max temp: 8°C

min temp: 7°C


Exning/Little Bentley: Students to embark on Marathon des Sables for Hope for Children

12:00 01 April 2014

Oliver Robinson (left) and Rory Dowie (right) after a 45-mile race in Essex in preparation of the Marathon des Sables.

Oliver Robinson (left) and Rory Dowie (right) after a 45-mile race in Essex in preparation of the Marathon des Sables.


Two students from west Suffolk and Essex are set to be the youngest male competitors of this year’s Marathon des Sables (MdS) endurance challenge.


Rory Dowie, 20, from Exning, and his university friend Oliver Robinson, 20, from Little Bentley, fly out on Friday to take part in what is known as ‘the toughest footrace on earth’.

They will be faced with the equivalent of about six marathons over seven days through the Sahara desert, clocking more than 150 miles, all while carrying a heavy backpack.

The friends will be supporting the charity Hope for Children, which works towards a world where children can reach their full potential.

Together they aim to raise £14,000, and have already achieved about £7,500.

Mr Dowie, who is studying economics, said on his fundraising page: “The MdS is something that I have always seen as a goal and an aim from an early age and when an opportunity like this comes up it is almost impossible for one to say no, I find.

“Since signing up for the MdS, Ollie and I began to realise that in fact the charity we had signed up to fundraise with was in fact a really worthwhile cause and deserves much more recognition than it has.

“As a result we set up the Hope project (www.thehopeproject.co.uk) to get together like-minded people to compete in challenges and events around the world in aid of Hope for Children.”

Mr Dowie, who ran the London Marathon in 2012, said he started looking for a charity place for the MdS after he was unable to do the Paris Marathon last year. A change in the rules meant he was too young.

He said he was looking forward to the challenge, but he was also extremely nervous as all of the elements combined would make it really tough: “The heat, sand, carrying the kit for a week and trying not to get dehydrated.”

As well as increasing the miles, training has involved getting used to the heat, including a heat acclimatisation session at Silverstone.

Mr Robinson said his running experience when he signed up was limited to a half marathon, but he did not take the challenge lightly at all.

He said his fundraising target of £7,000 made his commitment all the more serious.

To donate visit www.hopeproject.co.uk



Woman conned by bogus caller (Stock photo)

A Hadleigh woman who lost £2,500 in a police scam has warned others to be alert to the crime.

Members of the nursing team at Ipswich Hospital.

Carers and visitors of people being looked after at Ipswich Hospital will next month be able to spend more time with patients as new extended visiting hours are introduced.

She was last seen in the area of Downside Close in Ipswich.

Concern is growing for a 49-year-old woman who has gone missing in Ipswich.

Part of Sue Brooks' photograph of pupils and staff at Fonnereau House School, Ipswich, in 1952. Are you in the picture?

I recently asked readers if they had memories of Fonnereau House School, Ipswich, which was in Fonnereau Road, close to High Street.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A teenager must pay nearly £300 in fines and court costs after admitting being drunk and disorderly in Kesgrave.

Ipswich Park and Ride. Martlesham.

The two remaining park and ride sites in Ipswich could close in three years’ time if there is not a substantial increase in the number of motorists using them.

Doors reopen on the new look East of England Co-op Daily store in Woodbridge Thoroughfare. Staff members, left to right, Chloe Williams, James Buckles, Shirley Pierce.

Shoppers were greeted by the sight of a new-look Co-op on their high street yesterday, when a Suffolk branch of the store reopened following three weeks of refurbishment.

HGV drink-driver in court

A lorry driver carrying a trailer full of wine has admitted dangerous driving when weaving between lanes on the A14 while three times over the drink-drive limit.

Dan Poulter with Lord Robert Winston

ES 18.3.11

Suffolk County Council’s cabinet training day at Elstree film studios in Hertfordshire has come under fire from Conservative MP and former minister Dr Dan Poulter.

Childhood obesity figures revealed

One in 10 Suffolk children will become obese or overweight before leaving primary school, new figures have revealed.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Suffolk's trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the Ipswich Star e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24