RACE BEGINS IN:

2017-04-07 8:00:00

Starts 7th April 2017.

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THIS IS A WEBSITE DEDICATED TO ALEX & NICK DAVENPORT-JONES WHO ARE TAKING PART IN THE 251 KM ULTRA MARATHON DES SABLES 2017 TO RAISE MONEY FOR WORLDWIDE CANCER RESEARCH AND NICOLA CORRY SUPPORT FOUNDATION.

On this website you will be able to:
Contact Nick @ Alex
Make a donation
Signup for news and information
Track the progress of their training + any other news



About Marathon Des Sables

AN EXTRAORDINARY RACE FOR EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE IN AN EXTRAORDINARY PLACE

The Marathon des Sables is the stuff of legends. It is "The Toughest Footrace on Earth (Discovery Channel).

MdS is a truly gruelling multi-stage adventure through a mythical landscape in one of the world’s most inhospitable environments – the Sahara desert.

You have to be self-sufficient and carry all your own food and equipment for the week on your back. Communal goat’s-hair Berber tents are pitched every night but, apart from that you have to take it with you. Water is rationed and if you exceed the ration, you get a time penalty.

  • 250+ kms (156+ miles)
  • 6 stages over 7 days
  • A long stage of 80+ kms (52+miles)
  • Self-sufficient but with water rations and tent supplied
  • Temperatures of 50+ degrees centigrade

Alex Davenport-Jones

Why?

Why would I want to go from barely running at all to attempting what's regarded as 'the toughest foot race on earth'? I still don’t really know all the reasons…and I doubt I shall know some of the more subtle ones until I am in the Sahara, alone with my thoughts save the inevitable pain, sand, and wind pushing my very sanity to the edge and beyond over 275 kilometres over a week in 55 degree heat.

What I do know is that without Nick introducing me to the idea and without Sally’s recent illness I most certainly would not be doing it.

I guess it’s something along the lines of wanting to both celebrate and appreciate life but above all to preserve it.

This is where you come in...

What does it mean to me to complete the race?

Everything. I can categorically say that no goal has ever been as tough but as appealing as this one.

The step up from the scant level of exercise both Nick and I generally do to this gargantuan and Herculean task makes it all the more challenging. I often imagine the finish line and all that is required to make it there. It's clear to me that one of the greatest forces driving us on will be the wonderful and supportive family and friends we have. Sally herself has been so utterly selfless in her support for me and this generosity alone is deserving of a finishers medal.

Then there is the need and desire to contribute in some way to the fight against cancer. It affects everyone in some way and will continue to do so for many years to come sadly. So my thrust is both towards prevention but also to try to comfort many of those currently suffering with the disease.

It was so very touching and somewhat of an inspiration to receive the support from Nicola Corry Trust and it was an enormous help to Sally. A certain lethargy on my charitable past is one thing. Seeing the bravery of those with the disease and the generosity of so many in the fight against cancer has inspired me to make my own contribution however small it may be.

This responsibility and the support of so many is a truly wonderful thing and this will spur us on I have no doubt at all.

10-20% of superbly trained athletes drop out making the finish line even more of a challenge.

It means as much as anything can mean for me to reach the finish line.

Nick Davenport-Jones

We need your help

We’re looking for donations to reach a target of £40,000.00 to go to the 2 chosen charities. Every penny will go to charity. Donations don’t have to be financial. Perhaps you can offer an item of value for an online auction, planned for April?

Pledge a service of value – a countersignature, dj’ing, design work, photography, interior designing, physical training session, dog walking, building work, legal advice, financial assistance etc.

If you can manage any of the above, please even just an email of support before, during or after the race is extremely welcome, and equally valuable to us.

Why are we doing this?

Due to the increasing number of people I hear of annually, who are struggling with cancer including my mother and father, culminating with the diagnosis of my future sister in law and recently numerous close family members. Being a bystander, it’s easy to feel a bit useless, which inspired me to haul the bum off the sofa. I did some research to find a challenge significant enough to help raise a substantial amount of money, which I hope might alleviate some of the pain. Why not just 1 marathon? Because I hope taking myself well out of my comfort zone, might mean those who usually delete or ignore requests for charitable donations, might take more notice. I am not a long distance runner and certainly never will be. Taking 16 months out of my regular lifestyle to train, I hope might inspire others to donate – waking up early on cold and wet mornings, lancing blisters, hill sprints, training on weekends and while on holidays, are deeply unpleasant and far from enjoyable.

Charities

Nick & Alex have picked two charities which mean something to them. This charities would benefit greatly from your help in support - through this event and or any others you are involved in. Take a look at the small overview on them below or go to their website to read more.

volunteer

ABOUT NCSF

The Nicola Corry Support Foundation was originally created to help Nicola and her family in her fight against a very rare cancer. Just after giving birth to a son, she needed to have chemotherapy treatment. The task of coping and caring for Alfie as well as enduring chemotherapy, was so immense for her family that her friends rallied round and created a fund to help her family cope.

After Nicola sadly passed away on 23rd May 2005, her family and friends wanted to continue with the Fund to help others in a similar situation.

This Foundation provides financial support for pre-school nursery, complementary treatments and holiday breaks.

In June 2006 it became a Registered Charity and then changed it's name to the Nicola Corry Support Foundation.

View NCSF

volunteer

ABOUT WORLD CANCER RESEARCH FUND

Since 1990 World Cancer Research Fund UK has been a member of the WCRF network, funding ground-breaking research and advising people about the link between diet, weight, physical activity and cancer prevention.

When World Cancer Research Fund UK was first established, scientific research into the link between diet and cancer was in its infancy. Since then the WCRF network has funded millions in cancer prevention research and awareness raising programmes.

Now all mainstream scientists accept that diet, weight and physical activity can affect our risk of cancer and people are more aware of how their lifestyle plays a role.

View World Cancer Research Fund

Sponsored By

Thanks for your support

This is what you have helped us raise so far
£25,000.00 out of our £40,000 target

30% Complete (warning)

DONATE NOW

volunteer

Have your company shown as a sponsor here

Need an excuse to donate through your company? Have your company’s logo featured on our website, social media, newsletters and for the duration of the race on either our hats, water bottles, sleeves, t-shirts or gaiters. There’s a possibility for us to carry a flag with your logo if the money’s right. We’ll also include the next 3 months training, in and around Gloucestershire, plus The Pilgrims Challenge. Please contact nick@tiger-one.eu for more information.

This year the exposure surrounding the Marathon Des Sables is bigger than ever, with the race gaining greater international recognition and coverage, via several major, renowned media outlets. A Sky documentary is being confirmed, BBC coverage expected plus the annual coverage by TV5 Monde (French International TV channel) and Al-Jazeera.

International press coverage is expected via the usual mainstream outlets, including Marca (Spain), Der Spiegel (Germany). UK coverage is regularly covered by the mainstream press, which in the past has included The Week, The Observer, The Independent, Daily Telegraph and The Sun, plus more niche sporting publications.

Contact Us

Other Events

We have other events we would like to make you aware of - these are from us or family and friends trying to raise money. Please support them..

Sealskins Ultra Trail Series 2017

Place: Sandy Farm Biz Park, Sandy Lane, Farnham, GU101PX

Firmly established as one of their most popular events, the Pilgrim Challenge is a fantastic multi-day ultra marathon over two days taking in 66 miles of North Downs Way national trail.
Event Post

The Cotswold Way Challenge 2016

The Scout Centre, Chipping Campden, Gloucester.

57 miles of quintessentially English Countryside, passing through rolling farmland and ancient beech woods, and taking in a rich slice of British history from Bronze Age barrows to Neolithic burial grounds and Stone Age hill forts.
Event Post

Contact

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO GET IN TOUCH WITH ALEX OR NICK THEN PLEASE USE THE CONTACT FORM BELOW. PLEASE WISH THEM LUCK!

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Contact Info

If you need more information or simply want to show your support please contact Nick or Alex. We would love your support in any way possible and we look forward to hearing from you.

  • The Old Forge, Maugersbury, Cheltenham, Burford, GL54 1HR
  • Nick 01451 844 855
  • Alex 07779822888
  • nick@madns.co.uk
  • alex@madns.co.uk