You can support Sally in her MdS challenge here:
Sally is a serving Army Reserve Physiotherapy Officer who is no stranger to running marathons, in fact she has already ran one in the heat of the desert whist on Operational Tour in Afghanistan…dressed as a banana! She previously held the Guinness World Record for the fastest marathon dressed as a piece of fruit and has run marathons dressed as an orange, apple, banana, strawberry, bunch of grapes and a watermelon.
As a military physiotherapist she has been responsible for rehabilitating guys and gals who have sustained significant life changing injuries whilst both on operational duties and during training. Her job not only exposes her to casualties of war, but also allows her to promote and educate on the benefits of exercise in terms of both physical and mental well-being.
She has therefore decided to up the challenge and attempt ‘the toughest footrace on earth’ known as the Marathon Des Sables to ‘practice what she preaches’. Running approx 150km in 40 degree heat carrying all her own kit for the 6 days is at the moment an incomprehensible challenge to her, but is nothing compared to what some of her patients have been through and overcome. It is these patients that she will be thinking about when her feet hurt and she’s experiencing low points. She says that telling herself that ‘at least I am lucky enough to have feet’ is going to be one of her mantras to help her achieve the event.
It is due to the above that Sally has chosen to raise awareness and money for Walking with the Wounded, as she believes she has seen first-hand the great benefits that it has already had on individual’s lives and can continue to do so with further funds and awareness.
Why did you sign up to the MDS?
As a personal challenge and to inspire others that anything is possible – hopefully!
I’m also using the challenge as an opportunity to educate and inspire children at Hunters Hill College, who all have various social and family circumstances that have resulted in challenging and often negative educational experiences which have led to significant social, emotional and behavioural needs. I will do this by speaking in their assembly and then incorporate their support for me into their geography, maths and biology lessons as they work out how many miles I have travelled, where in the world I am and also which muscles will be hurting daily! In return they will send me encouraging emails of support on a daily basis while I am in the Sahara.
Over the past few years I have raised money for various military charities including Help for Heroes, Combat Stress, The Army Benevolent Fund, Blind Veterans UK and so this year wanted to raise for WWTW. Having served in the Armed Forces for over 18 years as a Physiotherapist, I have played my part in rehabilitating individuals who have sustained significant life changing injuries. My job not only exposes me to casualties of war, but also allows me to promote and educate on the benefits of exercise in terms of both physical and mental wellbeing. I have therefore decided to ‘practice what I preach’ and attempt the 2016 MDS. The challenge may seem huge to me but is nothing compared to what some of my patients have been through.
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?
Having only signed up on the very last day possible I haven’t had a great deal of time to prepare in the way that I’d have ideally liked, which all adds to the challenge!! Last year I completed 4 marathons, an Ironman, cycled from Paris to London and Lands’ End to John O’Groats and was part of an all-female team of six who set the world record for the Arch to Arc which involved running 87 miles from Marble Arch to Dover, swimming the English Channel and then cycling 187miles to the Arc de Triumph. I’m hoping that having completed these challenges (sometimes at times when I didn’t even think it would be possible!) that when the voices start telling me that I can’t do this I can look back at what I have already achieved and reminding myself that pain is only temporary but achievement is forever. I am hoping to complete at least one ultra-marathon before setting off to the desert to get a few sessions in a heat chamber.
What do you see as the biggest challenge?
The sand and hills.
What luxuries will you treat yourself to during the MdS?
It’ll definitely not be my hair straighteners, but I will take them for back in the hotel after it’s all over!
What 1 item of food are you taking which is your treat?
Haven’t yet got as far as thinking about this as it needs to be something pretty special.
What will you be listening to on your iPod?
Kate Bush – Keep running up that hill & Journey – Don’t Stop Believing.
Is there anything which you know you will be looking forward to at the end, before even beginning?!
The sense of achievement and a beer!