Somerset supergran faces heat of desert marathon in Chile
Hemington supergran Jennifer Murray has set off on one of the toughest challenge of her life hoping to raise £50,000 for charity.
The 72-year-old left the UK last Sunday to take on a 250km marathon across the Atacama desert in Chile for MacMillan Cancer Support, despite battling a severe knee injury and being the oldest competitor by ten years.
Mrs Murray is no stranger to adventure and as the first woman ever to solo circumnavigate the globe in a helicopter, she is set to run straight into the record books once more when she takes on the charity challenge as the oldest woman ever to attempt it.
This is no ordinary race, and along with running partner, head of Macmillan Support line Blanca Fernandez, she will be racing across a vast desert that is 50 times drier than Death Valley and widely known as the driest place on earth.
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The race itself lasts six days, which equates to a marathon a day in temperatures reaching 40C.
The grandmother-of-six said: "Macmillan Cancer Support is a wonderful organisation that offers every type of support for people affected by cancer.
"My darling cousin Sophie died of cancer when she was just 18 years old, so I know firsthand how devastating cancer can be.
"Age is just a number to me, and I am determined to take on this final epic adventure and complete this ultra marathon for myself and for Macmillan."
She learnt to fly a helicopter aged 54 and solo circumnavigated the world in 2000, and in 2007 co-piloted a circumnavigation around the poles, a trip that crossed 25 countries, lasted 171 days and had never before been accomplished.
The 2007 trip was a second attempt, after Jennifer and co-pilot Colin Bodill suffered a near-fatal accident and severe injuries during the first.
To support Mrs Murray visit www.justgiving.com/Jennifer- Murray2.