Our Head of Events, Rosie and 4 veterans are covering upwards of 100km as part of a gruelling event in The Canary Islands.
Rosie is joined by veterans Martin, Danni, Taff and Jason as they take on the Half Marathon Des Sables in Fuerteventura from Sunday, September 26 to Friday, October 1.
‘Team Not Forgotten’ are travelling through the desert with all their food, supplies and sleeping goods in a 20L backpack, with only water available at stopping points along their route.
The challenge holiday has been prepared for a small group of our beneficiaries who are fit and looking for a big obstacle to overcome as part of their recovery pathways.
Rosie, who previously did the full 250km (the toughest footrace on earth!) as part of a Not Forgotten fundraiser in 2017, is again doing the event in part to help raise funds for us.
She said: “All the people coming along wanted a real challenge. “The runners are doing 2 marathons and an ultra-day event”
“The full distance nearly killed me a few years ago and I said I’d never do it again, but I’ve been convinced to go for the half this time.”
“After I finished it, veterans at our events used to ask all the time what it’s all about and how hard it is, and said they’d love to have a go at it.”
Because of the enormity of the challenge, Rosie said that the Marathon Des Sables can prove to be beneficial for mental health, both in the lead up to the event, and after.
“With mental health, veterans and people in general often want something to look forward to or to train towards – a goal. Even if someone is suffering they can still have that desire to challenge themselves and get out there” she said.
“This event is all about pushing yourself and make yourself feel better mentally. With the full Marathon Des Sables, they say that you go into the desert with worries, and realise you’ve left them there – that’s the difference it can make to you.
“I remember after I finished the race, I had a clear head because all you can focus on for that race is getting to the next checkpoint.”
The Half Marathon Des Sables offers two different distances. Rosie and Taff will be taking on the 100km hike, while Martin, Danni and Jason will run 120km. The team have been training hard and are ‘dead excited’ to be get stuck in – some have even been packing their bags for the past month!
However, Rosie added that regardless of your pace, or distance, the event has a great feeling of comradeship about it, which makes it special.
“What I like about the half is that it’s more social” she said. “The people who are in front will push you on if you’re struggling.”
“It’s a real challenge but all about camaraderie and that’s what we’re all about at The Not Forgotten. It’s comradeship at its best – elite runners come out to clap you and encourage you and it creates a great atmosphere.”
If you would like to support Rosie’s fundraiser for The Not Forgotten, you can do so here.