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The Final Month...

01 March 2015

Rik Hallikeri raising vital funds for Grace House Children's Hospice by running 6 marathons in 6 days in the Sahara Desert...

Here's Rik's blog

Just over a month ago I completed the 66 mile Pilgrim Challenge across the North Downs Way in Surrey. It was the most gruelling, challenging 2 days of my life, not only physically but also mentally. It was wet, muddy, snowy, slippery, rocky and hilly all making it extremely painful on my body and mind! A highlight, however, was running with the legend Sir Randolph Fiennes, who is also running in Morocco in April. 

For most the Pilgrim Challenge would have been the main event, for me it was a warm up for my ultimate challenge; the Marathon Des Sables (MDS). 6 marathons in 6 days across the Moroccan Sahara desert in heat up to 50 degrees. Self sufficient, carrying all of my food and equipment, no wonder it is rated as “The Toughest Footrace On Earth”. On day 4 which is known as "The Long Day" it has just been leaked that we will be running 100km (62 miles) in 1 day... OOF!
I have not ran much since the Pilgrims due to an old ankle injury rearing its ugly head. Instead, I have been in the Crossfit gym 3 - 4 times a week trying to keep myself strong and in shape during my rest. I would like to thank the Team at Sunderland SR1 Crossfit for all their support and encouragement. 
Last weekend I was with Rory Coleman, 11 times MDS veteran,runner of over 800 marathons and a World record holder, on a training weekend in South Wales. We ran sand dunes and learnt sand running techniques, navigation training and mountain running in the Brecon Beacons including the Pen-y_Fan Summit of 886 metres. 
Im now starting to feel nervous and anxious as Morocco nears. With only 3 and a bit weeks to go I am now having sleepless nights worrying about kit, what food to take, and getting lost in the desert. What music to put on my playlists and should I take a block of parmesan or biltong as a nightly treat even though!

In the next few weeks I hope to run the Yorkshire 3 peaks for a final bit of long training. 
Thank you to all that have sponsored me so far on and off my Virgin Giving page
Grace House Childrens Hospice will open its doors in the coming weeks and will provide respite care for children and young people who have life-shortening conditions for which there is no known cure. 

I really want to hit my target of £5000 for Grace House, so I'm now looking for corporate sponsors who can help me reach this goal.  If you have a company  or business and would like to support  this amazing charity   please let me know as you can donate directly to the charity and receive your tax benefits.
For those of you who would still like to donate personally please visit my Virgin Giving Page or alternatively call me or send me a text on 07415 88 4000.

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