Wed. May 29th, 2024

The British army’s most senior soldier underwent heat acclimation training at a university to prepare for an ultramarathon across the Sahara Desert.

Sgt Maj Paul Carney completed the Marathon Des Sables – a six-day, 155.3-mile (250km) race in Morocco – on Monday.

The soldier exercised in a heat chamber at the University of Chichester in preparation for the gruelling event.

The 44-year-old said the facilities helped ensure his body could cope under the “tough conditions”.

The chamber allowed the soldiers internal body heat to rise above 38.5C (101.3F) and the sessions were supervised by the university’s scientists.

Mr Carney said he took advantage of the Army’s close relationship with the university for use of the facilities.

University of Chichester Sgt Maj Paul Carney training at the University of ChichesterUniversity of Chichester
Paul Carney exercised in the university’s heat chamber in preparation for the run
“Many people have heard the phrase, ‘if you fail to prepare, you are prepared to fail’, and that couldn’t be truer in the military,” he said.

“The professionalism of the team and the advice they provided built further confidence in myself on being able to complete the 250km race.”

Dr Andy West, a senior lecturer at the university’s sport and exercise department, said: “Sgt Maj Carney follows in the footsteps of more the 100 athletes who have used our facility to train for a wide range of challenges.”

The Marathon Des Sables is a six-day race over 250km in the Sahara Desert
Mr Carney, who joined the Army in 1997 and has served in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan, was joined in the race by Olympic rower Maj Heather Stanning OBE, Col Mark Nooney, Cpl Natalya Platonova and barrister and broadcaster Robert Rinder.

The group raised more than £25,000 for the Army Benevolent Fund.

By Joy

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