James conquers the Sahara Desert!

We're absolutely thrilled to share that Mytime Active’s Head of IT, James Betteridge has just completed the Marathon des Sables, a seven day, 250km self-sufficient race in the Moroccan Sahara Desert!

Talk about a massive achievement! James’ grit, determination and sheer willpower have truly blown us away. This isn't just about physical strength, it's about mental toughness and pushing limits.

James, 57,who lives in Orpington, has worked at Mytime Active for three years. He says: “When I signed up for this challenge I genuinely thought it was unachievable. I’m a keen runner and have completed many running and sporting challenges, such as Iron Man, but the Marathon des Sables is in a different league. The daily distances are incredibly challenging, but what adds to the difficulty is the requirement to carry all personal food and gear for the seven days. My backpack weighed in at 10kg, and we slept in a basic tent that the organisers put up each night in the desert. Early mornings were crucial; we'd start at 6am to tackle most of the running before the scorching 44-degree heat set in. One particularly intense day saw us covering a staggering 85km.

“The only way I managed the race was to think about the distances between each water check point, rather than focusing on the full day of running ahead. I was ecstatic and relieved when I finished, and was really pleased that I still completed the final half marathon on the last day in two and half hours.

“It’s taken a few weeks to recover from the race, as I suffered with blisters, swelling of my hands and feet, shin splints, extreme tiredness and an insatiable appetite, but I’m pleased to be back at work and back to my ‘normal’ activities, including swimming, running with my dogs and cycling.

“The Marathon des Sables is one hell of a personal challenge, and I was grateful to be additionally motivated by fundraising for Cure Parkinson’s, a charity very close to my heart.

“I’m already looking for another sporting event for next year. However, more important to me is the day to day difference that exercise, be that running, cycling, swimming or walking, makes to my long-term wellbeing, both physically and emotionally.”

Congratulations James! Everyone here at Mytime Active is really proud of you! For more information or to make a donation to Cure Parkinson's visit James's Just Giving page below.

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