Manitoba teacher completes Sahara Desert ultramarathon to raise money for St. Amant
After conquering Mount Everest in 2019, a man from Winnipeg set his sights on another extreme challenge and another chance to raise funds for people with disabilities.
Dalip Shekhawat is back in Winnipeg after completing the Marathon des Sables – a grueling six-day, 250-kilometer ultramarathon through the Sahara Desert.
He said the grueling physical test seemed like a suitable next challenge after climbing Earth’s tallest mountain.
“Everest was the coldest, so I was like, ‘Why don’t I do something else?’ So I chose the toughest run in the world, which took place in the Sahara Desert, ”Shekhawat told CTV News.
The ultramarathon takes place every year in the south of Morocco.
Participants must be self-sufficient throughout the race, which means they must carry their food, water, shelter, and personal supplies throughout the event.
The 35th edition of the race was postponed from April 2020 due to the pandemic, and finally took place in October.
Out of around 670 participants, only half completed this year’s race, including Shekhawat.
He used the race to raise funds for the St. Amant Foundation. He works as a special education teacher for the organization and also raised funds for it during the ascent of Mount Everest.
“Funds raised will help purchase speech and communication devices, upgrade mobility devices and optimize community involvement for the customers we support,” said Shekhawat.
He estimates he raised around $ 3,000.
While Shekhawat acknowledges that there are easier ways to fundraise for the St. Amant Foundation, the run provided a significant opportunity for reflection.
“I chose to do the hard part so I could fake the pain they are going through, so I feel my run and I contemplate my life. It was a time for self-reflection and a time to give back to the community, ”he said.