Lee Hurford is now just three weeks away from taking on the biggest sporting challenge of his life.
On April 4 the former Royal Marine will begin an ultramarathon Morocco’s Sahara Desert as he competes in the Marathon Des Sables.
The six-day, 150-mile footrace takes place across one of the world’s most inhospitable terrains, in temperatures of up to 120F.
And the rules demand that participants carry all their equipment, with the exception of water, with them at all times.
“Since watching a small clip one Saturday morning on Eurosport, I have always thought I would like to do that,” said Lee, who gew up in Boston but now runs a boxing academy in Dubai.
As well as always dreaming of competing in the MdS, 41-year-old Lee said he was inspired to take part by home-town friends Mick and Steve Dawson, both of whom are record-breaking rowers.
He added: “When Mick and Steve used to celebrate their ocean rowing world records after a few beers were sunk the chat turned to me to see when I would row the ocean.
“My reply was ‘I could think of nothing worse than being in a rowing boat in the middle of the ocean, but I would like to run the Marathon Des Sables’.”
Competitors run the equivalent of almost one marathon a day for six days across the north African wastelands, with one stage being a 91k ultra leg raced through the day and night.
“I just don’t want to get to 60 and sit there looking back on my life, regretting that I didn’t do the things I could have done,” Lee added.
Lee has been climatising to the heat, recently finishing sixth in the Solomon Wadi Bih 72km Solo Race in a time of seven hours 21 mins.
Prior to that he ran the Dubai Marathon.
Lee wants to raise money for the Matt Hampson Trust and Boston Amateur Boxing Club.
You can sponsor him by logging on to https://www.justgiving.com/Lee-Hurford