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Lawyer completes 250km Sahara run, possibly first Malaysian woman to do so.

London-based lawyer Sue Ding completed the gruelling six-day, 250km Marathon des Sables (MdS) across the Sahara today.

According to a report in The Star Online, the 41-year-old is the first Malaysian woman to do so.

Ding successfully crossed the finish line in Morocco today as part of her bid to raise funds for two charities, the local daily reported.

The MdS challenge involves running through temperatures ranging from around 30AdegC in the day to as low as 14AdegC at night, with possible zero visibility conditions due to sandstorms, The Star said.

Ding reportedly spent a year preparing for the MdS challenge by running on Dubai's sand dunes, training in a heat chamber and spending a week on a rocky 169km trek across Spain.

She is said to be one of the 977 competitors who took part in the 33rd edition of the MdS, which requires participants to be self-sufficient in terms of food.

Ding had initiated a fund-raising campaign with donations to be split equally between the Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better (MDDB) and Make a Wish, Malaysia (MAWM) charities, by setting her 'toughest challenge' for herself with the MdS.

The six-day MdS involves a distance of just under a marathon per day for four days, with an additional long day run of about 50 miles and concluding with a marathon-length run on the last day, Ding had written on the SimplyGiving fundraising site.

'Animals are my first love hence my choice for Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better (MDDB). We have to be the voice for the voiceless and it should be our life mission to help all those in need, human or animal.

'It is not our choice to make about who lives or not. I've been very fortunate thus far and have been very lucky to be able to live my life and not just exist, therefore I would also like to help Make A Wish, Malaysia to fulfil wishes of children who are terminally ill because they too deserve to live their life to the fullest,' she said on the fundraising site.

Ding's campaign states that the MDDB started in 2008 'rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes Malaysian street dogs' and that the MAWM group 'grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich their human experience with hope, strength and joy.'

At the time of writing, donors have given RM94,294 to her cause. Her campaign, started last December 22 with a fund-raising target of RM250,000, ends on May 3.

On April 6, the Simple Giving fundraising site had on its official Facebook page highlighted Ding's campaign bid, saying that it thinks 'she might be the first Malaysian woman to compete in the Marathon Des Sables, also known as the 'toughest footrace on earth'!'

'Only 14 per cent of past MdS participants have been women. She will be running 250km over 6 days in hot Sahara desert conditions. But Sue is made of steel. She has trained, she has bled, and she is doing all of this to fundraise for Make-A-Wish Malaysia and Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better. Please support Sue's fundraising campaign as she flies our Malaysian flag high!' Simple Giving had said in a Facebook post.

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Publication:Malay Mail Online (Petaling Jaya, Malaysia)
Date:Apr 14, 2018
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