A charity champion is feeling the heat as he embarks on his toughest fundraising trek yet in a bid to raise £10,000.
Alan Lawrenson is taking part in the gruelling Marathon Des Sables – a 159-mile race across the Sahara Desert spread over six days.
The 29-year-old, who is originally from South Shields, flew out to the Sahara on Friday as part of his mission to run 456 charity miles in a year to raise funds for the charity Hearing Dogs.
Alan recently had the chance to meet four-time Olympic medallist Lord Coe in London’s Olympic Park – and even went for a jog with him while picking up some tips.
Alan said: “It was wonderful to meet Lord Coe, be able to run with him and to share a laugh too.
“When people hear what I’m doing, they usually think that my challenge is crazy and that I’m a bit mad for doing it.
“Lord Coe was no exception, he jokingly called me ‘crazy’.
“But all the training and pain is so worth it when you consider the important work that Hearing Dogs is doing for the deaf community.”
So far Alan, who works for MedicAnimal in London, has raised just over £6,700 for the charity.
The organisation trains dogs to alert deaf people to important sounds such as the doorbell, telephone or smoke alarm.
Alan has completed 16 races including the Brighton, London and Edinburgh marathons and the Great North run.
The Marathon Des Sables, which will see him carry own backpack laden down with enough food and water to last the duration, is his toughest challenge yet.
Alan says he won’t stop running until he has reached his £10,000 target.
Alan said: “I’m more than two-thirds through my challenge and I’m still raring to go.
“I am constantly invigorated by the fact that I’m supporting Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, who do such amazing work for the deaf community.
“So although my body is tired and my muscles are aching, I know that every race I run takes me closer to hitting my target of raising £10,000 for Hearing Dogs.”
Later this year Alan also aims to take part in the 2016 London Marathon and Great North Run.
He’s also set his sights on the XNRG Humanity Direct – a 31-mile race in Hertfordshire.
To sponsor Alan on his mission, visit www.justgiving.com/RunEmailGuy