Man who began running after losing ‘everything’ completes 156-mile desert race

A man who began running after losing his home and business has completed a 156-mile ultramarathon in the Sahara desert for charity.

Julian Mellor, 47, promised his wife that he would make it through the gruelling race even if he “had to crawl across the finish line”.

The father-of-two, who is hoping to raise £4,000 across three events for spinal cord injury charity Walk Once More, completed the course in 47 hours, 42 minutes and 55 seconds.

Mr Mellor in training for his three ultra marathon events (Julian Mellor/ PA)
Mr Mellor in training for his three ultra marathon events (Julian Mellor/ PA)

Mr Mellor, from Dulwich, south London, said he started running at the end of 2015 having lost “everything”, including his home and business, in 2014.

Since then, he has dropped around four stone in weight and turned his life around.

“One day I managed to buy some cheap trainers with my last £20 and started running whilst attending counselling sessions for depression,” he said.

“The running really helped to focus my mind. I lost weight and I managed to slowly build a new business.”

Mr Mellor finished the 34th Marathon des Sables, which is held in Morocco, on Monday.

“I knew I’d succeed for the thousands of people who physically can’t walk or run because of their spinal cord injury,” he said.

Mr Mellor is also due to take part in an ultramarathon in Iceland later this year, along with one in the Brazil early 2020, to raise more money for charity.

– You can find Mr Mellor’s fundraising page at

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