Bill Mitchell, 71, from Turnditch, Derbyshire is aiming to become the oldest Briton to complete the Marathon des Sables in April.
Described as the toughest footrace on earth, Bill will be seventy one and eight months old when he completes the race, seven months older than the current record holder, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, was when he completed the challenge.
Bill, who already holds the UK record for the oldest person to run his first marathon and then go on to complete 100 more, is very much aware of the competition that lies ahead. He said, “I wouldn’t take on a challenge that I didn’t think was possible.”
To prepare himself for the challenge, Bill is training on the sand dunes in Wales and keeping up his usual exercise regime of exercising six days a week which includes a mix of running marathon distances, using the cross trainer, rowing machine and weights. He has also hired fitness coach Rory Coleman who trained Sir Ranulph Fiennes for the Marathon des Sables last year.
Bill is running to raise funds for Starlight and Age UK. He said, “I’m always on the move and can’t sit still so it’s great to use my energy for good causes and raise funds for Starlight and Age UK. I chose to support these two charities as Age UK helps people not as fortunate as me in their old age and Starlight gives seriously ill children the chance to achieve their dreams no matter what the future holds.
“I love running long distances. I started running when I was 63 and entered a couple of races. At 65 I completed my first marathon in London and it’s just progressed from there. To me, marathons have just now become just a run!”
The Marathon des Sables is from 8th – 18th April 2016 in the Sahara Desert and covers 156 miles.
To sponsor Bill, visit his Virgin Money Page.