"Running Rob" is set to take on 154 miles in memory of his dad
Army major Rob Shenton from South Cheshire is taking on the race that's been called the toughest on Earth, the Marathon des Sables in north Africa.
His efforts will aid Macmillan Cancer Support, the charity that helped his father through his last illness.
Rob will be running 154 miles (247km) across the Sahara Desert in Morocco, in temperatures in excess of 40C (104F).
The Marathon des Sables 2011, which means the marathon of the sands, takes place at the beginning of April.
Major Shenton, who comes originally from Macclesfield but now lives in Leek in north Staffordshire, said that he hopes to raise around £5000 for Macmillan.
His father, Ken Shenton, who was a popular caretaker at a primary school in Macclesfield, was cared for by Macmillan as he was dying of lung cancer in 2009.
Macmillan Cancer Support is celebrating its centenary this year.
Marathon des Sables
As well as running, 37 year-old Rob will have to carry all the food and equipment he will need for the six-day challenge, including a distress flare.
He will be tackling daily distances ranging from 13 miles up to a 54 mile double marathon stage. This is equivalent to five and a half regular marathons, all while carrying a pack weighing about 11kg, over sand dunes, rocky desert, and stony ground.
His training up to April will consist of running at least 20 hours a week.
However, this is not his first such feat. In the past he has completed 40, 50 and 83 mile 'ultra' marathons.
In his day-job, Major Shenton serves in the army as a chartered engineer in the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.