Double leg amputee completes 156-mile Marathon Des Sables

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Duncan SlaterImage source, Walking With The Wounded
Image caption,
Duncan Slater had to be entirely self-sufficient, carrying food and equipment for six days

A British veteran has become the first double leg amputee to run six marathons in as many days in the Sahara desert.

Duncan Slater, who lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan, completed the 251km (156 miles) Marathon Des Sables in Morocco on Friday evening.

The ex-RAF platoon sergeant has raised £20,000 for servicemen and women in his second attempt at the endurance event.

Mr Slater said he hoped to "inspire other wounded, injured and sick from the armed forces community and beyond".

Since last Sunday, Norwich-based Mr Slater and his former colleague Chris Moore have been travelling across the Sahara desert in temperatures reaching 50C (122F).

Image source, @KensingtonRoyal

The pair, who had to carry all their food and equipment, served in Afghanistan together when Mr Slater's vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in 2009.

After crossing the line, Mr Slater said he wanted other amputees to "know that there is life beyond injury".

Kensington Palace, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's official residence, tweeted its congratulations to Mr Slater, describing him as a "huge inspiration".

Mr Slater, who is now a charity worker, has been raising money online for Walking With The Wounded's project for former servicemen and women with mental health difficulties.

Image source, Walking With The Wounded

Mr Slater said he took the challenge on to "prove that a double leg amputee can do it".

He was forced to pull out of the 2016 race at the end of the fourth day, where participants must travel 81.5km (50.6 miles).

"Sadly, due to significant damage to my legs, I withdrew from the race," he said on his fundraising page.

"I have spent the last year working with some ground breaking new prosthetics experts to improve performance."

The race, which translates as the "'Marathon of the Sands", gives participants water rations and tents. It was started by Frenchman Patrick Bauer in 1986 and about 1,000 people now take part each year.

In a Facebook post, Walking With The Wounded said Mr Slater was "a true inspiration to us all".

It added that Mr Slater suffered "severe dehydration" on Thursday night and started the final day of the race on an empty stomach.

"His last day started with drama... with defeat not an option."

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