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‘An incredible, once in a lifetime experience’ - brothers run 156 miles through the Sahara desert

PUBLISHED: 10:44 23 May 2017

Pictured left to right – James Stafford Allen and Sam Stafford Allen who took on the outstanding challenge of the notorious Marathon of the Sands. Picture: Sense

Pictured left to right – James Stafford Allen and Sam Stafford Allen who took on the outstanding challenge of the notorious Marathon of the Sands. Picture: Sense

Archant

Two brothers have run 156 miles through the Sahara desert to raise more than £10,000 after being inspired by their sister.

James and Sam Stafford Allen, from Castle Acre, completed the equivalent of six marathons in six days when they ran the Marathon des Sables - dubbed the toughest foot race on Earth.

The brothers were inspired by their sister Felicity who is blind and has complex needs.

They raised money for national disability charity sense.

James, 31, and Sam, 32, undertook a year-long training programme to complete the ultra-marathon, where they ran for several hours each day in 50C heat, carrying their own rationed supplies of food and water.

Due to a rare genetic disorder, 27-year-old Felicity is blind with complex needs and has been supported by Sense for several years.

Sam and James exceeded their original target, through the support and generosity of family, friends and colleagues.

James Stafford Allen said: “Completing the Marathon des Sables, following 12 months of preparation, was an incredible, once in a lifetime experience for my brother and I.

“It was extremely tough, particularly having rationed food and water for 156 mile journey through the desert, which resulted in us both losing a lot of weight. But, being totally detached from technology and travelling through such beautiful landscape was amazing.

“To prepare yourself for the mental challenge for something as physically testing as this, you have to have the right motivation for doing so.

“The race is something we have spoken about for several years, and we’re so happy to have now accomplished it for Sense.

“Sense has always been a great support to our sister Felicity.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of our family, friends and colleagues in helping us beat our fundraising target, and the amount is still rising.”

The money raised will help Sense continue its work supporting people who are deafblind, have sensory impairments or complex needs, to live full independent lives.

People can still make donations by going to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=StaffordAllenBrothers

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