IT IS one of the toughest marathons on earth – a 150-mile race across the scorching Sahara Desert.
Mat Heck is competing in the gruelling Marathon de Sable for his mother Diane who has battled multiple sclerosis for more than 40 years.
The 41-year-old finance manager from Widley is in southern Morocco for the event which begins on Sunday.
Over six days, runners will do the equivalent of five and a half marathons.
Mat said: ‘I’ve developed a mental toughness to cope with it. Most people would have the physical ability to do it – it’s about whether they have the desire and commitment.’
All the money he raises will go to the Portsmouth branch of the MS Society.
Mat said: ‘My mum and dad have had first-hand experience of the support and help the branch gives people with MS in the local area.
‘I decided if I’m going to do this crazy thing it would be good to generate some benefits for other people at the same time through sponsorship.
‘The branch is entirely supported by voluntary donations and has a varied programme of physical and social activities and support.
‘Any money I can raise will contribute to maintaining and developing the levels of support offered to the many people in the area who suffer from or are affected by MS.’
Sponsor Mat at justgiving.com/matthew-heck.