Duncan Slater returning to the MdS to mark 10 years since amputations
Ex RAF Sgt who became the first double-leg amputee to complete the Marathon des Sables is back for more to show others what is possible
As part of Walking With The Wounded's 10th anniversary celebrations, the first-ever man to accomplish the extraordinary achievement of completing the "World's Toughest Footrace", the Marathon des Sables, on two prosthetic legs is back for more - and marking a special anniversary of his own.
July 2020 will be a decade since Duncan Slater had both legs amputated in the wake of his vehicle being blown up by an IED in Afghanistan - and in April 2020 he will be once again joining Walking With The Wounded's team of fundraisers in Morocco to prove that any obstacle can be overcome and raise funds to support those who served.
"It will be 10 years since my amputation so I wanted to go and revisit the hardest thing I've done and with it the opportunity to raise the greatest amount of money," said Duncan who completed the MDS in 2017 at his second attempt.
He'll line up with the WWTW team once more alongside his friend Chris 'Paddy' Moore who was serving alongside Duncan when Duncan's vehicle hit the IED and who helped Duncan into the helicopter and in 2017 was by his side again to help him complete the MDS.
The 156-mile, 6-day race had been on Duncan's radar before he was wounded because of it's challenge - both physical and mental. "I first saw the MDS when Ben Fogle did it (in 2004) and that sparked my interest," said Duncan. "It just looked nails. I had been in and out of (military) ops to the desert and knew how hot it was and I liked the way he attacked it. It looked difficult and a real test."
Being back in the desert for a third time will bring some advantages - Duncan's pack was significantly lighter on his second attempt. But completing anything in 50 degree heat, across sand dunes and rocky 'jebels' presents unique challenges on every attempt.
"It is difficult every time. it is the same level of difficulty but a completely different experience. You never know what it's going to throw up, what the MDS is going to bring, that's the mystique. It is awesome."
Duncan will be part of a team of 24 runners from Walking With The Wounded, including CEO Ed Parker and ex England, Chelsea and Manchester City footballer Wayne Bridge to raise funds for those who served.