Two deserts down, two deserts to go for intrepid fund-raiser

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 June, 2007, 12:00am

Two down, two to go! Martyn Sawyer (below) is back in town after finishing the second leg of this year's gruelling Four Desert (foot) Race. Last November The Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels group general manager completed the 240km first leg, the Sahara race, and now he's struggled past the mainland Gobi desert route in the remote mountain terrain of Tashkorgan. The 250km, six-day race took place between June 17 and 23, and Sawyer finished 68th among roughly 185 competitors. That's pretty good for a 50-year-old. Even better, he's upped his fund-raising total for Camp Quality Hong Kong to more than HK$700,000.

'I feel brilliant, although it was a huge physical challenge, even more so than the Sahara,' Sawyer said. 'It had more rain than it had in 40 years, plus rain and snow. But still it was magical and beautiful.'

Unfortunately, Sawyer won't be able to get the time off to attempt the next desert, the Atacama Crossing in Chile this August, but he hopes to tackle that next year, followed by the last desert race, the Antarctic, at the end of next year.

Organisers have arranged an extra race in November in Vietnam, and Sawyer has his sights on that course this year. If you'd like to donate to his charity or be a sponsor, check out