodge at Marlie Holiday Park.

Organisers have also promised to match the total amount of donations Stewart receives.

To donate go to