Matthew Swan - Marathon Des Sables
At the beginning of the month Matthew Swan stepped up to his biggest challenge yet, The Marathon Des Sables. Having been inspired last year when a friend completed it, the fire was lit, the race entered and there was no turning back. Having worked with Matthew over the last year, I can tell you how dedicated he is when he sets his mind to something. This was shown by his first appearance at IM 70.3 Staffordshire last summer when his swimming ability with little more than breast stroke 3 months before. With an intense focus the 70.3 became reality and the target moved on. The most impressive thing about all of Matthew's achievements is that he runs his own business with frequent trips from Bristol to London and has a family with three young children which he likes to be as supportive to as possible. So the challenge of training for the Marathon Des Sables was definitely a big one. During the winter training was switched to running with a little cycling (to help build aerobic fitness but taking the impact out of the legs) and the longer runs gradually built whilst all the time maintaining a good relationship with his wife and children until finally the big week came. With a strong mind and a well prepared body, Matthew's approach of doing his best to enjoying the experience paid off and allowed him finish the marathon at the end of the week as one of the strongest non-elite competitors and a huge amount of sponsorship raised for his chosen charities. What next for a man with so much determination? Some downtime to focus on his family because it's all about balance!