A former Monmouth Comprehensive School pupil is training for an event dubbed 'the

toughest footrace on earth'.

Paul Janes, who now lives in Zurich, has been accepted for a place in the Marathon des Sables 2012, which starts at the end of March and covers 150 miles over six days.

The desert race takes place in the Moroccan Sahara, where midday temperatures can rise to 120 degrees Farenheit.

The terrain is uneven, rocky, stony ground, and 15 to 20 per cent of the distance is over sand dunes. In addition, competitors have to carry everything they need for the entire race, apart from water and a tent, on their backs.

In order to secure his place, Paul has started fundraising for his chosen charity Mencap.

He has a target of £9,500 to reach and has already gone past the £3,000 mark, but says he would appreciate any help from Beacon readers.

Paul has in the past cycled from John O'Groats to Land's End, spent three months in Belize with Raleigh International and completed the La Marmotte twice.

This year, he intends to do the La Marmotte cycle challenge again; 108 miles of 5,180 metres of climbing in one day. Later in the year, he is planning to cycle from Peru to Argentina in around two-and-a-half months.

Donations can be made online at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/pauljanes