Nathan Mollett, chair of the Leasing Foundation, accomplished the daunting Marathon des Sables (MDS) Legendary, a gruelling 250km race through the Saharan desert, over the past weekend. His feat also resulted in an impressive £14,600 raised for the charities South East Cancer Help Centre and Wings for Life – Spinal Cord Research Foundation.

The MDS Legendary, renowned as one of the world’s toughest footraces, commenced on Sunday 14 April and concluded on Saturday 20 April this year. Enduring extreme conditions with temperatures exceeding 45 degrees Celsius, participants traversed dunes, scaled mountains, and tackled varied terrains in their quest to reach the finish line.

Nathan Mollett

Competitors carried self-sufficient backpacks, containing essential food and camping provisions for the week, while the race organisers supplied only water and a shade tent. Each of the race’s six stages presented distinct challenges, with no assurance of reaching the end, even for elite runners. Remarkably, this year saw a 93% completion rate among participants.

This edition of the MDS LEGENDARY was the longest in its history – a 252.8-kilometer (157 miles) course, divided into the following six stages:

  • Stage 1: 31.1 kilometres (19.3 miles)
  • Stage 2: 40.8 kilometres (25.3 miles)
  • Stage 3: 85.3 kilometres (53 miles)
  • Stage 4: 43.1 kilometres (26.7 miles)
  • Stage 5: 31.4 kilometres (19.5 miles)
  • Stage 6: 21.1 kilometres (13 miles)

Nathan Mollett, chair of the Leasing Foundation, said: “Running the Marathon des Sables was an amazing experience – and a great privilege – but definitely a once-in-a-lifetime challenge.  The course was extraordinarily demanding, sometimes almost unbearably so because of the heat – particularly on the longest day – but raising money for two charities close to my heart made every step worth it.

“It wasn’t just about finishing the race, it was also about helping others. A massive thank you goes to everyone who supported me and thanks also to my fellow runners. I certainly couldn’t have done it without you.”

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