Harrogate business, Techbuyer (formerly Pinnacle Data), who are patrons of Saint Michael’s Hospice, have donated £2,500 to the Hospice in aid of an employee who will be competing in the infamous Marathon Des Sables ultra-marathon in Morocco this April.
Local man Tim Phillips, 39, will be leaving the rolling, green hills of Harrogate behind as he flies out to the unforgiving Sahara Desert to take part in what is described by the Discovery Channel as the “toughest footrace on earth”.
Tim will put his stamina to the ultimate test by running 155 miles through relentless desert, climbing his way up over desert-mountains and battling through sand storms, all with scorching temperatures of up to 50°C.
So what is Tim’s motivation behind this? As well as raising money for Saint Michael’s, Tim said, “I also wanted to inspire my children to believe that they can do anything they put their mind to.”
Tim has certainly put his mind to the Marathon Des Sables. In the past seven months, Tim has significantly upped his training: he now completes between 12 and 18 hours per week and has also taken part in heat chamber sessions with Leeds University.
These intense training sessions with the University involve Tim running on a treadmill at temperatures of up to 40°C, while wearing his full kit. In fact, it is the same place where the Olympic medallists, Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee train to acclimatise.
Tim’s dedication is impressive, especially considering how he also works full time as a Divisional Manager for Techbuyer, and has a wife and three children to support.
As the event looms closer, Tim said he is, “As ready as I’ll ever be. What will be will be. There are too many unknowns to know fully how it’s going to pan out but I will give it my best shot!”
Commenting on the sponsorship, Tony Collins, Chief Executive of Saint Michael’s Hospice said: We would like to say a big thank you to Tim and Techbuyer for making this generous donation. The money helps to provide the specialist care, comfort and support, free of charge, to patients and their families. We would like to wish Tim all the very best for his race.