A young naval officer trainee is taking on much more than the arduous Royal Naval training at Dartmouth.
Sam Mitchell from Mildenhall is planning to undertake one of the world’s toughest challenges when he takes part in this year’s Marathon des Sables, a six day race across the Sahara in April.
Participants cover 151 miles, self navigating and carrying their food and sleeping kit. Water is replenished at timed checkpoints.
They travel across sand dunes and rocky terrain in one of the hardest endurance tests.
Sam, 25, is raising money for St Nicholas Hospice Care, Walking with the Wounded and the Britannia Association.
He discovered his application had been successful and had paid the £4,000 fee when he learned he had also been accepted at Dartmouth.
He said: “I had always wanted to undertake a personal challenge and see how far I could push myself and when I received the Navy offer I thought I would lose my money and the opportunity.”
But Sam’s Easter leave dates have co-incided with the race and with support from the college he has been able to fit his run training alongside his submariner warfare course.
The former Mildenhall College Academy pupil said the toughest part of the marathon will be the heat and sand.
His brother Steven, 24, is a Royal Marine, and it has always been Sam’s ambition to join the forces.
He said: “I’m enjoying my naval training. They’re a good bunch of guys to be with.”
To support Sam’s fund-raising go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/sammitchell