In recent months I have been working on two separate themes for FIRE: personal resilience and extreme challenges for charity. I am undecided as to which category this article best fits, because it is a story that covers both in abundance. It is enriched with unexpected twists and shocking revelations, not unlike those found in blockbuster movies and documentaries, but for Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) Station Commander James Bull, it is a reality that has demanded more of him than he ever thought possible.

The legendary Marathon des Sables (MDS) is a 250km foot race across the Moroccan Sahara Desert. Participants can walk or run the distance, but they must complete it in six days and be totally self-sufficient, carrying everything with them needed to survive. It is a race I have heard mentioned frequently within my running community – the monster of all endurance races. It is feared. It is respected. It is on many a bucket list. But I have never before met anyone who has willingly signed up for the challenge.


Read the full article on our digital issue, pages 61-64.

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