After six long days, six gruelling marathons through Africa’s beastly Sahara Desert and thousands raised for charity, Roundhouse directors Jeremy and Janet Lefton have arrived back home in Lancashire after completing the world-renowned ‘toughest race on Earth’.
From 5th to 11th of April, the four members of Team Roundhouse including Jeremy, Janet and relatives Tom and Michelle Rothwell were at the mercy of the extreme conditions of the Sahara Desert for the 156-mile Marathon des Sables.
Temperatures regularly roared above 50 degrees Celsius and gale force winds whipped up lethal sandstorms that could last for hours. For some it was too much; just over 150 competitors from the 1360-strong starting list didn’t end up completing the race.
Many of those who did finish are still nursing the wounds from their monumental effort; Janet suffered severe lacerations to her feet as a result of the constant rough and rugged terrain throughout her 54-hour race time and has now begun the road to recovery with no walking for two weeks.
But she is still looking back on the experience fondly. She said: “It has been an unbelievable experience – extremely hard, but highly rewarding. The cause in our mind spurred us on to the finish line and helped us through the pain barrier day after day.”
The cause in question was raising money for Brain Tumour Research, a charity close to the hearts of Team Roundhouse following the diagnosis of a close family friend last year. A whopping £21,000 has been raised so far and the team are hoping this will continue to rise.
Jeremy agreed that it was worth bearing the pain for as he completed the race in 41 hours, securing a place inside the top 500. He said: “My feet are still killing me and I am exhausted, but it was all worth it. For me, it was far more mentally challenging then I’d imagined and the heat is a deal breaker – you just don’t know what to expect or how it will affect you, especially since I went straight from the office to the desert.”
You can still donate to the cause on Jeremy and Janet’s JustGiving page and visit the following websites for more information on Brain Tumour Research and the Marathon des Sables respectively.