Mark’s all set for his epic Sahara challenge

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TERI adventurer Mark Lyons is preparing to embark on the first leg of his unbelievable ultra marathon challenge.

And it all starts next week with a 156-mile race across the Sahara Desert.

Over the next three months that will be followed by the Scottish Ultrathon (150 miles) and finish with a race across 140 miles of the Gobi Desert.

But first up is the Marathon Des Sable, which is reckoned to be one of the toughest foot races in the world, alongside 800 other ultra runners.

And after months of gruelling preparation in wind, sleet and snow, the 41-year-old (pictured) is looking forward to the challenge.

He said: “I’ve been training harder than ever before and feel ready to go.

“For nearly five months now my training has been about going out every day on long high-mileage runs. My longest was a 38-miler which was super tough but necessary to condition myself to being able to recover completely to go again the next day.”

Mark will also have to carry all his provisions in a searing 50 degree heat.

But having already raised over £1,000 for the MS Society of Scotland and its Borders branch, he is confident the goodwill shown by so many will help carry him to the end.

He added: “Just to complete each stage is going to take all I have and I need to do this six days in a row. A lot of people have sponsored me and this is always in my head, so this alone will spur me on to the finish.”

You can follow Mark’s progress on his Facebook page or his blog at www.runner786.com or donate at http://www.justgiving.com/Marko3006