Meet the women taking on the Marathon des Sables
Thursday 8th March 2018
Today is International Women’s Day, an opportunity for us to celebrate the work and achievements of the women in our organisation and our friends who support the charity. It’s also exactly one month until our team take their marks on the start line of the Marathon des Sables, meaning that much like the desert, training is heating up. To mark both occasions, we’re shining a spotlight on the three women taking on the challenge.
Marie’s inspiration to join our Marathon des Sables team is a personal one. Back in 2015, Marie’s sister Vicky was treated by our service after she was thrown from her bike by a lorry. “For me, taking part in this challenge in a team of people, a few of which have impacted my life in a way that I will forever be grateful for, is a once in a lifetime opportunity”, said Marie. “I want to be part of this huge fundraising effort and contribute in every way that I can, as well as to challenge myself mentally and physically."
Marie has completed numerous marathons before, including in Paris, Barcelona and Tel Aviv, but this will be her first run of this size. “I’m looking forward to getting to know the rest of the team, being there for each other to get us all through it and the fundraising aspect to raise awareness and funds for a charity that is extremely close to my heart."
Dr Claire Park is a consultant in Pre-Hospital Care with London’s Air Ambulance, and in Intensive Care and Anaesthesia at King’s College Hospital. Claire wanted to do something big to raise money for the charity, and the 'toughest footrace on earth' seemed like a fitting challenge. “I’ve always heard of people doing this and thought it would be amazing to complete it.”
Claire is many of our team’s favourite to finish first and has so far clocked up the most miles in training, but admits that the Marathon is “way way longer than I’ve ever run before…. But I’m fairly determined when I decide to do something, so I know I’m probably not going to give up unless I literally can’t put one foot in front of the other.”
For Chloe, running the Marathon des Sables has been a dream for many years. “Normally when I mention that to people they tell me it’s not a good idea – making me all the more determined. How could I resist such an amazing opportunity?” Chloe has run several marathons before, and tells us that her main sporting inspiration is her Dad; “he inspired me to run my first marathon and beat me by 20 minutes, and he’s still racing and winning veteran rowing world cups at 60!”
Like Marie, Chloe has a personal connection to our charity. She was treated by our team back in 2007, when she was knocked off her bike whilst cycling to a university lecture. Just over ten years later, Chloe now works as a Trainee Anaesthetist, and is preparing to run the race with the same doctor who treated her that day. “London’s Air Ambulance will inspire me to keep going during the race – without them I wouldn’t be alive."