Satchell to run in Marathon Des Sables

Posted on February 22, 2008 by


0 degrees, 120 miles and lots and lots of sand

ONE marathon would be too much for most people but a Folkestone man is to attempt the equivalent of running five in six days.

Pete Satchell, 49, is taking part in an event called the Marathon des Sables at the end of March, which takes place in the Sahara desert, in southern Morocco, with daytime temperatures of 40 degrees centigrade and below freezing at night.

He will have to run two 20km, or 15-mile races, then an 80km or 50-mile race starting in the day and continuing into the night, followed by a 26-mile marathon and then a 15km or 14-mile finish.

As well the event being a huge test of physical and mental endurance, he will also be up against the risk of dehydration, blistered feet, snakes and scorpions.

Pete, a shift manager with British Energy at Dungeness B, will be among 700 people taking part, who have to carry their food, water, sleeping, cooking and first aid equipment with them on their backs as they run.

He said: “I saw the event on television and it looked like fun.”


Pete will be running to raise money for Cancer Research UK and a charity called Facing Africa, which helps children with facial disfigurements.

He is still in need of vital equipment for the trip and is hoping local companies might be able to help.

He needs flares, an aluminium survival kit, a whistle, a lightweight cooker, a compass and a signalling mirror. He is also hoping firms will join British Energy, who have already pledged their support, in helping him to raise money for the two charities.

The Folkestone Running Club member has nine marathons under his belt and has competed in the gruelling Iron Man triathlon.

He said: “I think the worst thing might be the sand, apparently it can rip your feet to shreds if it gets in. I’ve got extra large trainers to wear, as I’m told my feet will swell and dehydration is a worry.

“I’ve written to Bannatynes and Folkestone Sports Centre asking if they will let me use their sauna so I can used to the heat before I go.”

Early in March Pete will have to attend a training weekend, during which he will run a marathon on the Saturday and another on the Sunday in preparation for the event.

• Anyone who would like to sponsor him should get in touch by phoning 01303 211113.