Mark completes gruelling Marathon des Sables for MapAction

MapAction volunteer Mark Poole has just returned from Morocco where he took part in the Marathon des Sables – a six-day, 250km run through the sands of the Sahara Desert.

Mark completed the epic race – equivalent to 5.5 regular marathons, with 20% of the distance across sand dunes, in temperatures of up to 48 degrees – to raise money for MapAction.

Mark is no stranger to endurance running, having completed a number of mountain marathons in his youth. However, he was still nervous about this challenge. “Whilst it wasn’t a completely unknown proposition, at 56, I approached it with some trepidation in light of its reputation. It was my wife Kathie who persuaded me to enter – something that I couldn’t resist reminding her of as she questioned our sanity in the small hours of the morning on the long stage.”

Thanks to match funding from his employer BP, Mark has raised a staggering £4,300, which will be used to help ensure disaster management teams around the world have the data and maps they need to effectively respond to humanitarian emergencies, such as the recent flooding in Mozambique following Cyclone Idai.

We’re extremely grateful to Mark for undertaking this enormous challenge for MapAction, and to Kathie for asking him to do it with her!

If you’d like to sponsor Mark, you can do so here. Your donation will be matched by BP.