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Local guy Darren Grigas is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

He’s one of just a few to do it and he’ll be sharing a tent with none other than explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes. After all the training, blood sweat and tears it’s finally time to hit the desert…

Darren’s frequently been seen donning some cool gear modelling on our ESP fashion pages but when it comes to being suited and booted for this challenge we’re talking backpack and trainers rather than a Ted Baker suit!

Now it’s crunch time as he takes on his goal to run the ‘toughest foot race on earth’ – the Marathon des Sables – over the next few days!

Once Darren decided to go for this incredible challenge he began a journey to transform himself from a 4 miler on the running stakes into an ‘ultra runner’. We’re not just talking running a bit further than usual, this is 6 marathons back to back in the sweltering heat kind of thing. In a word ‘tough’! But not only that he’s had to become well versed in everything from nutrition, running gear and his own physiology!

During the Marathon des Sables he’s been lucky enough to find himself sharing a tent with none other than the ‘world’s greatest living explorer’ Sir Ranulph Fiennes, a gritty contender if ever there was one and a witty raconteur.

It was important to Darren to use this incredible personal challenge to not only achieve something for himself but for it to do good too and he’s chosen to fundraise for Stamford based charity Anna’s Hope which raises money for children with brain tumours.

We wish him luck, and please donate a few quid if you can folks on


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