Charlotte Logie, Christie fundraiser
Charlotte decided she wanted to raise money for The Christie charity after The Christie treated her dad in 2020. She said his treatment at The Christie was world class but sadly her dad died in March 2020.
As a challenge to herself and as a tribute to her dad, Charlotte planned to take on the Marathon des Sables (MdS) – a 6-stage, 250km race across the Moroccan Sahara Desert. Charlotte said she’d been interested in the race for about 15 years after speaking to a man who was hardening his feet to run across the desert.
Charlotte knew it would be tough running through temperatures averaging 36c but that wouldn’t be the only physical test. Charlotte would also have to carry a 10kg pack on her back through the whole race – not easy when running over miles of soft sand!
Training for the MdS race took 12 months, including 6 gruelling sessions in a heat chamber at the Manchester Institute of Health and Performance. Charlotte also trained hard in the gym to build her strength, so she’d be able to carry the heavy pack on her back.
On 27 March, Charlotte finally started her MdS race. Stage 1 was a demanding 150-mile route, filled with soft sand dunes, dry riverbeds, salt flats, mountains, and ridges. Charlotte said she and the other runners would camp after each stage, share stories from the day and tend to their blisters and sores.
The hardest part of the MdS race for Charlotte came at stage 4, also known as the ‘long stage’. All was going well until 10pm when Charlotte crawled into the checkpoint and wept with exhaustion and emotion and dread for the 12 miles she still had ahead through the night.
Charlotte said at her lowest point, she thought of the reasons why she was doing the race. She thought of her dad who faced his cancer treatment with positivity and a cheeky smile. Charlotte said she realised that if her dad could stay so optimistic, she could certainly finish her challenge.
Amazingly, Charlotte managed to finish the MdS race – a challenge that she said pushed her physically and mentally further than she’d ever been.
“I won’t lie, when I finally crossed the finish line of stage 6 and I got to put that medal around my neck I cried – a lot! It was such an immense challenge and pushed me physically and mentally further than I’ve ever been, but the support and generosity from all of those back home was overwhelming.
“I started off hoping I could raise £500 for The Christie and all the amazing work they carry out. I’m over £6,000 and people are still donating – it’s been amazing. I felt closer to my dad than I’ve felt since he passed away and I’ve made friends in the desert that will be in my life forever.
“This race isn’t for everyone, but for me it was the perfect channel for my grief and loss and my way to give back to The Christie”
- Charlotte Logie, Christie fundraiser
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