20 January 2010
Jo and Annie celebrate after the Trans Gran Canaria Ultra
Jo Lord and Annie Day are competing in the challenge of a lifetime by running the Marathon des Sables in March for Macmillan Cancer Support and the North Weir Trust.
The phrase 'challenge of a lifetime' is perhaps thrown about too often, but in this case it could not be more appropriate. Widely regarded as the toughest footrace on earth, the Marathon des Sables covers 151 miles (243 km) across the Saraha Desert in Morocco - the equivalent of six marathons!
Our brave competitors will be racing for six days straight, carrying all of their food and equipment with them – so it should come as no surprise that they have dubbed themselves the 'Two Stubborn Women'.
But why would they attempt such a thing? Jo confesses:
'To be honest I don't think either of us have the answer to that question, other than the challenge, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and because we know we can!'
The pair, from Hay-on-Wye, are also fundraising in the run-up to the race, with proceeds to be split between Macmillan Cancer Support and local charity the North Weir Trust.
Our Two Stubborn Women have been running together for about nine years, and have competed in two London Marathons as well as various local events. In preparation for the race, they’ve spent a weekend running from Hay to Hereford and back, twice competed in the Brecon Ultra (45 miles through the Beacons) and taken prizes home from the Trans Gran Canaria Ultra (60 miles from the south to the north of the island).
Even recent weather conditions have failed to halt their training regime, with Jo commenting that 'running up snowy hills is good training for sand dunes!'
On top of all the hard work that is needed to physically prepare for such an event, Annie and Jo are putting a great deal of effort into their fundraising activities. So far, they’ve raised £4,500 through parties, discos and an Arabian themed evening - which featured them both donning costumes for an unrehearsed version of the sand dance! But they don’t plan to stop there, and hope to raise as much again.
Over the next few weeks, they will be holding cabaret, bingo and film evenings as well as another Ladies' Night at the Globe. Details are available on their website, www.joandannie-marathondessables2010.co.uk , as well as our local events page. And look out for upcoming information about their sending-off party at Hay Community Centre in March.
If you can’t make any of Jo and Annie’s events, but would still like to contribute to their fundraising for Macmillan, then you can visit their justgiving page www.justgiving.com/joannelord .