Officer takes part in the toughest foot race on earth

Kenny Dalglish in training for the toughest footrace on earth
Kenny Dalglish in training for the toughest footrace on earth
Grace Hutton after the cut
Pictures by Ellie Pilmoor

Grace, from Cosham, says goodbye to hair in memory of mum while Leanne, from Gosport, did the same for cancer charities

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BILLED as the toughest foot race on Earth, the Marathon des Sables is not for the weak.

The gruelling event covers 150 miles in the Moroccan Sahara and competitors have to cope with the gruelling heat as well as the tough physical demands.

For one man, this challenge is more than just about proving he is physically fit – it is about proving that he has fully recovered.

In April, Kenny Dalglish, a serving Warfare Officer in the Royal Navy, based at HMS Collingwood, will set off on the tough race.

In 2011 he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

He was successfully treated and is now a passionate advocate for cancer awareness.

Kenny, 31, said: ‘This is almost to prove that I have made a full recovery.

‘I want to raise funds for the charity but more importantly, I want to raise awareness of testicular cancer.

‘I can’t emphasise enough the importance of getting yourself checked out.

‘If just one person hears about my cause and is encouraged to go and get checked out, I will have succeeded.

‘If I hadn’t have the thought to get checked out at the back of my mind, then maybe it would have been too late and my story would have been completely different.’

During the marathon, the competitors have to be self-sufficient over six days.

Kenny said: ‘I hope that despite the immense amount of hard work that it will undoubtedly take.

‘I will also have the time to enjoy this unique experience.’

Kenny has set a target of raising £10,000, in aid of the Orchid Cancer Charity, which provides support for men suffering from testicular, prostate and penile cancers.

Kenny lives in Petersfield with his wife Laura and their 15-month-old daughter, Jemima. Kenny said: ‘When I was diagnosed, my wife was pregnant with our first child so it was pretty stressful.

‘We hadn’t told any of our friends or relatives, so we were telling them the bad news with the hope that we could soon tell them about the baby.

‘It was really bitter sweet.’

Kenny said that his wife has been ‘incredibly supportive’.

He said: ‘My latest training run was over four hours long across muddy terrain and she was left at home with Jemima, she is very understanding.

‘The dog, however, is having a whale of a time.’

You can sponsor Kenny at saharakenny.com.