PARA Captain Faces Tough Challenge

It was a broken arm which led to an Army captain from Deal signing up to the toughest race on earth.

Tom Glinn, 31, a captain in the Parachute Regiment, struggled to find ways to keep fit after an accident in training two years ago.

With running his only option, he decided to set himself a goal. But it was no meagre challenge.

Tom Glinn is running the Marathon Des Sables dubbed the toughest footrace on earth

Tom registered for the Marathon Des Sables, a 150-mile run across the Sahara Desert, dubbed the toughest foot race on earth.

During the six-day challenge which starts on Friday, April 7, he will battle 120 degree heat and have limited water, all while carrying a backpack.

By doing the ultra-marathon, he hopes to raise £2,000 for Walking With The Wounded – a charity helping vulnerable veterans who have been physically, mentally or socially disadvantaged by their service to gain independence through new long-term careers outside the military.

The former Walmer Secondary pupil said: “I broke my arm in summer 2015 and couldn’t do any real training to keep fit apart from run.

“So I thought if that’s all I can do I should set myself a goal. As it’s the hardest race in the world, I thought why not?”

Tom, who has rowed for Deal since 2000, will be one of about 1,200 people taking part.

He said: “It’s equal to running from London to Dover and back again, all in a nice 120 degree heat.

“I will be carrying a backpack with all I have for the duration of the event including food.

“The only thing I’m given is my daily water allowance which I must manage until the next morning.”

Tom Glinn is in Training for the 150 mile challenge

As an example of what lies beyond the starting line, the longest single stage is 51 miles and then on average a marathon a day.

He will sleep under a canopy and survive on dried packet food similar to Army rations.

He said: “I feel so strongly about helping to raise awareness and help the armed forces men and women who have served their country and now need some help to get their lives back together, that I’m prepared to do this.”

Tom ran his first marathon in January 2016.

He said: “My first marathon was part of the coastal trail series and at Dover. Then I travelled around to do more and then just got the marathon bug.”

He completed one a month for a few months then started running back to back marathons.

He’s also taken part in charity events in full military kit, each over 30 miles, to help prepare.

But an injury in December 2016 set him back. After a two-month rest, he’s now back in training and is counting the days until he sets off.

He said: “I’m very excited. I can’t wait to get out to Morocco now and get going!