Alistair and friends are Sahara-bound for a cause close to their hearts

Alistair Gibson and friends on their Isle of Wight challenge
Alistair Gibson and friends on their Isle of Wight challenge

Well-known Emsworth businessman Alistair Gibson is leading a group off on another fundraising mission for the Rosemary Foundation – despite vowing ‘never again’ last time.

The fearless five, all from around Emsworth and Chichester, are off to the Sahara to tackle two marathons in two days, and it’s for a cause very close to Alistair’s heart.

Becky Gibson with sons Robert, Christopher and James

Becky Gibson with sons Robert, Christopher and James

The Rosemary Foundation helped care for his wife Becky in the last few months before her death.

Alistair, who runs the Herimtage Cellars wine business and is involved in Emsworth Business Association, said: “A couple of years ago a small group of us walked around the Isle of Wight (all 66 miles of it!) in 24 hours, raising money for the wonderful folk at the Rosemary Foundation.

“I remember thinking at the time as I gazed at my blistered feet - never again! However the time has come once more to lace up our walking boots and support the Rosemary Foundation but this time, we are leaving this green and pleasant land for something altogether a little warmer and more challenging - two marathons in two days, across the Sahara Desert.

“We are flying off to Morocco on October 10 and then after an eight-hour transfer into the desert, we are setting out on our epic adventure on October 11.

“The UNESCO World Heritage Draa Valley provides the dramatic backdrop for the challenge. We’ll be walking, maybe even running across baked rocky trails, through Moroccan villages and palmeries, down to the dunes of the desert.

“It will be tough, it will be hot and probably more than a little uncomfortable but it really is for a great cause.

“My grateful thanks goes to Louise, Adrian, Jeremy and Patrick for their company on this challenge – I couldn’t do it without them.

“The Rosemary Foundation is an amazing organisation who provide care as a ‘hospice in the home’, helping patients in the later stages of their life threatening conditions.

“Becky passed away at home after a four-year battle with cancer and the the Rosemary Foundation was the most extraordinary group of people who helped us all in those last few months. It was a classic example of ‘you don’t know until you know’ and we shall always be grateful.

“I and a group of friends wanted to raise funds and awareness again but wanted to find an event that would perhaps capture people’s imagination further – I think two marathons in two days in the desert just about ticks that box!”

If you would like to support the group and help raise funds for the Rosemary Foundation you can donate at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AlistairGibson4