Marathon Des Sables and Hughs House


Writing or Blogging has become somewhat cathartic over the last few years. I have one half written book, and another project that was to become a published short story to raise funds for ”Hughs house”.

This short story is a fictional tale based on the real life events of a little girl called Dara. It is finished, but prior to taking it any further I asked for help from the big smoke writing factory – specifically Elizabeth Murray. I had hoped that through this critique. I could publish the story to raise funds for a very special house we stayed in whilst Dara took her first tentative steps in life.

With the critique, we both realized that i was trying to squeeze too much into a short story. And this story could possibly form the basis of a novel. The story as fantasy fiction but based on a  real life event is quite sensitive not only for obvious reasons but also from a societal standpoint. And even though many months have passed since this story started, I personally am still, and quite possibly never will be over the trauma that was experienced within the walls of those maternity wards.

This novel will be written, but may never see the light of day.

But the walls I hold dear, and often think about are the walls of Hughs House. This great Georgian hulking urban warmth. Nestled in between centuries of human transience. When in life you are stripped down to the most raw state, left with a bare bones of emotion to find a welcoming place that understands and allows is very hard to explain. To find an understanding in walls. That can just let you be, and be there at your most vulnerable is both something I would not wish on anyone but at the same time glad that it is available, if the worst ever came.

”Hughs House provides family accomadation 365 days of the year for parents who have ill children in Temple St, Holles St, The Coombe and Rotunda hospitals. See

So rather than wait for god knows how long to finish a novel, I will be participating in next years Marathon Des Sables in aid of Hughs House.

”Marathon des Sables, or MdS, (French for Marathonof the Sands, also known as Sahara Marathon) is a six-day, 251 km (156 mi) ultramarathon, which is approximately the distance of six regular marathons.”

To be honest after what myself and Alma went through, I found it very hard to get back on the bike in the shed this winter,  and get Triathlon ready. I felt the life had totally been sucked out of me. I thought if i rowed back the distance from Ironman to sprint Triathlon it would work. But my heart was not in it. All i wanted to do was run. And run long.

Preparations are well under way, and via the coaching from @stephandonnellytri I am slowly but surely being transformed into a plant based runner. I have a 63km Ultra next month which will be the real start. But i have undertaken some really long training runs already. I love the sense of adventure, solitude, and thought of filling my camel back with water – and running what now as of this weekend will be 44km training run.

Even though I enjoy the solitude, I am also looking forward to running in the desert with 3 lads that I know. All equally up for and looking forward to the challenge ahead.

I have only ever done one day events, a multi day event camping out in the Sahara is both exiting and daunting at the same time. Having to carry all of your kit including food throughout in that heat will be difficult I am sure. But we will be well prepared. And as always I will not be going over there to make up the numbers.

The costs borne to do the event will be out of my pocket.

All monies raised through a funding page will be given to Hughs House to be used as they see fit. I will be posting up details of how to contribute to this cause in the lead up to my first Ultra Marathon which is next month