Strava Update

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Marathon Des Sables Kit - What Worked and What Didn't

To get to the start line of the Marathon Des Sables took a lot of preparation. Both in terms of training and the equipment  I used for the week. In the months leading up to the race I made so many decisions about equipment, then went back on those decisions then re visited them again with limited knowledge really about some of the equipment I eventually chose to take to the desert. It was effectively a leap of faith heading out to Morocco with the equipment and having now completed the MDS I now have a much better idea of the things I would take, the training I would do and the strategy I would adopt to give a good showing if I was to do it again.

So what worked and what didn't for me? Equipment choice for the MDS and indeed any race is a deeply personal thing, what works for some may not work for others and vice versa so these opinions are based on my own personal opinions and experiences :)

Me At The Finish Line :)
Marathon Des Sables Equipment List:

Raidlight Olmo 20L + 4L Front Pack (new version) -  So the rucksack choice of many competitors, I really felt that the Olmo was the one for me before the MDS. It had elements of Salomon design in it and seemed well thought out. Alas it was not to be! The waist strap was terrible giving no hip support if you needed to take the strain off the shoulders. I found the front pack to be cumbersome, on the first day I put the bottles in the holders on the front pack which meant I had a solid weight banging into me for the duration of the first 23 miles. I had to tie a bit of elastic around me to keep the pack from banging! Day 2 I opted for the bottles in the shoulder holders which meant that I couldnt tie the chest strap as it obscured the race number! I then employed aforementioned bit of elastic as a makeshift chest strap which I had to pull over my head in a convoluted manner, which as you can imagine was great fun on the long day when I didnt know my a55 from my elbow! To add insult to injury on the long day Marco Olmo passed me and even he (the man who the pack was designed for!) wasnt wearing it, choosing to opt for the official WAA MDS pack. If I was to go back (watch this space..) I would opt for the MDS backpack in a heart beat.. 

Raidlight Combi Duvet Sleeping Bag - In our tent we were pretty down on Raidlight stuff I must admit. But the combo duvet really did come up trumps for me. Paired with the silk liner below on the cooler nights it was plenty warm enough and was great without the liner for most nights. I love the zips that allow you to place the arms outside the bag as well as the functionality of being able to convert it into a puffa jacket - Awesome bit of kit that packs down well.

Eurohike Silk Liner- Great bit of kit that weighed next to nothing yet brought the temp rating of my sleeping bag up considerably. Essential in my opinion.

Mammut Inflatable Pillow - I am used to camping and that and the thing that always ensures a good nights sleep for me is a pillow. This pillow was great. It doesnt replace a real pillow (obviously!) but it was a good second. I was filling my rucksack with my clothes and using this and it was pretty comfy. One night I thought I was being smart by taking my food out and using only clothes, had a great nights sleep until the morning when I awoke to find a desert creature of some description had been eating my food! So squashed food it was for the rest of the week..

2 x Salomon Triangular Bottles 640ml - I have used these bottles all winter in training, they are triangular in shape and this stops them rocking about in holsters. Fitted well in the Olmo holster and were perfectly reliable. Only downside was that the water would get hot quickly. If I was to go again I would look at insulating them in some way. These were the lightest set of bottle I owned compared to Camelbak Podium and Raidlight bottles.

Montane Marathon Jacket - This is a great jacket that I had owned for a while before. Super light and is windproof and waterproof to a certain degree. I didnt need to use it so often whilst I was there but good to have in the bag. Packs down to almost nothing.

Inov 8 Mistlite Trousers - I bought these as a last minute purchase. I think they are 120g and great for wearing at night. I made the mistake of wearing them in the day and it was like wearing a bin bag! But very light and again packed down small.

Petzl Tikka 2 Head Torch - Was a little unsure about choice of head torch. Had this and an LED Lenser kindly given to me by a fellow MDS er Stuart. I went with the Petzl purely because I had used it in the winter a few times and it worked well. I used it alot in the evening and on the long stage and it was perfectly adequate. It wasnt the brightest out there, I recall seeing some guy at 3am in the morning on the long stage who looked like he had a car headlight strapped to his head, but it did the business.

Sundog Goggles - I didnt use these so not sure how good they were :)

Sandisk Sansa Clip MP3 Player - This was one of my luxury items. It cost me £20 from ebay and could be expanded with a Micro SD card. Weighs 20grams and so was a no brainer. The battery lasted well, got 12 hours out of it which was awesome.

Swiss Army Knife Mini - Essential bit of kit. Got so may uses over the week; cutting tape, opening packs, cutting bottles up to cook and wash stuff in, cutting straps back, the list goes on. Really good scissors and blade, awesome!

Suunto Ambit GPS Watch - This was a great bit of kit - GPS on 1 min intervals and it lasted me the whole week. Perfect for the desert as there werent too many turns and twists which meant the one min interval worked well. I tend to rely on GPS and as pleased this lasted the distance. Its a great watch, giving lots of information apart from the usual Pace, distance etc it gives the temperature, ascent, descent and doubles as a compass.

On The Last Day.. When The Wheels Fell Off!

Kodak Playsport Video Camera - Another luxury item, but I really wanted to document my time out there in the desert. This worked so well, took amazing quality footage for the price and size and the battery lasted the whole week with sparing use. I am so glad I took this and used it to film video logs every day, banter from the tent and other bits and pieces. The results of which can be found here:

Nuun Tablets (Electrolytes) - I had to mention these.. I took a couple of these a day along with the salt tablets so kept dehydration mostly at bay. However I dont think I will ever be able to stomach these again. The mixture of one of these with lukewarm water turns my stomach even now! :)

Tyvek Suit - I think if I go out again I will just take one of these. I had one before technical checks and decided to opt for the montane jacket and inov8 pants. The tyvek suit is awesome though, keeps you warm but alos seems breathable. I was lucky enough to borrow one off one of my tent mates Guy during the rest day and wore it when it was boiling hot and it worked well. Very light weight as well.

Esbit Titanium Stove - Cooking on the stove was one of the things I hadnt practiced before I came out to the desert. These stoves were awesome to be fair. Hard to light if it was windy (but our resident fire expert Guy took care of making sure the fire was always in the right place - cheers Guy!!) but did the job and boiled the water. We all would cook up at the same time so found that in actuality we could have probably got away with one or 2 stoves between us all. We started to run low on tablets towards the end even though we had alot between us, but I think alot of people were getting rid of things like that by the end of the week to reduce weight so prob wouldnt have been too much of a problem.

Varga Titanium Mug - Bit of a bargain buy this. I got it from the US Ebay for about £15 cheaper than the UK price. No way I was going to pay £35 for a mug! It was a great bit of kit. I got the 400ml version which boiled enough water to cook a meal which was mostly all I needed it for. I put stuff in it when in the rucksack and it was so light I barely knew it was there. At some point in the week I tried to use it as a foam roller which made it warp into a slightly oval shape..

Salomon Exo Wings Twin Skin Shorts - I love Salomon stuff full stop, and these shorts were great. I wore these all week and they didnt rub, chafe or give any gip at all. I like the support that they give and I washed them when I got back and they are as good as new.. 

X-Bionic Fennec Cycle Shirt - Alot of hype surrounding these shirts and they are expensive. However the fennec was the shirt of choice for alot of UK desert runners this season.. In my opionion the shirt worked well. I didnt feel the heat really until the temp started to get a bit silly and hit 54 deg C on day 4.. Highly recommended. I got the fennec cycle shirt  as it was on offer on Start Fitness at the time for £60 which was a big saving on the rrp. The cycle shirt is essentially the same with a little zip at the front and pockets on the back.

Salomon XA+ Desert Hat - Another Salomon item that did the job well. I had used the hat a bit previously and the side curtainy bit attaches via velcro. It kept me well protected from the sun and kept the back of my neck protected. 

Balega Running Socks - These were a bit of a late addition to my kit list at the recommendation of my running guru friend Craig. I tried them a few times before and they worked well out there in the desert. I didnt get any real blisters except a few hotspots which I addressed as I went. I was really lucky with my lack of blisters as the horror pictures you see on the internet of peoples feet during the MDS do actually happen. I saw alot of people hobbling around particularly towards the end of the week and how they lined up to complete the days running I dont know! Alot of courage  and a good mix of Ibuprofen I imagine!

Hilly Mono Skin Running Socks - When I did get blisters/hotspots they occurred when I wore these socks. These worked well in training but seemed to make my feet sweat profusely out there and then rub after a while. 

Compressport Calf Guards - I wore these on every day and they worked well. I know that the jury is out on calf guards and the science but they work for me! I didnt have any calf issues at all over the whole week, in fact I was surprised to report no major niggles/strains/aches or DOMS the whole week! I came armed with Ibuprofen and Paracetamol but only had to use a dose of each the whole week. 

Raidlight (Red) Sand Gaiters - These worked well and kept sand out for the whole week. The gaiters are probably the most important bit of kit as they keep the sand out and therefore feet hopefully blister free. I did scuff them on rocks on the first day and had to gaffa tape them up but they did the business.

Raidlight Buff - Indispensable bit of kit this.. I think there are 12 different ways you can use a buff, I think I used mine as a beanie, a night cap, a sand mask, an eye mask at night a neck cooler and a snot rag! Awesome!

Tifosi Ventoux Sunglasses - bit of a gamble on these, I was advised to get reactor sunglasses as it gets windy at night and the lenses are good to protect the eyes from sand etc. These sunnies were amazing. Great in the day, perhaps not quite clear enough for night time use but they protected my eyes in the day and were virtually bomb proof! I gave them a run under the tap when I got home and a clean and they look as good as new after a week of abuse..

Saucony Mirage Trainers - Road shoes with a medial support in. Very light and a great trainer for me on the road and track previously. I sent them away to have velcro sowed on to them and they served me well. I bought them a size up but I dont feel I suffered from swollen feet excessively during the week.

Food: This was a much discussed issue on the MDS Page. We had a minimum calorific value requirement of 2000 calories per day and I spent alot of time deciding what to take. I decided to opt for the Ma Baker Flapjack Bars for breakfast which weighed in at 90g for just under 400 calories. I opted for the Expedition Foods Dehydrated meals for evening meal which tasted ok to be fair. I had a variety of flavours which all tasted like real food! I opted for Hammer Perpetuem Solids and Hammer Gels for my in race nutrition. The Solids were great for the first few days but after that I found them hard to digest and swallow as they are quite chalky. I find Perpetuem is a great source of energy normally in my day to day endurance training and racing just didnt work out so well in the desert. Hammer gels were good, these are my gel of choice usually and gave me a kick when needed. I opted for nuts and wine gums for treats and a Pepperami. These all worked well and I felt I had enough calories, well up until the night that I had the "visitor" in the tent anyway!! Luckily some of the guys in the tent were getting rid of food to cut down weight which meant I could replace the food that had been touched! Otherwise it could have been a hungry remaining Marathon Des Sables for me!


Friday, April 19, 2013

Back Home..

I am sat down writing this trying to process the most intense, insane, painful, joyful week of my life. I am unsure how to try and document what happened in the 2013 Marathon des Sables but will start by breaking it down day by day and see how it goes as this might be a useful resource for anyone wishing to give it a crack.

Gatwick - Morocco

We flew out on the Thursday and the sight of all the fellow MDS'ers at the South Terminal of Gatwick confirmed that this pipe dream that I had been obsessing about for nigh on 2 years was definitely happening! I bumped into a few people that I had met over the last few months at various races including some of my future tent mates for the week, Sally, Gordon and Tom.

The flight was pretty uneventful and we arrived in Ouzarzarte airport mid afternoon. The vibe was great, 300 UK runners all open to the event and open to each other, it reminded of my younger days when I travelled alot and everyone I met seemed so receptive and open to interaction, which was so refreshing.

The next morning we made our way to the desert, a 5.5 hour bus and 20 mins military truck journey to our campsite and home for the next 9 days or so... It was really sobering to see the campsite and I couldn't quite believe that this was happening! We settled into our tent a Berber tent with no sides.. The wind then rose up that afternoon and even a little bit of rain fell which certainly concerned me and I am sure my fellow tent mates. We sat in stunned silence contemplating the rainy windy week ahead. There was a mini sand storm and thankfully the weather then calmed down -  a great introduction to desert life, four seasons in one day almost!

Sunset On The First Night

Day 2 in the desert saw us going through the technical checks to show we had the necessary amount of calories, mandatory equipment and the like to do the race. We gave up our large suitcases full of our luxury items and suddenly my world shrank to the size of a 20L Raidlight rucksack, with one spare T shirt for the week, one spare pair of socks and plenty of dehydrated food, nuts and in retrospect not enough sweets! The evening came and we encountered our first speech given by Patrick Bauer. For this first speech he seemed quite restrained and this was another "pinch myself" moment to check that this was actually happening.

Day 1 of running saw us encountering our first 23 miles of desert terrain. Historically the 1st day was shorter and used to help the competitors acclimate to the heat and get used to desert racing. No such luck this time around and we were straight in at the sharp end! I spoke to someone on the way who had said that this was the toughest 1st day he had encountered and he had done it 3 times previously.. I attacked the first 18 miles thinking this was like 23 miles back home on my nice running routes in Jersey.. How wrong was I? I got to the final stretch; a long plain that seemed to go on and on and up and up in equal measure until we hit the top of the climb and there she was.. The finish line! Right out in the middle of a plain and a good couple of miles to get to it. Got there I did though and finished the first day pleased to get it under my belt and having not dug too deep at this point. The only real issue to come of the day was the rucksack I was using, the Raidlight Olmo 20 + 4 as reviewed in these hallowed pages previously was looking like it was not going to be up to the job - more about this later..

Day 2 of running - I awoke this morning feeling rested and recovered which was a great feeling. On todays menu of the weeks buffet of running was 18 miles up 3 Jebels (which are mountains) culminating in the Jebel Al Otfah, described to me by one of my fellow Brits as a "bit of a bugger." I set off at good pace and made good time to the first climb, got in single file with the rest of the runners and started to ascend, and ascend, and ascend.. Every corner seemed to be another climb but the summit came and soon enough we were descending on some beautiful technical rocky trail that soon took us into CP1. I loaded up on water and feeling good I headed off to the next climb a nice sandy, duney effort this time which promptly drained my legs. The views however were amazing and we were negotiating some really gnarly spines up there.. Upon ascent I hit a plain and started the run into CP2 and then the final climb of the day the mighty Jebel al Otfah, a true monster compared to the other climbs and I believe it claimed a few early DNF's from the race due to the severity.

Day 3 of running - I woke this day slightly out of sorts. A windy night had meant the tent collapsed a couple of times and I had not slept so well. Our email messages had been delivered to the tent and an admin cock up had meant that my emails were not there. I watched everyone reading their messages nearly in tears as I thought no one had emailed me! Luckily ten mins later someone from another tent came and gave me my messages they had been delivered to their tent by mistake. This set the tone for my day and although the 3rd day was primarily flat the heat was starting to rise and I was quite mindful of the 48 mile long day following this day. Flat didnt mean easy terrain however, 23 miles of salt plains and sandy sections with the odd climb, little wind and rising temperatures. I set out at a good clip to start with but upon hitting the salt lakes after CP1 I started to feel the last few days in my legs.. I soldiered on and started to engage a run/walk strategy as I didnt want to dig too deep before the 48 miler the following day. I encountered the flat plains again, the like of which seemed to become my nemesis over the week, I found the long flat distance difficult as they seemed to go on and on and distance became very distorted so what seemed like a short distance away never seemed to get closer which played havoc with my mindset particularly on this day.. I got to the finish nonetheless and set about recovering and getting my head right for the big day tomorrow.

Day 4 of running - The big one!! I made the call based on the previous days performance that to set out conservatively was going to be the right tactic for this day. I think the previous day had rattled me a bit and I was not willing to risk the chance of not completing the long day. I cant really describe the feeling of having 48 miles ahead of you having already 64 miles the 3 days previously. I really tried to focus on breaking down the distance into checkpoints and maintaining a brisk pace, which seemed to work ok. In 7 hours my tent mate Gordon and I had hit the half way mark and had endured temperatures of upto 54 degrees Celsius which didn't seem so hot at the time. Mid way through the afternoon we were lucky enough to see the top 50 come through, an awesome experience and the closest I got to Mohamed Al Hansal the eventual overall winner all week!! As the sun went down the cooler climes came and I felt inspired to run. I covered 12 miles in some manic hyperactive fit whilst grinning manically and gurning like a raver at Spike Island. I think the culmination of extreme heat, lots of salt tablets, too many sugary snacks and way too much thrash metal on my ipod took its toll, I lost the plot and remember seeing our photographer Kirsten after checkpoint 4 and proclaiming that I "felt amazing!!" I didnt feel so amazing about and hour and a half later when I needed to go to the loo and was promptly sick at the same time.. Good memories that. I made it to the next check point which was the last one and I had to sleep off the nausea. I was resigned to sleeping through the night and resuming my odyssey the following morning, however a trio of scouse lads rocked into my tent proceeded to talk very loud and awake me from my slumber. I hooked up with these guys and made the last 10km deathmarch back to the finish with them on a perpetual incline and a magic finish line that never actually seemed to get any closer.. I eventually finished this day at 3:30am a broken, shadow of the confident Paul that set out on day one..

Day 5 - Rest Day. After getting in at 3:30am from the long day I woke at 5:30am to the sun shining in my face and it already feeling quite warm. This was the rest day and we had been promised at 4:30pm we would receive a can of Coca Cola. I counted down the hours til that little beauty came and savoured every last mouthful of it.. The rest of the day we hung out ate dehdrated meals, fantasised about proper food, compared war stories about the long day and waited for some of our other tent mates to arrive back. It was a very hot day and being in the tent was quite tough as it is black and seemed to attract the heat.. (not sure why?) It did cool down by the evening though and it was time to bury the trauma of the long day and start to look ahead to the last stage - The marathon stage.

Day 6 of running - marathon day! This was the day that we had all been looking forward to the last proper stage of this years race. It was 26 miles and the heat had risen even more so. I decided to go out hard on this stage as I wanted to try and right the loss of time on the long day - basically a death or glory strategy with high risk or high reward. I am sure you can guess what happened next? I ran like a gazelle across the Sahara desert making mince meat of those dunes, skipping gaily through the best that North Africa had to throw at me...... For 6 miles I did anyway! I got to CP1 and took on water and was feeling uncharacteristically thirsty. I necked the bottle threw some more over me and nonchalantly hit the road to the second check point. It was around mid way through this section that the proverbial wheels started to fall off and I realised I was horrendously dehydrated (perhaps the fact that I hadn't wee'd for nearly 2 days wasnt enough of a giveaway? Call me crazy!!??) and I was caked in salt which is a dead give away. I started to drink the water I had to try and undo the damage caused and promptly ran out of water with about a mile and a half to CP2. This was the first time this had happened and being so thirsty was a little scary. I toughed it out though got to the CP and took all the water on offer which by this point was luke warm!! After making it through this CP we hit a dune section and I was deteriorating quicky, vision was going blurry and I just couldnt seem to find respite from the sun. I slowed to a shuffle and traipsed through the dunes a sad forlorn figure determined to make it to the end and to fight out whatever way I had to to get there. I found every hill the biggest challenge and as well as feeling dehydrated I was nauseous which meant I was running low on energy. I finally made it to the last checkpoint and took 20 minutes to get my act together. I managed to get some jelly beans off a very kind person which seemed to perk me up and fortify me for the last leg of the journey. Along the way I met a great American guy Russell who was struggling as much as me and we walked the last 10km together. We got over the finish line and I received my medal and hug from Patrick Bauer. I must say that he truly engaged me when I spoke to him, that day he gave out 1000 medals and hugs and I bet every person who crossed that line would say the same.

The main man and I!
The Medal

I must say that the race was amazing and anyone thinking of doing it should grab the opportunity with both hands, its not just about the race; the camaraderie, the opportunity to truly push ones limits, the experience of running in the Sahara and the sense of achievement after having actually gone through all the above make up the whole package.

I would dearly like to thank everyone who messaged me during the MDS. This alone was a major contributor to my completing the race. It was so tough out there both physically and mentally. I came within sight of my limits many times but I also really enjoyed it at the same time. The people I met out there will hopefully be people I will have in my life for a long long time and this was a big part of the experience for me. My tent mates were awesome and also the other guys I either knew previously or met at various stages of the race.

So what next for me? Well As soon as I crossed the line at the MDS my initial though was "I could have done better.." So I have made tentative enquiries about going back next year to Morocco. I have registered interest for 2015 as well. Prior to the finish there was no way I was going back but the race has a magical quality. I am also on the waiting list for The Spine Race which is billed as "Britains most brutal race" which takes in approx 260 miles across the Pennine Way in January. I am really conscious of getting another challenge on the cards as I want to maintain momentum and to be honest the MDS has redoubled my love for running! I will be doing Round the Rock here in Jersey on Aug 3rd and I will be doing my first 100 miler across the Cotswolds in September. So lots going on, the adventure has really only just began I feel..
My Welcome Home Committee!
On the fundraising side I have hit and exceeded the £12,000.00 mark which is amazing. The day before I went out to the desert I received a £1000 donation from Le Gallais and Luce a local solicitors firm as well as numerous very generous donations from friends and some people I have never met. If you would like to donate my just giving page is I ran the MDS in aid of Jersey Hospice Care and in memory of Natalie Moss a dear friend of mine who sadly passed away about a year ago and spent the last 6 weeks of her life in Jersey Hospice. I thought about Natalie a lot whilst doing the race and toasted her with my friend Pete when I crossed the finish line. I had a really touching message from one of my friends saying that there was a beautiful young lady who was taken too soon looking down on me amazed and proud of what I was doing in her memory. I kept on turning this line over and over in my head as I went through the long stage at night, the scenery and stars being so beautiful that night that I could half believe that she was watching..

I really want to document the kit list and what worked well for me and what didn't, I will have a crack at this over this weekend. I intend to sleep and eat and sleep and eat a bit more this weekend.
I have put together a short video of my experiences in Morocco (click on movie below), I feel it gives a good taste of what we went through out there. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Off To The Desert..

This afternoon I fly out from Jersey to London and will meet up with a few of the Brits taking part in the MDS. Tomorrow morning we all check in for our flight to Morocco, so all the scenes I have been anticipating and playing in my head will start to happen.. Picture 300 runners all checking in at Gatwick race backpacks giving them away as to their destination.. A lot of us have been in touch either through the Facebook MDS group or having actually met at the various ultra races we have been doing to get ready for the challenge we shall be starting on Sunday, so I am very excited about meeting people I have been chatting to as well as making new acquaintances..

The training is done, the packing is 99% done and all thats left is to get there and give this thing my best shot. I have one agenda and that is to walk away from the race knowing I have given my absolute best, I hope that my best is enough for me to complete the race. 

Someone kindly posted this picture yesterday, which is the town near to which the first day starts (Merzouga). Not sure if this is the scale of the dunes we will be encountering we will see, but it seems quite high!!

The weather forecast at the race start appears to be a little on the low side.. I dont really believe in forecasts myself so will wait to see what the temp and conditions are when we get there:

I have the details of how you can contact me in the desert should you wish. My race number is 624 and all messages must state my full name Paul Burrows and race number or they won't get through to me. You can send me messages from 06 to 12 April 2013
Go to the website and follow the instructions: .
Find the section "write to competitors" (which will probably not be live until the weekend)Only messages with surname, first name and race ID number will be transferred.After 12 april, this email service will no longer be operational.Please don't send attachments (e.g. photos). This will cancel the message. Messages will be given to competitors in the bivouac every day. 

Please feel free to message me, this will be a massive boost to receive these, and will be greatly appreciated :)

So this is probably my last blog post before I head off.. Thanks for the support from everyone; The people who helped me with the fundraising (Karl Moss, Ben Garland, Nicola Gott, Bryce Alford, Jo Alford, Pete Wright, David Stokes, John Parker @ The local businesses that have supported me (Sportsbug Jersey,, BNP Paribas Jersey, Bean Around The World, Cafe Jacs, Tonic Skin and Beauty, Craig Meredith at Fit2Function Jersey & Leanne Rive Personal Training) And the people who I have run with over this crazily long and cold winter (Peter Wright, Phil Taylor, Lee De St Croix, Simon McKenzie, Leanne Rive, Bryce Alford and Jodi Fowler particularly, but also all the guys at Jersey Spartans with who I ran circles around a track very fast 2 night a week in the dead of winter!! :) It's starting to sound like an Oscar speech but I  believe it is important to acknowledge the fact that all aspects of this challenge, the training, fundraising and general day to day have been made a lot easier by the support of my friends and the understanding of my non running friends (thanks guys!) when I haven't been able to come out for a night on the town because I was running the next day or just not been able to see much of them.

I am running the Marathon Des Sables in memory of Natalie Moss, a very dear friend and wife of my close friend Karl who sadly passed away just over a year ago. She was taken from us way too soon and all of us who knew her think of her every day. Natalie knew I was doing this race and she had seen a couple of the documentaries on the MDS, so she knew what I was in for! I often think of her courage and grace when she was going through her illness, she has inspired so many of us and really brought the friends she left behind close together. 

Our Friend Natalie - Sadly Missed xxx

The fundraising has been going really well for Jersey Hospice Care which is where Natalie spent her last 6 weeks. If you havent yet donated please visit and donate, no matter what the amount. We have just hit £9,450 and would be awesome to hit £10,000 this week with the ultimate target being £12000.