A pharmacist from Tyrone takes part in a grueling race through the desert in memory of his mother.

Cookstown pharmacist Niall Falls has to run the famous Marathon Des Sables in memory of his mother.

On Sunday, Nile Falls will take part in the world-famous Marathon Des Sables, a tough six-day, 250km race in Morocco’s Sahara desert.

He created the Justgiving Page, with proceeds going to Charis Integrated Cancer Care near Cookstown.

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Niall will quit his day job at the Falls Pharmacy on William Street to try and run six straight marathons in really grueling conditions.

He will push himself to the limit in memory of his late mother Teresa Falls, who died a few years ago.

“I have mixed emotions about this, both excited and nervous,” he said.

“Mentally it’s a major challenge with temperatures reaching 50 degrees Celsius and the longest run is a double marathon on the fourth day which will include running into the night.”

Niall started running seriously in 2008 and has run six official marathons.

He ran several “marathons in a row” in his training schedule for a venture in Morocco.

Niall was at the UUJ compound in Jordanstown to run in the heat chamber, where the temperature rises with each subsequent visit to help him get used to temperatures up to 40°C in preparation for the Sahara desert, where temperatures can reach 40-40°C during the day . 50C and drop to zero at night.

He carries about 6,000 on his back, and that contains all his food for six days, plus a sleeping bag.

The only external support is water supplied at strategic points along the way.

The Cookstown resident has been thinking about participating in the Marathon Des Sables for 12 years and decided to take part last year.

Niall continued: “I am doing this event to challenge myself but most importantly to raise funds for Charis Cancer Care and highlight the amazing work they are doing.

“My wonderful mother Teresa, who passed away in 2017, visited Charis where she received excellent care and treatment, this place is very important to my family. This local charity provides the entire Mid-Ulster community with a great environment for families and loved ones with cancer.”

Niall’s support is growing and he has raised £3,555 through his Justgiving page so far.

If you’d like to show your support for this worthy cause, which is helping many locals get diagnosed with cancer, visit: https://bit.ly/3huKJW6.

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