Stevenage man completes Sahara Marathon

A COMET country man is putting his feet up after completing a gruelling 151 mile run in the desert. Keith Flood, 49, is back at home in Broadwater Crescent, Stevenage, after competing in the Marathon des Sables in the Sahara, one of the toughest foot race

A COMET country man is putting his feet up after completing a gruelling 151 mile run in the desert.

Keith Flood, 49, is back at home in Broadwater Crescent, Stevenage, after competing in the Marathon des Sables in the Sahara, one of the toughest foot races in the world.

Although he knew what to expect, having previously taken part in the six-day event in 2005, he admits that this time he found the conditions even tougher.

Temperatures were lower than last time but the humidity, at around 18 per cent, was more than four times what he had experienced before.


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The perspiration streaming from his body caused huge, painful blisters all over his feet.

Keith said: "Last time I had lots of blisters but they were in manageable places.

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"When you come to the pain barriers you can work through them.

"This time the pain was there non stop every single step, it was hard. It was like treading on razor blades."

Despite the pain, Keith ploughed on, and on day four of the event ran non stop for 25 hours.

Now he is back in Stevenage with his wife Shirley and daughters Abby, nine and Leah, five, he is taking his time to recuperate.

"I'm having to rest up. I've got no skin on the bottom of my feet so it's difficult to walk. My girls have been looking after me, I've been pampered," he said.

And all the pain has been worth it as Keith is on track to raise around £20,000 for the National Society for Epilepsy.

Before he set off he was in contact with people the society helps and said that knowing he was raising money helped him get through it.

"It helps a lot of people, that was definitely a driving force.

"I'm not sure if I would have done it if I didn't have that behind me," he said.

Former navy fitness instructor Keith is not one to opt for an easy life and is already planning his next expedition, the Arctic Ultra Race in 2009, which is a 300-mile foot race in Canada.

He is looking for help to buy equipment for this challenge. If you can help, email him on leabby@ntlworld.com

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