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Frome man triumphs over 150 mile desert race

A FROME man has raised £5,780 for charity by completing the ‘toughest race on earth’ – a six day, 150 mile footrace across the blistering heat of the Sahara desert. 

Andrew Barr-Sim has returned to the UK after taking part in Marathon des Sables, which is the equivalent of six regular 26.2 mile marathons. The toughest day was day four, which consisted of a 50 mile run in one day.

Out of 1,027 runners, Andrew took the 550th place – the same figure as his running number!

Andrew said, “Apparently they were trying to “toughen” this year up and the winner of the overall event, Mohamed Anhansal,  was quoted as saying the second day was the toughest he had experienced in 16 previous MDS events. At one stage temperatures reportedly reached 54 degrees.  On two occasions I certainly had to dig as hard as I ever have into the mental reserves to get through.”

Andrew – diagnosed with neck cancer and treated and operated on by the Royal United Hospital in Bath – took on the challenge to help the hospital’s Forever Friends appeal.

He has almost doubled  his fundraising target of £3,000. He said, “I have raised £5,787.71, including gift aid, from 71 donations, for the Friends Forever Appeal and the new cancer wing at the Royal United Hospital Bath.

“Thank you so much to all who have contributed.”

It is the second time Andrew has completed the mammoth challenge, having used the footrace to fundraise for Marie Carie Cancer Care in 2008.

You can still add to Andrew’s total for the Forever Friends appeal at