It's October 2010 I'm on the train home, after doing yet another late night in the office and pick up a discarded Metro newspaper that someone has left on the seat next to me. I read an article about the Marathon des Sables and I think to myself.......I want to do this!!!!!!
When I got home I contacted the race organisers and got myself on the mailing list and on 20th May 2011 received the following email.....
"We are pleased to announce that registration date for the 2013 Marathon des Sables will be 25th May 2011. We will be opening registrations on the
website at 10.30 am (British Summer time). The  2013 registration
page will only become live at this time." Whaheeeyyy - 25th May 2011 registration confirmed, deposit sent off now to break it to the husband.........
I had actually told my husband about my 'cunning plan' on New Years Day 2011. He gave me a weary look that said in another life, had I been taller than my present 4'11"(and 3/4), not had the feet of a hobbit, displayed some sort of athletic ability and was able to read a map - I might have stood a chance of taking part in this crazy race. However, the reality was I was an overweight, short hobbit footed, 36 year old woman and the closest I have got to any sort of running was when I ran my first 5k charity race in 2007 and that took me 45 minutes – so it wasn’t looking great! Whilst I enjoyed training for that race and continued to run for a while after work with my girlfriend Caroline from the Lloyds Building in London to Waterloo Station – I soon got fed up of sweaty train rides home, couldn’t motivate myself to run alone at weekends and eventually stopped running altogether.
Nonetheless, News Years Day 2011 Daz dropped me off by the Wellington Statue in Aldershot and said off you pop – so I did! I laugh now when I think of how I must have looked to the Blackwater Valley Runners as they lapped me again and again, but rather than putting me off this spurned me on – I wanted to run like them and look like them, these ladies had legs to die for.
After this I overcame the fear of running alone and started to go out for a run every Sunday morning slowly getting miles under my belt. Daz could see I was taking this running malarkey seriously and bought me my first ipod nano and a book called ‘Survival of the Fittest’ by a chap called Mike Stroud. Mike Stroud, has run numerous Ultra Marathons including the Marathon Des Sables and 7 Global Marathons in 7 days with Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Whilst the book brought to me the reality of what I am letting myself in for it never put me off especially as I read about women like Helen Klein and Mimi Anderson – women who started running late in life, like me but who have gone on to become record breakers and are truly awe inspiring.
Roll on April 2013 and I successfully completed the Marathon des Sables and it was an amazing experience. I have the utmost respect for the desert and made the decision that over time I would like to run all the deserts of planet (excluding the cold ones!)
So in October 2015 I will be running the Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon in Namibia - 252km in 7 days across the Kalahari Desert carrying my own food, water and kit for the event - so wish me luck.
Whilst raising money for Blind Veterans UK I have met some amazing people on this journey like Steve Evans a blind veteran who I guided from London to Brighton in June 2015. I am also privilege to be recognised as guide for the charity and absolutely look working with our members.
Please read Steve Evens story 'A Short Troll by Steve Evans' which can also be found on this website.
First woman finisher 100k London to Brighton, June 2013.
When I'm not running marathons for Blind Veterans UK during the day I am an Underwriter for Ironshore and based in the Lloyd's Building in London.
I am also a member of the Blind Veterans UK carol concert committee and a member of Rushmoor parkrun.
I have been married to Daz Sharma for 13 years this year and we live in Aldershot, Hampshire with our dogs Aslan and Titan "The Small".
Titan 'The small' in his running bib