PICTURES: He’s done it! Scole’s Duncan Slater makes history in the desert after finishing brutal 156-mile ultramarathon
He’s done it.
Scole’s Duncan Slater said he would create history and become the first double-leg amputee in the toughest footrace on earth — the Marathon des Sables (MDS) ultramarathon.
And in the searing heat of the Sahara, the former RAF serviceman, who lost both legs after suffering injuries when he was blown up in Afghanistan in July 2009, successfully conquered the six-stage slog on Friday.
The race covers more than 156 miles, and temperatures exceed 50°C.
It was the second time the former serviceman had attempted the brutal challenge. Last year, he was forced to pull out of the race with just one stage remaining, after damaging his stumps badly during the event.
He said he would finish it this year on his hands and knees if he had to.
But with his new prosthetic legs, designed and built in Italy, Mr Slater was able to write his name into the history books, despite suffering from severe dehydration on Thursday night, and setting off for the final stage on an empty stomach.
He was taking part on behalf of the charity Walking With The Wounded. Funds raised will help fund their Head Start programme, which aims to provide ex-servicemen and women who experience mental health difficulties access to effective support.
Mr Slater said: “I very much hope that through my efforts, I will inspire other wounded, injured and sick from the armed forces community and beyond, to come forward to ask for help but to also know that there is life beyond injury.”
Kensington Palace, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s official residence, tweeted its congratulations to him, describing him as a “huge inspiration”.
And Walking With The Wounded posted on Instagram: “A true inspiration to us all.
“What Duncan has achieved is remarkable and proof to us all that ANYTHING is possible if you put your mind to it.”
It’s the second time the Scole resident has put himself into the history books.
In 2013, he became the first double-leg amputee to ski to the South Pole.
To sponsor Duncan, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=Duncan.SlaterFor more reaction to Duncan’s incredible achievement, pick up the print edition of the Diss Express on Friday.