Selina set to take on epic race across Sahara Desert

Marathon runner Selina McCole is taking her passion for long-distance running to extremes with a 156-mile race across the Sahara Desert.

Sunday, 20th March 2016, 11:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th March 2016, 09:48 am
Selina McCole

Selina, whose family farm at West Longridge, is taking part in the Marathon des Sables (MDS) next month, regarded as the toughest footrace on earth.

Competitors tackling the trek across one of the world’s most inhospitable climates are required to carry everything they need for the week on their back, except water (collected at checkpoints) and a shared tent, and survive in temperatures up to 50C (122F).

Adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Olympian James Cracknell are among those who have completed it in the past.

“It’s undoubtedly going to be the toughest thing I’ve done yet,” said Selina, who is currently living in Singapore but plans to move back to Edinburgh later this year.

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“I am by no means of Olympic fitness but since signing up last spring, I’ve run over 2,000 miles in training – many on the Berwick coast and surrounding country roads last summer – and added a further two official marathons to my total of nine. I’ve never run an ultra-marathon though, so the fourth day, which is typically over 90km long, is sure to prove both a mental and physical challenge.

“The challenges that MDS will throw at me are nothing compared to the challenges faced by many women across the world, however, so I am raising money for two charities, which are close to my heart.”

Aidha is a Singaporean charity, which provides financial literacy programmes to foreign domestic workers and lower-income women in Singapore, empowering them to create sustainable futures for themselves and their families.

Women for Women International provides life, business and vocational skills to marginalised women in countries affected by war and conflict.