Walsall Healthcare fundraiser Sam Gibson may still be nursing her blisters but she’s so proud that she managed to complete an epic Saharan Challenge across the desert.
The Walsall Manor Hospital Discharge Co-ordinator completed her journey – which is the equivalent of two marathon distances – on 11 October, taking a route along the Draa Valley with sand dunes and rugged mountain scenery.
Over the course of the two days she had to contend with 33 degree heat and the unenviable combination of loads of sun cream combined with the dust and dirt that such a trek generates.
But the 37-year-old was relieved not to encounter any scorpions; she hates them!
“On day one it was around 23 degrees and this was fairly comfortable, I thought yes OK, this isn’t too bad,” she said.
“But the temperature rose on the second day and it was more like 33 degrees. I took no chances with sunburn and was absolutely covered in sun cream which mixed with the dirt and dust is not a pleasant feeling.
“I must admit that I planned to look round the markets in Marrakesh once I’d finished but as soon as I got back and saw the bath that was where I wanted to be.”
Sam, who was raising money for Walsall Healthcare’s Well Wishers charity, had been training in the gym well beforehand so her legs and knees were fine but she developed some huge blisters that are still affecting her now. She also burned 4,078 calories on the first day and 4,126 on the second, although there were regular opportunities to refuel with food.
“I am really proud of myself for doing the challenge although the last kilometre in particular was really tough – you’re just so desperate to see the flag at the finishing line and all around you is .a landscape that doesn’t appear to change. I didn’t see any scorpions though so I am really pleased.”
Sam, who has worked at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust for three years, completed the 55k South Coast Eastbourne Challenge in August in readiness for her Saharan adventure..
“I’ve raised more than £330 and this is for the Older People’s Mental Health Team at the hospital, to support patients with dementia as I see many patients with dementia who need care and support in my role,” she said.
Her Just Giving page is still open for any final donations.