Commando James faces 250km desert challenge to help fellow marines

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Photo credit: Royal Navy

Royal Marine James Legg aims to complete one of the toughest races on the planet this autumn to help fellow commandos.

The Plymouth-based green beret faces a 250-kilometre (155-mile) slog across one of the driest regions on the planet… as well as other major natural barriers.

James is one of 136 ultra-runners committed to the seven-day Atacama Crossing through the namesake Chilean desert.

Over the week, competitors must overcome salt flats, enormous sand dunes, icy cold slot canyons, river crossings, living ‘under the stars’ in the foothills of the Andes as they complete the course. 

Competitors must carry the food, water, clothing and safety equipment needed – between 10kg and 20kg on a rucksack throughout.

James, who joined the Corps in 2017 and is serving with 30 Commando IX Group at Stonehouse, Plymouth, wanted to mark the 75th anniversary of the Royal Marines Charity with a personal challenge which would also boost their coffers.

The 36-year-old Londoner is already an experienced ultra-long-distance runner, having completed the Sahara race in Jordan back in 2014 – the same format over 250 kilometres of desert.

He’s drawing on that experience to prepare for the South American race, which takes place at the end of September, helping him to cope with cramped muscles, improving his diet, and above all, knowing when to push himself to the limit and when to move at a steadier pace.

He said:

“I’ve always been driven and intrigued by something that takes you out of your comfort zone.

“It’s a good way of character building and pushing your limitations and ultimately I love it when everything hurts and you’ve given your all – only then am I content knowing that I’ve done my best.”

You can support James’ efforts at: https://gofund.me/2f764e22.

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