Les Slinn’s training programme for the world’s toughest and most gruelling marathon race in early April is nearly complete.
For months he’s turned up the heaters at the Les Slinn Personal Training studio in Westlea to reproduce the conditions he’ll endure in the Sahara desert. But nothing will prepare him for the Marathon Des Sables which will see him running for 243km in the blistering 120º degree heat.
He has to carry everything he needs to survive for six days including food, clothes, sleeping bag, and also an anti-venom kit in case he encounters scorpions or snakes. Water is supplied at checkpoints on the route.
“The Marathon Des Sable is known as one for masochists, but when I fly out on 31 March, I’ll know it’s not an April Fool’s joke,” said Les, 47. “I’ve been building up the miles since the Autumn and running wearing several layers and a backpack, with fan heaters blowing on the treadmill, but nothing can prepare you for the conditions.”
Les will be wearing gaiters to stop sand getting into his trainers to prevent blisters and also a special ultra violet resisting shirt, printed with his sponsors’ logos including The Link. Across his chest are logos for the two charities he is raising money for: Swindon MS Therapy Centre, and Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group, and publicising TWIGS (Therapeutic Work in Gardens Swindon)
“I’ve been getting great support from clients and Link readers, but I want to be able to raise as much money as possible for the organisations,” said Les.
Jackie Wray, manager of the MS Therapy Centre, said, “it is fantastic that Les is putting in this colossal effort to support local causes. He is such a tremendous supporter of people with multiple-sclerosis.”
or call Les on 0845 471 8416 www.lspersonaltraining.com
Right, Les, carrying his rucksack and wearing his Sahara desert gaiters, around the County Ground pitch on 20 March to raise awareness of his crazy trip. £800 was collected for Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group. www.swindondownsgroup.org.uk
Photo: Richard Wintle. http://homepage.ntlworld.com/calyxpix
Below, Les with the special running shirt printed with his sponsor’s logos