A Mansfield business consultant is taking a well deserved rest after completing what is described as ‘The toughest race on earth’.
Brave Archi Stewart, who works at Crawford Strategic specialising in performance improvement, competed in The Marathon Des Sables finishing the sixth and final stage on 12th April.
The Marathon Des Sables is famously described by the Discovery Channel as the toughest footrace on earth.
Alongside a thousand competitors from around the world, Archi toed the line in the southern Morrocan Sahara, the world’s hottest desert, to race the equivalent of six marathons in six days.
Fierce temperatures, a higher proportion of sand dunes and greater ascent combined in this year’s race for many to declare it the toughest edition in the events 29 year history.
Competitors ran 156 miles over six days, carrying with them all that they needed to survive in the desert, with the organisers providing a strictly rationed supply of water and a space in an eight man berber tent to sleep.
Said Archi: “It was a hot year, we don’t have accurate temperature readings as they simply are not measured in the hottest areas such as the sand dunes, where the reflected heat from the sand contributes to the overall heat.
“It is pretty certain though that large sections of the course were well in excess of 52 ⁰C.
“The race staff did tell us that the temperature in the shade was 40.7 ⁰C on day two.”
For Archi, his participation in the event was the pinnacle of a four year transformation from 17 stone couch potato to ultra-marathon runner.
“At the end of 2009, I weighed myself for the first time in a long time and discovered to my horror I was over 17 stone,” he said.
“Whilst I have always been on the heavier side this was a real shock. I took no exercise, ate poorly and drank to excess so it was time to sort myself out.
“I am now looking forward to some time spent building up my client base.
Running wise I am looking for my next challenge. I haven’t decided yet although I suspect it will involve running further than I have ever run before in some sort of extreme conditions.
“In the meantime I have committed to run at least 2014 miles in 2014 and have 1370 miles to go.”