Portrait of the British explorer Sir Ranulf Fiennes who at the age of 71, and after suffering two heart attacks, is currently training for the Marathon des Sables. A gruelling six day event where competitors run 251 km in the scorching heat of the Sahara Desert. The MdS is considered by the running community as the toughest foot race on Earth.
Past exploits include: Circumnavigating the globe along its lines of longitude, crossing both the Arctic and Antarctic in the process. Conquering Everest. Discovering the Lost City of Ubar. And climbing the Eiger, a sheer vertical face of rock and ice 6000 ft high, in order to overcome his lifelong fear of heights. “I think I will have nightmares for a long time,” he said after reaching the summit.
Fiennes is perhaps best known for sawing off the ends of his own frostbitten fingers. Recovering from an unsuccessful Antarctic expedition in 2013 he refused to heed the advice of a surgeon who told him they would have to wait a full 5 months before operating,
“I was walking around with these dead talons sticking out of each finger which was hugely painful if I touched anything. So I decided the only practical solution was to remove them—and quickly. I did it with the fretsaw. It took two days to do the thumb, with lots of coffees in between. It was quite a delicate job. I had to keep stopping and be very careful not to cut into the living flesh.”
During his career as an explorer Fiennes has so far raised over 14 million pounds for charity. And will run the Marathon des Sables starting on April 4th for the UK based charity Marie Curie.
Draw the Public wishes him the best of luck!
Media: Pen, acrylic, pencil crayon, and chalk.