Berwick broadcaster prepares for epic desert marathon challenge

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Berwick-born sports presenter Simon Pryde is swapping the comfort of his radio studio for the heat of the Moroccan sun tomorrow, as he takes on the toughest footrace on earth.

Raising money for Alzheimer’s Society and WaterAid, Simon will take six days, starting on tomorrow to run 155 miles across the desert, carrying all his own kit in temperatures that will reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Marathon de Sables, a unique challenge, now in its 28th year, attracts people from across the world, with participants expected to sign up two years in advance.

Simon, 40, said: “I can’t deny that with the challenge now only a couple of weeks away, I’m starting to feel the nerves creeping in.

“It helps to watch my fundraising total increase, and of course remember that the money I raise will be going towards two such worthwhile causes.

“My granny Audrey passed away with Alzheimer’s disease back in the 1990s, so I understand the affect the condition has, not just on the people living with dementia, but also their families and loved ones.

“I’ll certainly be thinking of my charities to spur me on and give me strength when I’m running, sweaty and exhausted through the baking heat!”

Fellow sports presenter and retired athlete Steve Cram said: “I can’t stress enough the ultimate challenge that Marathon de Sables represents. He deserves all the credit and respect for attempting it.”

Liz Monks, director of fundraising at Alzheimer’s Society said: “We are so grateful to Simon for giving up his time and taking on such an epic adventure to raise money.”

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