Redditch ultrarunner completes legendary Marathon des Sables race for charity - The Redditch Standard

Redditch ultrarunner completes legendary Marathon des Sables race for charity

Redditch Editorial 2nd May, 2023 Updated: 3rd May, 2023   0

REDDITCH ultrarunner Nigel Watson has raised more than £5,000 for charity after completing the legendary Marathon des Sables race across the Sahara Desert.

Watson was inspired to run the gruelling 250km race after being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018 and has raised money for Prostate Cancer UK, Breast Cancer UK, Mind and Primrose Hospice.

The 66-year-old won an award as the oldest UK and Ireland finisher as he placed 419th overall and 17th in his age category and ran alongside his good friend Chris Blackwell-Frost.

Watson said: “I’m incredibly proud, to take on conditions as extreme as that with the condition I’ve got, it shows what you can take.

“I’ve got prostate cancer and I’m okay with that, it’s not going to beat me, I just try to show other people that it doesn’t have to change your life, you can stand up to it.

“Running these extreme races is may way of standing up to it and raising money for others who are less fortunate.




“I’ve lost a few friends in recent years and I had five order of services’ in my backpack who were my guardian angels and inspired me to keep going.

“I’d encourage all men to get checked when they can.”


Some 1,085 runners started the race with 763 finishing as almost 30 per cent of athletes pulled out due to the intense heat which peaked at 58 degrees Celsius.

He followed in the footsteps of fellow Redditch runner Doug Richards who completed the race in the 90’s and offered Watson support throughout his training.

To acclimatise to the race conditions, Watson was granted access to an environment chamber at the University of Wolverhampton and a sauna at the Fit Club in Redditch.

He also trained on the track at Redditch Stars running club of which he is a member.

The race is billed as the ‘The Toughest Footrace on Earth’ as runners have to complete six marathon-distance races in the space of just seven days.

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