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James Le Gallez - Marathon Des Sables - 12 to 22 April 2024

Monday 14 Aug 2023

Amateur athlete James Le Gallez will take on the ultimate endurance challenge next April when he competes in the Marathon des Sables, a gruelling 250 km and six-stage race across the Moroccan Sahara that is reputed to be the toughest foot race in the world.

As part of a comprehensive training programme, James is undertaking several distance races in the Channel Islands and overseas in the run-up to April. At the midway training point in November, he will take on the challenging GUN31 night trail race, entailing a 2300m clifftop ascent. James will also trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in the New Year before undertaking several trail runs at high-elevation sites across Colombia and Peru. During his peak training weeks from February to March, back-to-back training will see James exceed 100kms per week, and rack up 10 marathons in February alone.

To help acclimatise to the unforgiving 40-degree desert temperatures, James is preparing by spending a lot of time in saunas, undertaking hot yoga and layering up for runs to raise his body temperature. The feat is all the more impressive because James only took up running two years ago to boost his fitness.

James said: ‘When I first took up running, I never thought I would find myself taking on anything as epic as this, but you get hooked as you see your fitness levels increase. The training has taken over my life, but the support of friends, family and colleagues has really spurred me on and I’m grateful to everyone who is supporting me.

“When I’m taking on the heat of the Moroccan desert, it will help to know that I’m doing it all for three extremely worthwhile charities that make a huge difference to Channel Islanders’ lives. Having people relying on me will certainly help to get me across that finish line.”

James, who is based in Guernsey, is an operations manager with Channel Islands compliance and governance specialist Redwood Group, who has sponsored his four-figure race entrance fee. As one of three chosen charities, James will be fundraising for Jersey Hospice Care, a charity close to the hearts of Redwood’s Jersey team.

Matt Journeaux, managing director of Redwood Group Jersey, said: “Every single one of our Jersey staff members has had family members supported by Jersey Hospice Care. We wanted to give back to them for the superb support they provide people in their passing and the wider support to bereaved family members.

“We will be cheering James along every step of the way and hope his incredible efforts will support the vital work of Jersey Hospice Care and the two other worthy charities he is fundraising for.”

You can follow James's blog here - News | Redwood Group (

Link to James Instagram:

You can sponsor James here -