A BOWDON resident is gearing up to tackle the Marathon des Sables (Marathon of the Sands), one of the most gruelling sport events in the world.

Pete Nichols, of The Firs, will be participating in the six-day, 156-mile ultramarathon across the Sahara desert in April to raise funds for the charity Unique Kidz and Co which provides specialist services for disabled children and their families.

Pete, who is originally from Durham, has never been a runner, but in 2012 he decides to register for what has been ranked the toughest footrace on earth.

“We can all run, but I wanted to do something more extreme,” he explained.

“So I thought, why not couple an event of running and sport with some travel and a big adventure?”

Since then, the 28-year-old environmental manager has been training by joining a series of marathons across the UK.

With less than two months left until the ultramarathon, he is now starting to prepare his body for the Sahara weather by running on a treadmill in chambers heated up to 40˚C.

Pete said: “It’s going to be tough. I know I won’t win it, but I’m not going out there to win, I’m going to enjoy the experience. I’m scared, it would be a lie if I said I wasn’t, but I’m embracing it as it is all part of this hopefully rewarding adventure.”

To learn more about Pete’s challenge, read his blog runningthesands.me. To donate to his cause, visit justgiving.com/runningthesands.