Three Fermanagh men recently took part in the Ultra X Jordan Multi Day event.

The trio – Darragh Scott, Ryan Dempster and Adam Donaldson – took part in the race, which was held at the start of October and consisted of running 250km over five days through the desert of Wadi Rum in Jordan.

Darragh explains that it was the desire to take on a different challenge which led to him taking on the event.

“I was turning 40 during [the pandemic] and wanted a different challenge and to do something that was the next step up from a marathon,” said Scott.

Having decided to do the race, there was a lot of preparation went into making sure that he was ready for the race.

“I did a lot of running before work in the morning and a long run on most Saturdays and Sundays in the months leading up to the event.

“I also went to Rossnowlagh and ran up and down the beach. In hindsight, that was probably pointless, as the sand was so different from the desert sand,” he added.

In all, 120 athletes started the race, but only 99 completed it and Scott admits it was a tough test in different ways.

“Everyone expected the heat, so you just dealt with it and we were very conscious to keep hydrated and take a lot of electrolytes.

“There was a medical tent every eight kilometres where you checked in and restocked on water, and they made sure you were able to do the next stage.

“It was tough for everyone in different ways. The soft sand left running impossible at times.

“The Wednesday run was 70km and we started at 4.30am. We were still running at 3pm that afternoon, and with the midday heat it was a tough trek to finish it.

“Once Wednesday was over, you knew you could finish the week, so it was a great relief to cross the line,” he commented.

The three Fermanagh men shared a tent at night with another Irishman, from Clare, and Scott acknowledged that it was great to have the company of the other three competitors.

“On the first night you went and found a place on the floor in a tent. Only four from Ireland took part – by chance, three men from Fermanagh and one man from Clare happened to pick the one tent.

“It was great to have company and friendship, especially during the long days. It was also unique in that there were people from all over the world taking part, sharing stories of similar-type events they completed.”

So, has the adventure whet the appetite for another big challenge?

“Some days when there, I said, ‘Never again’, but as time moves on you start thinking about the next challenge.

“The next, tougher race would be the Marathon de Sables held in Morocco. It is very hard to get entry, but maybe in a few years I would like to face it.

“Everyone needs their own way of going mad and running is mine,” he added.