A FIREFIGHTER is taking on one of the world's hottest, harshest environments.

Mike Dayson, of Cleveland Fire Brigade, in Redcar,will set out on Sunday to run the 150-mile Marathon des Sables, across the Sahara Desert, in a bid to raise £10,000 for the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust.

He will run for six days, in temperatures of up to 50 degrees, in memory of a school friend who died of leukaemia.

Mr Dayson said: "This is the 20th year of the race, which covers more than 150 miles of the Sahara, between the borders of Morocco and Algeria.

"Some of the sand dunes will be over 300 metres high."

He will carry food and equipment, including sleeping bag, cooking equipment, roll mat, first aid kit and clothes, which will weigh over 12 kilograms, and his daily water.

Mr Dayson said: "When we finish, we are staying in the only five-star hotel in the area, but we have all been told that we cannot use the swimming pool because of the kind of injuries we are expected to have.''

He will fly out to Africa on Thursday.

Anyone who would like to sponsor his marathon effort can contact him before or after the race on 07885 256118, or through his support team on (01642) 323424.