Video: Charlie starts his quest: 100k African marathon goal

PUBLISHED: 13:01 02 April 2009 | UPDATED: 07:12 30 May 2010

Charlie Pitcher. Picture: SUBMITTED

Charlie Pitcher. Picture: SUBMITTED

AN intrepid fundraiser from Felsted has started his £100,000 cash quest this week - but only after a few early hitches. Father-of-four Charlie Pitcher started the gruelling Marathon de Sables on Monday after torrential rain had stopped equipment and compe

AN intrepid fundraiser from Felsted has started his £100,000 cash quest this week - but only after a few early hitches.

Father-of-four Charlie Pitcher started the gruelling Marathon de Sables on Monday after torrential rain had stopped equipment and competitors getting to the start-line 24 hours earlier.

The annual event is an five-day, 150-mile trek across the Sahara Desert in Morocco, which sees the competitors undertake five and a half marathons across desert and sand dunes in up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mr Pitcher, 45 will be taking up the challenge in memory of friend Shaun McLeod-Jones, who was a kidney dialysis patient at Addenbrooke's Hospital for 13 years until he died in May 2003.

Mr Pitcher said: "This is pushing my limits both mentally and physically. I love running and have an affinity with the sea, so the Marathon des Sables is the perfect arena to achieve that goal.

"I also want to give back something to Shaun McLeod-Jones who gave so much to me as a great friend. I will raise money for the hospital that became Shaun's 'home from home' for the last 13 years of his life."

Once the marathon is completed on April 6, Mr Pitcher will be flying home and, after some recovery time, will be getting back into training ready to row the Atlantic Ocean solo.

The gruelling race starts in the Canary Islands in December and finishes in Antigua, and can take up to 90 days to complete.

However, Mr Pitcher is no stranger to the water, having been involved in the America's Cup, several Admiral's Cups, Whitbread and Olympic campaigns.

If you would like to follow the epic adventure, logon to www.darbaroud.com for updates. Mr Pitcher's competitor number is 722. To donate to his £100,000 target, visit www.transatlanticsolo.com


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