A WEST LINTON man has flown to Morocco to take part in ‘the toughest footrace on earth’, all in the name of his childhood hero Doddie Weir.

Murdo Anderson started the Marathon of the Sands event on Sunday (April 8).

The 156-mile race has seen the former Peebles High pupil venture across the Sahara desert over six days, and is set to finish today (Friday, April 13).

Throughout his run, Murdo has carried all of his supplies with him while enduring the scorching 50 degree heat.

The inspiration to do the challenge began after rugby legend Doddie announced he had been diagnosed with motor neurone disease. Speaking before he left last week, the 24-year-old told the Peeblesshire News: “I’m using this incredible challenge as a platform to raise money for the ongoing research on motor neurone disease through MND Scotland.

“I am also raising funds and spreading awareness for Doddie’s Trust (DW5). Doddie Weir is a Scottish rugby legend and boyhood hero of mine, and I hope to raise as much money as I possibly can.

“His trust was set up to support his family and spread awareness of MND, in the hope that a cure can be found for this horrible and currently incurable disease.

“On the fourth day the length of that stage is between 50-60 miles and will be run continuously through the day and night.

“During the race, I’ll be carrying all my own kit, which includes food and sleeping equipment – all that is provided is water and a tent.”

The race will be the culmination of more than five months of training for the business-owner, who has had plenty of time to prepare both physically and mentally for it.

“I run a local business, Green Field Marquees, where we supply marquees all over the country.

“The work is very physically demanding, and long hours over the summer months is actually great physical and mental training for a race like this one.

“I’m so grateful that so many people have already donated to my Just Giving page, and hope many more donate what they can.”

Visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/murdoandersonmds