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Meet the WWTW MdS Team 2020 - Rob Gibbs

In April next year, a team of 32 runners will take on the incredible Marathon des Sables on behalf of WWTW.

Over the next few months, we’ll introduce you to some of the team and give you little insight into why they’re taking part, how they’re training and what they’re most looking forward to.

Next up, Robert Gibbs tells us how he’s balancing training for a 254 km race with family life and why he’s taking on the Sahara Desert:

1. Why did you sign up to the MdS? 

I left the army in 2007, since then my waistline has been steadily challenged by my desk job. So I needed both a mental and physical challenge and the MdS provides the perfect opportunity. It’s also provides a chance to raise money for WWTW (and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity as my sons football coach (Del) in Feb 2019 passed away from cancer but was looked after by the charity).


2. Why have you chosen to support WWTW? 

I’ve known Ed Parker and their charity team for a number of years now. I have followed their growth, expeditions and support of veterans. I did some work with them when I was at Deutsche Bank about 8 years ago when I set up the Veterans at DB. I’m very pleased to be on the WWTW team for 2020.


3.   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?

 It’s been a juggling act as my wife and I both work. My aim is not to disrupt weekend life, particularly my 2 son’s sporting commitments, but I still need to keep up with my training goals. I am spreading my training load to ensure I reduce the likelihood of injury, I’m working on progressively increasing my endurance and improving my strength. 05:00am training alarms are standalone milestones. 


4.   What do you see as the biggest challenge?

I suppose keeping the balance of family life and the need to condition myself for the event are both big challenges... but the most monumental challenge will be surviving Ed Parker’s chat... how can I prepare for that?!


5. What luxuries will you treat yourself to during the MdS?

I’m looking to get myself a new Jottnar down jacket for comfort in evenings. They make mega kit. Plus, obligatory chili to spice up the dehydrated expedition meals. A Gin and Tonic would be rather splendid when I get to the end....


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

I’ve not actually thought about that. A bonus main meal or 2 for when I’m hanging out. There is not much space in my bag - so when I’m out there any food I’ve got will be a treat. 


7. What will you be listening to help you through the marathon?

I’m undecided about taking my phone as I’ll also need a solar charger (extra weight). But if I do... it will my own “Mix Tape” on Spotify with some banging tunes.... and maybe audible for the evening.


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

I’m going to enjoy a beer or two to make up for all the beers I have forgone during my training. Importantly, I’ll also spare a thought to absent friends, veterans in need and those battling cancer. I hope that my fundraising will make a small but incremental difference.