Il britannico sir Ranulph Fiennes, 71 anni, noto per le sue innumerevoli imprese sportive estreme, è in questi giorni impegnato a partecipare alla Marathon des Sables 2015, fiancheggiato da Rory Coleman suo personal trainer (ma soprattutto atleta, con diversi importanti achievement nel suo palamares, tra i quali l'essere stato per 11 volte finishe della MdS, nonché organizzatore di eventi sportivi in UK). Il suo obiettivo è quello di essere il primo cittadino britannico di questa fascia d'età a completare la Marathon des Sables.
Al termine della prima tappa, il suo coach Rory Coleman ha rimarcato che Runulph Fiennes ha superato almeno il 25 per cento degli atleti più giovani di lui.
Dunque, senz'altro positivo il risultato della prima tappa.
L'altro obiettivo importante e rimarchevole di Ranulph Fiennes è di raccogliere due milioni e mezzo di sterline per la Charity Marie Curie.
Ranulph Fiennes 'overtaking people a quarter his age' in Marathon des Sables
The 71-year-old is facing temperatures of more than 50C running through the Sahara as he hopes to raise £2.5m for UK charity Marie Curie
Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ coach has revealed the 71-year-old explorer is overtaking people a quarter of his age during the Marathon des Sables.
Fiennes is facing temperatures of more than 50C (122F) and endless sand dunes in the challenge, dubbed the toughest footrace on Earth. He hopes to raise £2.5m for the UK charity Marie Curie by taking part.
His fitness coach, Rory Coleman, told BBC Breakfast: “He is overtaking lots of people who are a quarter of his age, not just half his age. It’s remarkable he’s doing this at 71.”
But Fiennes said he was trying to allay his competitive side to ensure he had enough energy to finish the race. He said: “I rely on Rory, uncle Rory, to get it right and make sure I don’t go too fast, which is a competitional [sic] element you’ve got to subdue, because it gets worse and worse and worse.
“Yesterday I thought was very difficult, but it’s nothing compared with the next day, and the next day and the next day, so you’ve got to stop any form of competition if you’re going to compete at a certain age.”
The explorer, who turned 71 in March and is battling diabetes, said enduring blisters and the heat was the toughest part of the challenge. He said: “I’m OK in the cold but I don’t like the hot very much ... I’m also finding that the blister situation is new, you’ve got to keep plastering stuff on, be sure of no sunburn.
“I really need to complete it because we are desperate to raise lots of money for Marie Curie, and without completion of course you don’t raise so much money.”
The Marathon des Sables in Morocco covers 155 miles (251km) including the distance of a marathon a day and a double marathon one day, with runners carrying everything they need on their backs.
Fiennes received a message from the Prince of Wales wishing him the very best of luck before taking part in the race. He hopes the money raised will help Marie Curie provide more free care and support to people living with a terminal illness.
Fiennes hopes to become the oldest Briton to complete the marathon, which lasts for six days. Monday is the second leg of the race and will see the explorer cover 19 miles of ground from Oed Tijekht to Jebel el Otfal. He faces three steep climbs in temperatures reaching 50C.
This follows Sunday’s run of 22 miles, which took Fiennes eight hours to complete.
As a young person I had loved sport but by the time I reached 31, fitness didn't feature in my life. I was successful in other areas of my life: I had my own business, three great children and a nice house.
But life was out of control, I was an overweight, 40/day cigarette smoking alcoholic. On 5 January 1994, I realised that I had to change the way I approached life and decided that it was time to stop looking for happiness in drink and cigarettes.
My dream to get fit started with a short jog. At 15 stone in weight I was totally out of breath after just 100 metres and was appalled at the state of my body.
For the next three months I was motivated by my dream. I stuck to my goals, stopped smoking, gradually increased my exercise regime and controlled my diet. In just three months I was able to run a Half-Marathon in under 2 hours.
I went on to run the London Marathon in 1995 in under 4 hours and enjoyed the 'marathon experience' so much that by 1998 I had run my first 100 marathons. I raised my personal best to 3 hours 24 minutes and set 9 Guinness World Records for running on treadmills.
During this journey of fitness I have experienced some amazing life adventures, including:
Running John O'Groats to Lands End
Running the Flora 1,000 Mile Challenge
Running a 600 mile route connecting the grounds of the Premier League Football Clubs
Running 1,275 miles from London to Lisbon for Euro 2004 = 30 miles per day for 43 days
Completed 11 Marathon des Sables and now going for my 12th in April 2015.
Fitness has brought me great happiness and is a fundamental part of my daily life... I completed over 870 Marathons and now have a dream of completing 1000 Marathons in 2017.