Irish businessman Will Mullin takes on one of the world’s toughest challenges – the Marathon des Sables (a 257km run– five and a half marathons over six days), which the Discovery Channel has dubbed ‘the toughest footrace on earth’. Starting on April 10th, this year is also the longest in the race’s 31 year history.
The 35-year-old father of two will run in the gruelling and searing heat of the Sahara Desert. Midday temperatures in the Sahara can get up to 48 degrees Celsius and the night-time temperature can be as cold as four degrees. All he will be given is water, which is rationed and given out at checkpoints and tent space in which to sleep. The race rules mean Will must remain self-sufficient, and carry his own equipment – medical kit, spare clothes, sleeping bag, food and the all-important road book to prevent him getting lost.
Will said: “In order to prepare for the race – I have run eight marathons since Christmas, two over the hills of the Curragh in freezing temperatures below zero degrees in the middle of the night. This is to become accustomed to running when the body doesn’t want to, as well as adjusting to running that type of mileage back to back to replicate the week in the desert.
Will is completing this tough challenge for a cause close to his heart – raising €20,000 for Biobank Ireland which is a charity promoting a biobanking network of cancerous tissues in Ireland that aims to bridge cancer research and care. It also aims to bring a better understanding of cancer which will mean improved treatments.
There is a special reason for raising these much needed funds. His Mum and Dad are both cancer survivors – one of the reasons his Dad beat cancer was because of the drugs developed through biobanking. Now Will wants to give something back, and help other families with this life saving, invaluable and much needed research.
He added: “My dad survived because of the great work carried out by Biobank Ireland. My family is lucky and I want others to experience that feeling. Biobank need all the funding they can get to ensure that they can continue to fast-track cancer research to better diagnosis and treatment of patients.”
‘Irish dad set to take on the world’s toughest race’ – Will Mullin featured in The Journal.ie