A man from Gretton is busy training to take part in an event billed as the toughest foot race in the world.
Toby Everitt, 42, left the Royal Navy in the summer after a 23-year career mostly spent flying Harriers and helicopters.
He is now realising a long-term ambition by taking part in the Marathon des Sables next April.
The event challenges runners to complete three marathons in three days, followed by a double-length marathon of 52 miles on the fourth day – and the competitors must run under the baking hot sun of the Sahara desert, which sees temperatures rise to 50C, while carrying 9kg of equipment on their backs.
Mr Everitt is hoping to raise £5,000 for two good causes.
They are the Jon Egging Trust, which helps underprivileged children, and Prostate Cancer UK, as his father, who lives in Great Oakley, has recently recovered from cancer.
He said: “It’s the 30th anniversary of the event and I can remember watching footage of it on Trans World Sport when I was a kid and thinking it was something I would like to do one day.
“A lot of people take part just to say they have done it, so there are some who don’t do masses of training, but I want to do as well as I possibly can.”
The runners carry their own equipment, including a sleeping bag and food, and there are compulsory items they must take, including a venom pump, head torch and knife, among others.
Mr Everitt said: “Part of the trick has been finding items which are as light as possible.
“It gets very cold at night in the desert, so a sleeping bag is essential.”
To sponsor Mr Everitt, visit his Justgiving page.
Links can also be found at his online diary, which he is regularly updating.