Local athlete Ali Moullin will take on the ultimate running challenge in April when she competes in the gruelling Marathon Des Sables, a 254km race staged over six days in the relentless heat of southern Morocco.
Reputed for being the toughest foot race in the world, only 14% of the athletes competing in this year’s race will be female and Ali will be one of only 40 British women participating.
As one of her chosen charities, Ali will be fundraising for the Priaulx Premature Baby Foundation’s Burrow Appeal. The proceeds from her efforts will help to raise vital funds for The Burrow, a home-from-home for the families of premature babies or critically ill children requiring off-island medical treatment, which will open its doors later this year.
Ali will also be raising money for the Friends of Frossard Ward, a local charity which raises money for equipment for the Children’s Ward of the Princess Elizabeth Hospital.
A seasoned distance runner, Ali started racing in 2000, when she took on the London Marathon. To date, she has clocked up 25 marathons, several half marathons, four ultra marathons and the four-day Nijmegen Marches in Holland, running 40 kilometres per day over four days.
As part of a rigorous training programme, Ali completed various distance runs last year, including the London Marathon and Brighton 100km, and has been running an average of 11 miles on a daily basis, upping this to over 40 miles at the weekend. Regular sauna and steam sessions have also been undertaken in preparation for the unforgiving heat of the North African desert.
Commenting on the amazing challenge ahead, Ali said: ‘The Marathon des Sables has been on my bucket list for quite some time, so I’m excited that the race is nearly here. Camping in the desert and competing in the heat will be the ultimate challenge, particularly as the longest race stage is about 91 km, but I’m sure the sweat and tears will be worth it when I finally cross the finishing line.’
‘Knowing that I’m racing for such worthwhile causes will help to spur me on’, she continued. ‘Both my daughters were nearly premature babies, due to complications early on in pregnancy so I have first-hand experience of how charities such as PPBF can be a lifeline for families during such a stressful time. The Burrow will make a huge difference to families who need to spend time off-island and I’m pleased that my efforts will help to get the facility up and running.’
Jo Priaulx, the founder of the Priaulx Premature Baby Foundation, said: ‘We’re so grateful to Ali for selecting PPBF as one of her chosen charities. Her challenge is no small feat but her fundraising efforts will make a huge difference to The Burrow Appeal. We’ll be cheering her on every step of the way and are so pleased that her marathon effort will help us to open The Burrow’s doors later this year and support more local parents during such a distressing time.’
To make a donation, visit Ali’s funding page: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ali-moullin-1