SPIDERS, scorpions and sand are just a few of the treacherous dangers faced by those who choose to take on the Marathon des Sables.

Not only does the marathon involve running 150 miles – the equivalent of six marathons in five days – entrants will also have to face extreme temperature changes because they will be running in the Sahara Desert.

But one man has decided to brave the 50 degree heat to try to raise £4,000 for three-year-old Thomas Alcock, from Lowton.

“It is getting close now so I am slightly apprehensive, but this is what I have trained for,” said 50-year-old Duncan Forrest.

“I have been running for 12 years and started by jogging around the block, before working my way up to marathons. But I got bored of running these and needed a new challenge.

“I have always wanted to do the Marathon des Sables and after running a few ultra marathons I thought why not give it a go. I was looking for a charity and when I saw the piece about Thomas it just seemed perfect.

“There was me doing all this running, while Thomas can’t walk properly, so I contacted his mum Jill Cropley and she was made up.

“I’ve invested in a good sleeping bag because I think getting a good night’s sleep is going to be key. It zips up around my head so spiders can’t get in.”

Tom has cerebral palsy and his parents are trying to raise £50,000 to send him for an operation in America, which may help him walk unaided.

Duncan, from Warrington, will fly out on April 4 and has already raised £1,000.