James Le Gallez is gearing up to take on the heat of the Sahara Desert, motivated by the thought that people across the Channel Islands will benefit.
Le Gallez, who took up running two years ago will be competing in the Marathon des Sables in April to raise funds for Autism Guernsey, Jersey Hospice Care and Guernsey Society for Cancer Relief.
The Guernsey-based operations manager with compliance and governance specialist Redwood Group has sponsored his four-figure race entrance fee, but he hopes to raise £10,000 for these Channel Islands charities.
The gruelling 250-kilometre and six-stage Marathon des Sables, which covers the equivalent length of six regular marathons, takes place across the Moroccan Sahara.
It is known as the "toughest foot race in the world".
James said: "When I first took up running, I never thought I would find myself taking on anything as epic as this, but you get hooked as you see your fitness levels increase."
Pictured: Le Gallez (centre) with Matthew Journeaux, Redwood Managing Director, and Cheri Strudwick, Director of Income Generation and Marketing Jersey Hospice Care. (Dave Ferguson)
"The training has taken over my life, but the support of friends, family and colleagues has really spurred me on and I'm grateful to everyone who is supporting me.
"When I'm taking on the heat of the Moroccan desert, it will help to know that I'm doing it all for three extremely worthwhile charities that make a huge difference to Channel Islanders' lives. Having people relying on me will certainly help to get me across that finish line."
James's current training schedule includes long periods in saunas to help him acclimatise to 40-degree desert temperatures, hot yoga and layering up for runs to raise his body temperature.
He is also competing several distance races in the run-up to April, which included the Donkey Drop earlier this month, and will trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in early 2024.
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James Wood, chief executive of Redwood Group, said the charities had provided "immeasurable support to their staff during the most challenging times. Autism Guernsey has been a great resource and support for James in recent times, while GSCR has provided help and advice to those sadly affected by a cancer diagnosis".
The chairs of Autism Guernsey and the Guernsey Society for Cancer Relief, said they were "grateful" to James for choosing to support their charities.
If you want to support James in his efforts, click here
And you can follow his training progress via his Instagram account, @fromtidestotrails.
Pictured top: James Le Gallez goes for a run (Dave Ferguson).
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