The store director at Specsavers in Nottingham has completed the famously gruelling Marathon des Sables (MDS) this month and raised more than £6,000 for a childhood Chrone’s charity, a disease suffered by his son.

The toughest footrace on earth

On Sunday 10 April, Simon Dunn, store director at Specsavers, 20 - 24 Wheelergate, began what has been dubbed by National Geographic ‘the toughest footrace on earth’; a 159 mile self-supported trek across the Sahara Desert. Only four of the eight original entrants managed to finish the race.

Running in stages over six days, Simon endured temperatures of more than 40 degrees, while carrying enough food and equipment to keep him going. He trekked through a desert sandstorm on the first day, and had to run more than 53 miles non-stop on the fourth ‘long day’ stretch.

A charity very close to his heart

Simon ran the MDS to fundraise for a charity very close to his heart, the Crohn’s in Childhood Research Association (CICRA). Last year, his son Harry was diagnosed with a condition called Ulcerative Colitis. CICRA is dedicated to creating a wider understanding of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, particularly as it affects children and young adults. It raises funds to support approved medical and scientific research aimed at finding more effective treatments and an eventual cure.

Simon says: ‘I’m so grateful for the overwhelming amount of support and encouragement I received which made it possible to complete the MDS. So far, I’ve raised £6,329, which is more than double my original £3,000 target from so many generous donations. It was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I wanted to do something challenging and a bit different to encourage people to give towards a really worthy cause.’

He is still hoping to increase on his current figure, and would welcome any donations to his JustGiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/Simon-Dunn13

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