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Sir Ranulph Fiennes completes the Marathon des Sables

The veteran explorer was almost forced to pull out on Thursday Credit: Marie Curie/Liz Scarff/PA

Sir Ranulph Fiennes has become the oldest Briton to complete the Marathon des Sables.

The 71-year-old explorer crossed the finish line at 7.37pm after running for six days in over 50C heat in the South Moroccan desert.

The veteran explorer was almost forced to pull out on Thursday as the exertion had begun to take its toll on his heart. Nevertheless he completed the 256km ultra marathon and raised nearly £1 million for Marie Curie.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes completes the Marathon des Sables

The veteran explorer was almost forced to pull out on Thursday Credit: Marie Curie/Liz Scarff/PA

Sir Ranulph Fiennes has become the oldest Briton to complete the Marathon des Sables.

The 71-year-old explorer crossed the finish line at 7.37pm after running for six days in over 50C heat in the South Moroccan desert.

The veteran explorer was almost forced to pull out on Thursday as the exertion had begun to take its toll on his heart. Nevertheless he completed the 256km ultra marathon and raised nearly £1 million for Marie Curie.

Sir Ranulph taken to medical tent during gruelling race

Sir Ranulph Fiennes and trainer Rory Coleman approaching camp 4 during the fourth day for the Marathon des Sables. Credit: Marie Curie/Liz Scarff/PA Wire

Sir Ranulph Fiennes has been taken to the medical tent at the Marathon des Sables following concerns for his health.

The 71-year-old, who's from Exmoor, explorer is receiving medical attention after running for 30 hours in over 50C (122F) heat.

Sir Ranulph completed the most gruelling stage of the Marathon des Sables earlier today, but was taken straight to the medical tent as the exertion had begun to take its toll on his heart.

The veteran explorer, who has previously suffered two heart attacks and underwent a double heart bypass in 2003, was forced to lie down intermittently during the last few hours of the race, after fears he would not be able to finish the stage.

Speaking from the medical tent, Sir Ranulph said the last few hours had been "more hellish than hell".

I became woozy and had the feeling I was going to faint. It's not worth pushing it when you get that.

My trainer Rory had to push me down to the ground to rest and then pick me up again every so often, that is how we made the last 5k.

Last night was pretty horrific, it's hell on earth. You're trying to go up hills and your feet are slipping backwards in the sand. I had some really shaky moments. My head-torch faded and I couldn't see the hills.

– Sir Ranulph Fiennes

But Sir Ranulph, who is pushing to become the oldest Briton to complete the six-day ultra-marathon in the South Moroccan desert, said thoughts of the Marie Curie teams he is raising money for kept him going.

What kept me going was the thought that Marie Curie nurses are also working through the night.

This is all to raise funds for the amazing care they provide to people who are terminally ill and their families.

– Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Sir Ranulph, who began the challenging fourth stage of the event at 8:30am on Wednesday, has covered 56 miles, stopping for an hour at 04:30am this morning to sleep out on the race course.

But the race, which has already seen more than 75 people drop out, is still not over and Sir Ranulph still has one more marathon to complete tomorrow before finally finishing the race.

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Sir Ranulph taken to medical tent during gruelling race

Sir Ranulph Fiennes and trainer Rory Coleman approaching camp 4 during the fourth day for the Marathon des Sables. Credit: Marie Curie/Liz Scarff/PA Wire

Sir Ranulph Fiennes has been taken to the medical tent at the Marathon des Sables following concerns for his health.

The 71-year-old, who's from Exmoor, explorer is receiving medical attention after running for 30 hours in over 50C (122F) heat.

Sir Ranulph completed the most gruelling stage of the Marathon des Sables earlier today, but was taken straight to the medical tent as the exertion had begun to take its toll on his heart.

The veteran explorer, who has previously suffered two heart attacks and underwent a double heart bypass in 2003, was forced to lie down intermittently during the last few hours of the race, after fears he would not be able to finish the stage.

Speaking from the medical tent, Sir Ranulph said the last few hours had been "more hellish than hell".

I became woozy and had the feeling I was going to faint. It's not worth pushing it when you get that.

My trainer Rory had to push me down to the ground to rest and then pick me up again every so often, that is how we made the last 5k.

Last night was pretty horrific, it's hell on earth. You're trying to go up hills and your feet are slipping backwards in the sand. I had some really shaky moments. My head-torch faded and I couldn't see the hills.

– Sir Ranulph Fiennes

But Sir Ranulph, who is pushing to become the oldest Briton to complete the six-day ultra-marathon in the South Moroccan desert, said thoughts of the Marie Curie teams he is raising money for kept him going.

What kept me going was the thought that Marie Curie nurses are also working through the night.

This is all to raise funds for the amazing care they provide to people who are terminally ill and their families.

– Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Sir Ranulph, who began the challenging fourth stage of the event at 8:30am on Wednesday, has covered 56 miles, stopping for an hour at 04:30am this morning to sleep out on the race course.

But the race, which has already seen more than 75 people drop out, is still not over and Sir Ranulph still has one more marathon to complete tomorrow before finally finishing the race.

Exmoor explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes halfway through gruelling Sahara desert race

Sir Ranulph Fiennes is on day three of a six-day race through the Sahara Desert.

It's the formidable Marathon des Sables - a 156-mile run across the desert in 50 degree heat.

The 71 year old explorer from Exmoor wants to become the oldest Brit to complete the run.

He's raising £2.5 million for Marie Curie. The charity provides support for people living with a terminal illness.

Sir Ranulph tells us about his next adventure

He's climbed Everest, reached both the north and south poles, and raised millions for charity. Sir Ranulph Fiennes shows no signs of slowing down.

His next challenge is the formidable Marathon des Sables - a six-day, 156-mile run across the Sahara desert in 50 degree heat.

Earlier he told Ian Axton what it was all about.

For more information about Sir Ranulph's race or to find out more about Marie Curie click here.

  1. National

Sir Ranulph to attempt 'toughest footrace on earth'

Sir Ranulph Fiennes could become the oldest Briton ever to complete the Marathon des Sables. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Veteran explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes will take on "the toughest footrace on Earth" in April - the Marathon des Sables in Morocco - in a bid to raise millions for charity and become the oldest Briton ever to complete the race.

Sir Ranulph, who turns 71 in March, must run 156 miles across the Sahara in 50C heat to complete the six-day ultramarathon.

He hopes to raise £2.5 million for Marie Curie, which provides care and support to terminally ill people and their families across the UK.

Relative to some of the other things, this will take less time to train for - it will only take six or seven months of running five days a week.

– Sir Ranulph Fiennes
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