St Neots fireman completes 150-mile desert run

A ST Neots firefighter was the youngest Briton this year to finish a gruelling desert marathon…and he even raised over £2,000 for the charity which supported his brother. Paul Oliver, 27, ran the 150-mile Marathon-des-Sables in 37 hours and 12 minutes, f

A ST Neots firefighter was the youngest Briton this year to finish a gruelling desert marathon...and he even raised over £2,000 for the charity which supported his brother.

Paul Oliver, 27, ran the 150-mile Marathon-des-Sables in 37 hours and 12 minutes, finishing 206th out of 802 competitors.

He had to brave camel spiders, blisters, sandstorms and temperatures of up to 130F, but Mr Oliver completed the race last Tuesday (April 8) raising £2,145 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

"I'm not going to lie, it was very tough," he said. "There were plenty of times that I didn't think I'd make it.

"But I just kept remembering how ill my brother was and how there are thousands of people dying of cancer who would have swapped places with me in an instant if they could.

"I could hardly give up after realising that."

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The marathon is regarded as the 'toughest footrace on earth' and consists of a 150-mile dash across the Sahara desert.

Mr Oliver added that it was a "huge shock" when his brother, David, was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2002. He has since made a full recovery but Paul said that he will never forget the help and support David was given by Macmillan.

He added: "I'm really thankful to everyone who has donated money and I'm glad that I did everyone proud and completed the race."

INFORMATION: Anyone wanting to donate to Paul's cause should visit www.justgiving.com/poliver

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