Thursday, August 17

Why I’m Morocco-bound

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Ivybridge Today

Matthew Bisco with some of his running gear
Matthew Bisco with some of his running gear

Matthew’s desert aid

A PRIMARY school teacher will take on a gruelling 150-mile race in Morocco to raise funds for a children’s trust.
Matthew Bisco, 30, is a teacher at Stowford Primary School, Ivybridge, and he will compete in this year’s Marathon des Sables in Morocco – a 150-mile footrace through the Sahara desert.
He is raising money for the Moroccan Children’s Trust, a project establishing inspired work in the area.
Matthew was keen to support the charity as he felt it wouldn’t be right to just complete the challenge and return to England.

He said: ‘I felt as I was raising funds for the Moroccan Children’s Trust I should spend some time with them to see what great work they are doing. I plan to spend six weeks with the charity following the race.
‘I will stay with a host family.’
The race begins on April 9, and takes place in stages over six days, with the longest day covering between 45 and 50 miles.
Olympic gold medal rower James Cracknell completed the challenge in 2010 and described it as the ‘toughest race of his life’.
Matthew said: ‘The race will present some known and many more unknown challenges.
‘This event does have physical, motivational and financial implications for which I need support.’
Matthew is taking on the challenge with a friend and has been planning it for the last three years.
He will carry all of his kit with him. It includes sleeping equipment, food and water. His bag is around 10 kilos in weight.
He said: ‘the race is fairly flat but there will be many different surfaces including sand dunes and rocky surfaces.’
‘My training is winding down now as I will fly out on April 6, but during peak training I was running around 60 miles a week across the moors and coastal runs.’
This is not the first epic challenge Matthew has undertaken.
‘In 2005 I entered the Cirencester 10km with a work colleague.
This was totally unknown territory and at 8km I wondered which out of my lungs or legs would pack up first.
‘I have completed two Ironman distance triathlons; I raced at the European age-group triathlon champion-ships; I raced 42 miles through the night in the peak district for the High Peak Marathon and I became the 21st name in the Order of Woodwoses by running 45 miles in Bristol.’
Matthew hopes to raise £2,000 for the Moroccan Children’s Trust.
He said: ‘The people of Morocco are giving me an opportunity and I intend to reciprocate.
‘If I can raise the money it will enable the trust to employ social workers to work with the children.
‘Please help me to reach my fundraising target of £2,000 in order to spend six weeks working as a qualified professional for the project.
Matthew is being supported on his run with the help of sponsors Steele Davis, Zycko and Pulsin’.
To sponsor Matthew visit his donation page at www.justgiving.com /Matthew-Bisco.

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