On Wednesday 12 February, The Real Mds Team, Martin Hewitt, David Barnes and Stuart Doughty, each spent 1.5 hours in the brutally hot GSK Human Performance Lab’s Environmental Chamber whilst training for their Marathon Des Sables challenge.
Their time in the Environmental Chamber was particularly valuable as it simulated the high temperatures and humidity conditions the team will face during their challenge, The Real MdS Team member, David Barnes said: “We’re very fortunate to be able to use the facilities at the GSK Human Performance Lab and this preparation will be absolutely paramount to our success in the race. I’ve just been in the environmental chamber for an hour and a half and I’m absolutely shattered, however, they tell me that the body adapts quite quickly, so before we go we’ll do a few more of these to get us in the best possible shape!
Working with Martin is an inspiration to us and Help for Heroes is a cause very close to his heart and something both Stuart & I have supported before. Our goal is to work as a team to complete the race, but more than that, we want to raise lots of money for our three great causes; Help for Heroes, Bath Rugby Foundation and Restart (Rugby Player’s Charity).”
Martin, David and Stuart will spend an unforgettable six days running 150miles across saltpans, up desert-mountains, through ruined towns and will also battle their way through the occasional sand storm and deal with 45°c heat as they compete in the most gruelling multi-stage foot race in the world; the Marathon Des Sables. However, whilst they have their own personal reasons for undertaking this challenge, their main goal is to raise £100,000 for Help for Heroes, Bath Rugby Foundation and Restart (Rugby Player’s Charity).
To help them prepare for their extraordinary challenge the Team are working with the GSK Human Performance Lab, a world class science facility focused on applied and discovery research, combining GSK science expertise, external advisors and cutting edge technology to deepen understanding of human performance. Stuart, David and Martin will be working with the Lab to better understand how to enhance their marathon performance.
During subsequent sessions, the team will focus on a number of other research areas including environmental adaptation, hydration and nutrition so that the team is ready to compete in the 150mile race. Not only that, but the team will be advised on optimum recovery strategies to ensure that they can push themselves on a repeated basis.
Mark Langley, General Manager of the GSK Human Performance Lab, added: “It’s great to be working with Stuart, David and Martin. Our aim is to give them a greater understanding of what can drive and improve performance. All our partners benefit from the in-depth knowledge and understanding our scientists have in human performance, combined with the cutting edge technology and equipment we have at the facility.”
Donations can be made via the Donation page on the Team's website.
On 27th March 2014 supporters can join Martin, David and Stuart at black tie fundraising gala dinner at The Grange St Pauls, London at 7pm. To find out more details, please see the Team's website, here.
Both photos are ©Roger Keller, who donated his time and expertise free of charge to support the Real MdS Team, and Help for Heroes. If you’d like more info abut Roger’s work, please visit his website