Run­ning with ter­mi­nal can­cer by Kevin Web­ber

Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - Your Health - Kev

As you read this I will be start­ing day one of the six-day Marathon Des Sables, prob­a­bly the best known ex­treme ul­tra marathon in the world. It’s an­other beast – 250 kilo­me­tres across the Sa­hara, 40C+ ev­ery day, lug­ging a 13kg pack and be­ing self suf­fi­cient all week, apart from wa­ter.

I have done this race for the past three years and I think this time makes me the only per­son to ever com­pete four times with any T4 can­cer. Some­one sug­gested that I would find it easy as I had done it so many times be­fore, but I prom­ise you it’s not the case. The dan­ger in repet­i­tive run­ning, like so many things in life, is that you be­come com­pla­cent.

It’s easy to be lulled into the be­lief I have the fin­isher’s medal be­fore I even get there – and that would be a huge er­ror. I am older, less fit, more in­jured and have fur­ther de­gen­er­a­tion from the prostate can­cer and associated drug regime. The dunes never get any less sandy, the jebels (moun­tains) never get lower and the heat never cooler.

I have sorted my kit to be as light as pos­si­ble, as ev­ery gram makes you sink in the sand more. That means cut­ting down my tooth­brush handle, de­cant­ing any­thing into a lighter pack­age, cut­ting sur­plus straps and clips off my rucksack... and even work­ing out how many sheets of loo roll I need a day! I’m num­ber 598 and you can fol­low my progress or send emails on this link: marathon­dess­

Be­fore I go, just a thought... do you ever take some­thing or some­one for granted be­cause they ap­pear good at what they do? Things rarely just hap­pen you know. A “thank you” or “well done” makes a mas­sive dif­fer­ence and costs noth­ing!

Un­til next week

I’m back in Sa­hara for mega run and I count the sheets of loo roll to keep the load light!

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