24-year-old Victoria Crampton is planning to use the Chesterfield and Derbyshire Marathon as preparation for one of the most gruelling events in the world, the Marathon des Sables. Victoria, based in Old Brampton, will be taking on the toughest footrace in the world in aid of Kids ‘n’ Cancer, a Chesterfield charity that specialises in securing Proton Therapy treatment for young people with different forms of cancer.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Victoria’s challenge is the fact she has never competed in a marathon before. This means that the Chesterfield Marathon, scheduled for Sunday 14 September, will prove to be vital part of Victoria’s training programme.
A former rower and Harlequins rugby player, Victoria is already training up to 5 hours a day to prepare for the rigours of the MDS. The Moroccan multi-stage adventure requires participants to cover 156 miles over the course of six days. Stifling conditions, plus the fact the race is entirely self-supported, means the Marathon des Sables is frequently referred to as the ‘toughest foot race on earth’
Reflecting on her challenge, Victoria commented: “My former rugby coach took part in the event last year and encouraged me to sign up. He basically said ‘if anyone else is mad enough to do it then you are! I know it is going to be mentally as well as physically challenging and will be the hardest thing I will probably ever do. The heat, exhaustion and pain will be overwhelming! But I hope that thinking about the reason I am doing it will spur me on and keep me going.”
The MDS will form part of a fundraising drive for Kids ‘n’ Cancer, with Victoria targeting £10,000: “When I was looking for a charity to raise funds for, I wanted to support a cause that would allow me to really see how my money would help and how it would make a difference.”
“Kids ‘n’ Cancer does amazing work to help children to receive life-saving treatment and support their families whilst they are going through it, so anything I can contribute to this will be brilliant in the run up to the event, I hope to spend time meeting some of the families who have benefitted from the work the charity supports. I’ll then use this as my inspiration for carrying on when I think I can’t run another step!”
For more information on the Chesterfield and Derbyshire Marathon, visit the event website.