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Marathon des Sables 2016

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Chris Vasper


You can support Chris in his MdS challenge here:

Why did you sign up to the MdS?

I signed to do the MdS after watching a long time friend of mine from my Army days doing it last year. I’d always been fascinated by the event and my friends endeavours struck a cord. I also want a challenge which at the beginning a year ago , was beyond my abilities.. Its great that my family understood it was something I had to do and have been an absolute rock for me.

 Why WWTW?

WWTW was an easy decision, having served in the Signals , having parents and grandparents who served and a son still in the Army…it was a no brainer for me

 How’s your training going – what have you done so far, which milestones have you hit and are you happy with where you are so far?

Training is going really well. Im doing 6-7 mile runs four or five times a week and a long run 12 miles or more at the weekend

Ive just done 10 days running  straight, which Ive never done before. Ive had a knee “niggle” since November but with physio, and specific exercises to compensate for the lack of strength down my left hand side (due to my MS) its getting better

I ran the Spires and Steeples Challenge with Mark Finch in September, which is a 28 mile very muddy cross country run from Lincoln to Sleaford. We did it just over 5 hours and with our backpacks…and were able to do a gentle jog the following day which gave me great encouragement… The last time I did a competitive half marathon about 6 years ago I could hardly walk for a week. 

 I had an ecg about a month ago, my doctors offered to do one now and the one I need in a couple of months time… they have been brilliant, and offered both ECGs for free which was a fantastic gesture.

 What do you see as the biggest challenge?

For me the biggest challenge will be having a strategy and sticking to it when it comes to getting out to Morocco, The guys at Sheffield Hallam where I will be doing my acclimatisation training have knowledge of MS and hot climates which means I have to ensure I keep my core temp as low as possible otherwise it can lead to problems.

 What luxuries will you treat yourself to during the MdS?

My treat will be my ipod and my granddaughter wants me to take her small Winnie the Pooh bear 

 What 1 item of food are you taking which is your treat?

Over Christmas Tescos did packs of 200gram winter spiced fruit and nut….delicious !! and 900 kcals per bag…That will be my food treat. All 5 bags of them

 What will you be listening to on your iPod?

The music in my ipod is to say the least eclectic everything from film music, classical , The Now Show and Im Sorry I haven’t a clue (I like a bit of comedy to listen to) to Trance (nothing like a bit of Trance played on the guitar by Ewan Dobson) and theres a tune I found on an MdS video on Youtube which just epitomises the desert called Ring by Glasser….Im stacking my ipod with stuff but don’t intend listening to it until I get out on the first run…so its fresh  

 Is there anything which you know you will be looking forward to at the end, before even beginning?

At the end , I just want to feel the joy of achieving something so extraordinary as running 150 miles across the desert with everything against you, ….and a bath!!

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