Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Conquering the Sahara

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Conquering the Sahara

Article excerpt

Byline: Naomi Paylor

A determined Teesside soldier shed blood, sweat and tears to conquer one of the world's toughest challenges.

Keith Evans, from Norton, said the Marathon des Sables - a gruelling 160-mile race across the Sahara Desert - was "the hardest thing I have ever done".

While temperatures lingered around 50 degrees, water was limited and the 25-year-old was forced to carry everything he needed in a rucksack.

"I am a physical training instructor in the Army but it absolutely destroyed me," said Keith. "It took 57 hours over six days and was the hardest thing I have ever done."

Organisers admitted conditions during this year's competition were exceptionally harsh, with high winds, sandstorms, abnormal temperatures and humidity testing the toughest of runners.

Nearly 800 men and women took part but 148 retired through sheer exhaustion or injury.

"I was quite lucky in terms of blisters and foot pain. I only had a few by the end of the race," said Keith. …

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