The Diary doesn’t normally endorse pleas for charity donations or
sponsorship, but we’ve made an exception in this case. Patrick Williams
and Rupert Harrow, both sales execs on the Economist, are taking part in
the Marathon Des Sables, an onerous race which takes place across the
Sahara in southern Morocco at the end of March.
The race lasts for five days with the runners covering between 130 and
150 miles - depending on the route of the course which has yet to be
Williams and Harrow have to carry their own food, but will get shelter
and water during the race where temperatures can top 120 degrees in the
day and 58 degrees at night. The Marathon, billed as the toughest race
on Earth, is the equivalent of six regular marathons and, for the
finale, runners are banished into the heart of the barren wilderness to
complete the remaining 45 miles.
Williams has designated the Cheshire Foundation as his charity - it
provides special equipment for disabled people - and is aiming to raise
To help him on his way, Colin Gottlieb of Manning Gottlieb, a former
client of Williams, has donated two tickets to New York on Virgin
Atlantic to be awarded to whoever (on sponsoring him pounds 10)
correctly guesses his time. Last year, the winner took less than 18
hours and the last finisher 79 hours. Williams and Harrow are looking
for more sponsors, so to help, contact the boys on 0171-830 7000. We
think pounds 15,000 is far too low a target for five days of hell, so
it’s over to you lot.