A SURGEON, TWO HEADMASTERS AND A BOMB DISPOSAL EXPERT…
On a cold and frosty Friday evening I had the pleasure of attending the “Highway from Hell” talk. The inspirational presentation from Mark Mortimer and Julian Thomas on their antics whilst running “The toughest footrace on earth”, The Marathon Des Sables. The talk was a mixture of 'Reeves and Mortimer' with a dash of Eddie Izzard thrown in. The dynamic duo held us enthralled and their perfect comedy-timing and opposing perspectives made for a truly inspirational and informative presentation. Particularly the demonstration of the toilet bag! The recounting of the tent’s surgeon and her skills with blistered toes and draining wounds were almost too vivid. I too think I am in agreement with Julian with his “grade two fun” comment!
As a self-proclaimed groupie of the Headmaster and his endeavours, I was truly in awe of their achievements. As someone who was an avid watcher of the 'dot' on the desert cam making its way around the course, it was great to hear the event brought to life with pictures and graphic explanations of life in the desert.
I particularly enjoyed the way they used each other as perfect foils for their respective one-liners. A friendship that was plain to see and that has clearly deepened since their exploits in the desert. They professed not to have rehearsed at all, but the warmth of their relationship meant that this was clearly not an issue. I will admit to having been envious at the camaraderie of the group that was the “tent mates” and their scoring of the zombie like staggerers past their tent. Their bonhomie belied what was clearly, at times, an arduous, exacting challenge. I left the presentation wondering if I could possibly do something similar and test myself beyond what I think I am capable of, whilst looking forward to their next talk on climbing the Matterhorn.
Stella Aldridge, Development and Alumni Relations