Man runs marathon in Sahara desert after mum’s death

Marathon Runners in the Sahara desert
Marathon Runners in the Sahara desert
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A high-octane dad is putting himself to the test by running the Marathon Des Sables – one of the toughest runs in the world – next spring.

Trudging fast through the sands of the Sahara desert, 48-year-old Brian Gabriel will be carrying a fully loaded backpack of equipment while the hot African sun beats down on him.

Brian Gabriel

Brian Gabriel

But besides allaying what he calls a midlife crisis, he is also raising money for Yorkshire Cancer Research after mum Patricia, 77, died of lung cancer on September 14.

Brian said: “The Marathon Des Sables is labelled as the toughest foot race on Earth. I’ve done plenty of running carrying my gear, but what will be difficult is the heat.”

Brian was born and bred in Dunstable and played for the town’s rugby club. His late father Dai also taught in the town for 45 years at several schools, including Priory, Streetfield and Manshead.

Brian now lives in Leicester with his wife and two daughters.

He said: “It’s fair to say my wife wasn’t thrilled about it, but she realised it was something I really fancied doing My biggest concern is I don’t like creepy crawlies and you do have stories of people struggling to find their way out of sandstorms.”

To sponsor Brian, visit the website