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ESP’s Darren Grigas has endured blisters, sweltering heat and sleep deprivation so far in his gruelling charity challenge…

Darren regularly appears in ESP modelling on our fashion spreads but it’s far less glamorous for him at the moment as he sweats his way through ‘the toughest footrace on earth’ – the Marathon des Sables.

He’s running 156 miles across the Sahara desert and is raising cash for Stamford based charity Anna’s Hope for children with brain tumours. He surpassed his original £10,000 target and has raised over £13,000, but as he continues through the final stages of this endurance test there’s still time to add to his total for this great local charity and he’s appealing for more donations.

Darren from Thorney has been running every day this week and he completed the longest stage (92km) in 14 hours 55 minutes, commenting that this particular stretch was – “the most awful run I suspect I will ever experience!” He’s fairing well and is currently ranking at 156 which we think is pretty amazing for someone taking on this event for the first time!

He’s in good spirits and very upbeat considering what a gruelling test this week has been.

On Saturday (April 11) Darren will be finishing the whole task by walking the charity stage as a team with his tent buddies, including explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and his coach Rory Coleman.

We wish him luck and you can read all about his incredible achievements in the May issue of ESP.

You can still donate for Anna’s Hope on or TEXT: DUNE51 £5 / £10 to 70070.

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