The five-person team took on the 250km Marathon des Sables, running around 50km a day to raise money for the Army Benevolent Fund. So far, online donations have reached over £25,000, and the total is still climbing.

Rinder’s Run saw barrister, broadcaster and author Rob Rinder running across the Moroccan Sahara alongside an elite team of British Army professionals comprising: the British Army’s most senior soldier – Army Sergeant Major Paul Carney, Olympic champion Heather Stanning OBE, Infantry Colonel Mark Nooney MC and Army Corporal and winner of Channel 4’s The Circle, Natalya Platonova.

Rob Rinder said:

“It has been one of the greatest gifts of my life to have been alongside this group of truly extraordinary people. Definitely one of the best experiences ever. For me this is about celebrating our Armed Forces which is something we can all do together, because they represent who this nation is, at our very best, from every community.”

Heather Stanning said:

“I’m used to battles of the body and mind when training and competing at the top of my sport in rowing. But I respect this race – it doesn’t get the reputation as the toughest footrace on earth for no reason. It has been a huge challenge and so rewarding.”

Competitors had to be self-sufficient and carry all their equipment with them, besides a tent and water supplies. Every evening, they slept in basic tented shelters, as desert temperatures dropped from daytime highs of 32C down to near freezing.

The Army Benevolent Fund is the British Army’s national charity, giving a lifetime of support to soldiers, former soldiers, and their immediate families. In 2024, the charity will celebrate 80 years of being at the frontline of support for the Army family, helping them avoid hardship and live with independence and dignity.

There is still time to sponsor Rob and the team, visit their JustGiving page.

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