Army veteran James Yeardley is taking on the fearsome Marathon des Sables in under two weeks’ time for Blesma, The Limbless Veterans…

James, from Portsmouth, served in the Army with the Royal Signals during the 1990s and chose Blesma as the beneficiary charity for the challenge after hearing about the work they do for those injured while serving their country.

The Marathon des Sables takes place on the 7th April 2017 in the Sahara Desert with runners taking on around 250km in six days, with temperatures ranging between 40-50°C.

After signing up to the Marathon des Sables, James took part in the Portsmouth Marathon, Druids challenge in Tring, and has been training in the Welsh Sand dunes. Recently he has even been having heat chamber sessions at the Institute of Naval Medicine to prepare for the desert temperatures.

“Thanks to the Blesma connection, I was able to use the Navy’s heat chambers in Portsmouth,” said James who works as a Network Manager at Bloomberg. “Blesma Member Duncan Slater will be training in there on Thursday so it will be good to train alongside him.”

James will be running the MDS with his boss who he also served with in the Army. James’ company, Bloomberg, have been very supportive of his charitable activities, and have offered to match the amount that he raises.

James says: “I feel I’m doing a small thing in comparison to those who served in conflicts since I left the military in 1997. Being able to raise some money to help is important to me and I couldn’t feel more proud in supporting Blesma, I know that when I’m struggling on the Marathon Des Sable I will be able to take strength in knowing I am doing a small bit to help those who were injured."

Fundraising Relationship Executive, Christina Crook, says: “At Blesma, we are hugely appreciative of James taking on what is considered the toughest foot race on earth! James has done so incredibly well with his training and his fundraising. I know he cannot wait to just get started so good luck James!”

To support James in his challenge, go to:

Blesma, The Limbless Veterans is the national charity for all limbless service men and women, their widows and dependants. It was formed in the years following the First World War and became a national charity in 1932.