Three Durham Alumni to run World’s Toughest Footrace
(27 March 2006)
Three Durham University Alumni are limbering up to run the toughest footrace on the planet – the Marathon des Sables - a 6 day 151mile race through the Sahara Desert that takes place in April.
The team, called Team Odyssey includes Paul ‘Hector’ Davies, 41 of Durham, Mike ‘Agamemnon’ Rudd, 39 of Kent and George ‘Achilles’ Mantzoros, 42 of Ohio. Team Odyssey plans to raise £5,000 for each of their chosen charities – Tommy’s, the baby charity and Help the Hospices, the national charity for the hospice movement. Every year around 800 competitors from around the world set out to run the equivalent of one marathon a day for 6 days over open desert, rocky ground, sandy barren wilderness and mountainous dunes, in temperatures which reach 120°F/48°C. All competitors must carry everything they need for the 6 days, except their tent. Paul Davies of Durham commented on the race: “We originally hatched a plan to run this race at my fortieth birthday party in 2004 as a two-fingered gesture to turning 40! Since that evening we’ve spent two years in training for this gruelling race doing a number of races and runs around the country including the Great North Run last year. This is clearly a challenge for the three of us given our advancing years and ever expanding waistlines but we feel it’s now or never.” Paul continued: “We believe these two charities are worthy causes and personally close to all three of us at this present time.” The team will set off for the Sahara shortly and the race begins on 6 April. Anyone who would like to donate to Tommy’s or Help the Hospices should visit the team’s website www.teamodyssey.co.uk and all donations will be greatly appreciated.