A BUSINESSMAN from a Stafford village has raised £15,000 for charity by completing the gruelling 156-mile Marathon de Sables.
After months of training Austin Jarrett, who is managing director of Hixon based laser cutting experts SSC Laser, has completed his challenge to compete in the toughest foot race on the planet, finishing in 60th position overall and coming third in his age group.
To date, the feat has raised almost £15,000 for charity and he is on course for to reach his £20,000 target.
The six-day epic race across the Sahara Desert in temperatures of up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit call for all entrants, of which there were over 1,000, to be self-sufficient, carrying everything they need, apart from water, to survive.
They are given a space in a tent to sleep at night, but any other equipment and food has to be carried.
“The race was one of the toughest and most demanding things I have ever done, yet also the most rewarding,” he said.
“After months of training, crossing the finish line on day six was a fantastic feeling and knowing that I was doing it all for charity definitely kept me going.”
Rather than running for one particular charity, and being funded by that charity, Austin paid for his own expenses. This means all the money he has raised goes directly to his chosen charities – Help for Heroes, which provides support to those in the armed forces and their families; The Eve Appeal, the only national gynaecological cancer research charity; Voluntary Services Overseas, which helps improve the lives of people in developing countries; and the Oak Tree Rural Project, a Staffordshire charity which provides support and training to adults with learning difficulties.
“I have raised more than £14,700 so far, but my target is £20,000 and I will not stop fund raising until I have reached it. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has sponsored me so far and I can guarantee every penny will go towards four very deserving organisation.”
If you would like to sponsor Austin visit his website http://austinjarrett.wix.com/marathondessables to make a donation.