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Kate Eversole does Marathon des Sables

Kate Eversole does Marathon des Sables


The MdS is ranked by the Discovery Channel as the toughest footrace on earth. The MdS is a multi-day ‘ultra-marathon’ or ‘ultra’ run in six days over a course of between 150 and 156 (254km) miles.
Last Updated: 12-Mar-2014

Name: Kate Eversole

DOB: 15.01.1985

Occupation: Founder & Head of Partnerships. PatientsCreate (Soon to be

Fitness history: Ummm as a kid/uni gymnastics, netball, hockey. Following uni:Bikram, Crossfit and running. I’ve completed 1 marathon – London in 2012 with a time of 3hrs 42mins.

Who the heck am I? 

I’m your average 29 year girl living in London, trying to complete the most un average challenge of a life time. I weight 52kg and I’m about 5ft 2. I’ve been a size 6-8 since I was about 12 until now…

I think its fair to say I love a good rave. Take earlier this year, I managed to get my grubby mits on free tickets for unknown festival and had to turn them down because I was a) exhausted from the training b) I knew a week at an electro festival would put me at least a week back in my training. 

I enjoy running. There I said it. I like running. I like the feeling of being exhausted. I like the feeling of being able to switch of from what ever is going on at work. I like the feeling of being able to out run potential muggers – don’t ask)

I only realised I could run in the last few years when I used to live in Kensal Rise and woke up one Sunday and saw bike path that said 4 miles to Wembley and I thought I wonder if I can run there and back…so I did and had quite a nice time doing it. 

My natural pace is about the 8 minute mile mark for marathons – making my PB 3.42. A good friend of mine Pete Williams who is a running and crossfit hero (not his official title) is helping me train and I quote “well Kate you will never be a national runner.” He’s since been hired as my motivational coach.   

I’m also always cold. So I’m hoping this will help when I’m in the dessert.

No one that I’m close to seems to want me to do this. My mum is so convinced that I’m going to die and has had dreams of me dyeing in the dessert. I’ve since had to tell her that I will have trained first aider with me at all times…….(I’m hoping this is actually true)

What is Marathon des Sables (MdS) ?

The MdS is ranked by the Discovery Channel as the toughest footrace on earth. The MdS is a multi-day ‘ultra-marathon’ or ‘ultra’ run in six days over a course of between 150 and 156 (254km) miles.

Which by the way is the equivalent of: Running from London to Dover deciding not to go to France after all and running back again in 120 degree heat with a backpack on and voices in your head talking about cold wine. I really think my mirages are going to be of fit (clean) men and a nice cold pinot not water.

Why do it?

Well in the post aftermath buzz of the London marathon year before last I somehow entered MdS and got a space. Now I think I was in a post race high this all happened with out me realising….

The next thing I knew it was a year later and I was having a few wines with some mates discussing their marathon training – low and behold MdS came up in to conversation and I thought – SHIT I’m supposed to be doing this. I went home and googled it to find that I have 27 weeks to sort my act out. 

What’s next:

I’d like to concentrate on a marathon and get my time to 3hrs 15mins. I hear this is pretty respectable. This is 30 mins down from my only recorded time. I also want to be able to do the splits but running and bending don’t seem to be a match made in heaven – one always cancels the other out. 

The team:

I’ve been luckily enough to have spent the last few months being a lab rat for GlaxoSmithKline’s Human Performance lab. a world class science facility focused on applied and discovery research, combining GSK science expertise, external advisors and cutting edge technology to deepen understanding of human performance.

Working in partnership with people and organisations committed to elite performance, the GSK Human Performance Lab aims to better understand how the body and brain function. This in turn can be used to develop improved training, recovery, nutrition and competition programmes for its partners, enabling them to break through the limits of human performance.

I (and the team below) have be working with the GSK Human Performance Lab to better understand how to enhance their marathon performance. Our research has focused on a number of areas including environmental adaptation, hydration and nutrition so that the we are ready to compete in the 155mile, multi-stage Marathon des Sables race across the Sahara desert. Not only that, but the team will be advised on optimum recovery strategies to ensure that they can push themselves on a repeated basis.

“Working with the GSK Human Performance Lab allows us to really understand the key drivers behind exceptional marathon performance and to find out which training strategies work best for which members of the team. By better understanding the science behind performance, we can ensure that we perform to our maximum potential in the 2014 Marathon des Sables and beyond” said David Barnes, ex-professional rugby player and Marathon des Sables 2014 competitor.

Mark Langley, General Manager of the GSK Human Performance Lab, added: “It’s great to be working with Stuart, David, Martin and Kate. Our aim is to give them a greater understanding of what can drive and improve performance. All our partners benefit from the in-depth knowledge and understanding our scientists have in human performance, combined with the cutting edge technology and equipment we have at the facility.”

It is here that I met my fellow lab rats and my now dream team who I will be complete the race alongside.

David Barnes: On graduating from Durham University, David was awarded a professional Rugby contract as a prop forward with Newcastle Falcons. This then lead to playing for Harlequins (2 seasons) and Bath Rugby (playing over 250 1st team games). David gained representational honours with England Saxons, England XV and the Barbarians FC and won the Premiership title with The Falcons and the European Challenge Cup with Bath. Whilst playing for Bath Rugby he was elected to the Rugby Players Association (RPA) Board in 2003, and then elected Chairman in 2005, for 6 successive terms until 2011. He was forced into premature retirement due to a neck injury in 2011.

Shortly after retirement, David moved to a fulltime role with the RPA as Rugby Director. In this role he is responsible for overseeing Player Welfare for all RPA members in addition to the management of the RPA Player Development Programme, designed to assist player transition into alternative careers. David is a committee member of the world famous rugby invitational team, the Barbarian FC.

Martin Hewitt: Martin served as a commissioned officer in HM Parachute Regiment and gained operational experience in the Middle East. He was injured leading his men in combat receiving gunshot wounds to the chest and foot. These injuries paralysed his right arm and ended his military career.

Martin then turned to elite sport and represented Great Britain in Downhill Ski racing in the Paralympic World Championships. He was then asked to develop teams of injured servicemen to take on world record attempts. In 2011 he walked unsupported to the Geographic North Pole supported by HRH Prince Harry (see BBC1 Harry’s Arctic Heroes) and in 2012 climbed Mt Manaslu (8163m) and led a team on Mt Everest (8848m). Martin assists elite sport teams to develop their leaders and business leaders, drawing from a range of experiences developing elite military units, sport and expedition teams. He is currently developing the Fieri Grand Slam team to climb the 7 highest peaks on the 7 continents and walk unsupported to the North and South Poles.

Stuart Doughty: Stuart left school, went into the city and then moved into advising clients with a life company. He took a year out to play rugby union in Sydney, Australia in 1990/91.

He enjoys challenging physical events which started when he was 18, walking the Pennine Way. He has undertaken various full/half marathons and walking challenges for charities with the last large scale fund raising event being the AXA Wealth Kilimanjaro Challenge 2011, where as a team of 41 they raised over £200,000 for charities as part of David Barnes’ Testimonial year.

He is an owner manager of a wealth management business specialising in the financial planning of post-settlement personal injury cases.

Stuart is a Trustee of the Bath Rugby Foundation which enhances the lives of young people through sport, with a particular focus on those with social and other disadvantages. It aims to impart the values of camaraderie, loyalty, discipline and respect found in rugby. He also provides support to The Rugby Players Association (The RPA) and Professional Cricketers Association (PCA) on educational finance matters and preparation for a careers beyond playing.

Raising money: YES. (Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!) This has been put on the back burner behind training and work! I need to raise 10k for charity for the privilege of a week in the desert – I’ve chosen MENCAP who in my opinion are unsung hero’s in many ways. In my previous life I taught in a special school with children who had very severe learning disabilities. Most of these children couldn't access learning and struggled to communicate with others. I used to spend my lunch times teaching them how to eat ..which was always eventful. I saw first hand the impact MENCAPs programs had on improving these children's lives and most importantly getting them ready for life after school. You can sponsor me here.

How do you train?

An example of my weekly training schedule is below. What has been really tough is fitting everything else in, making sure you are there for the people that need you, making sure you are still on form for a 50 -60hr working week and somehow do all of this with out being exhausted!  


Work out 1: CF Strength clean and press / WOD

Work out 2: Front squat 4 x 5 @5RM 

Work out 3: Warmup 10 - 15 mins easy / Main set 6 x 90 seconds effort with  60  seconds recovery


Work out 1: Crossfit Strength Push press / super set with romanian deadlifts (Och calfs!) 

Work out 3: 5-6 miles steady run with Back pack (7-10kg)


Work out 1: CF strength bench and pendlay rows WOD.

After the workout: 60 second press up challenge - got 35. I was pretty happy with that!

Work out 2: Warmup 10 - 15 mins easy. 

6 x 50 meter sprints to get warmed up.

Main set is 12 x 200s take 1 min- 90 seconds recovery between reps, the quality should be high very fast.

Work out 3: 

Friday: Rest day. I would argue the most important day of the week.


Work out 1: CF strength & WOD. 

Work out 2: 1-2 miles warmup and stretch, Drills and sprints to warmup. 

1-2 miles warmup and stretch, Drills and sprints to warmup.  Complete on a hill. 6 x 2 mins with 1 min recovery 4 mins jog recovery then 5 x 1 min effort with 30 seconds recovery


20KM with backpack @5kg in weight (bulked out with towels and hoddies to add bulk) need to complete in 2hrs. 

Top tips for training:

So as a gymnast I used to be able to do the splits bend myself in half and comfortably touch my toes. As my friend said to me today ‘running doesn’t help anything apart from running.’ I think the biggest thing I have learnt during my training is to get better at running DON’T  RUN. If you think about it this actually makes sense – if you just keep running you are only practicing/repeating the same movements. To get better at these movement you need to get stronger….I’ve done this in two ways. 

1)    I’ve been lifting weights as if I was in a Bejing training camp for the 2016 Chinese Olympic team. Only when I was running up a sand dune (in the rain) did I understand why I’ve spent the last 6 months squatting…it had made my legs and ass stronger (and much bigger) which made climbing up these dunes a lot more tolerable on top of this due to the hideous amounts of squats my coach has put me through I was used to the movement and used to the pain.

2)    Yoga, Yoga, Yoga.  I’ll admit it when I’ve finished a long run I usually do two things. I have a chocolate milkshake and I DON’T stretch. I’m not going to lie I just can’t be arsed. My body is tired and my sofa is comfy. So doing yoga a few times a week makes sure I stretch out properly.