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Charles Carter (D210, GBR), Charles Coupland (D228, GBR), William Day (D242, GBR), Thomas Putnam (D459, GBR)

Four friends in the desert

Charles Coupland, 26, Charles Carter, 27, William Day, 27 and Thomas Putnam, 28.

They have the same look, flashy knee-high socks, beach trunks in African fabric and small, colourful parasols on their heads. They have known each other since school or university and together they’ve decided to take part in their first ultra trail… for some it’s even the first race. “It was a friend’s idea, but he wasn’t able to come as he injured his shoulder skiing.” Damned Jimmy! Since that time, the four friends from London have hated him a bit… a lot even sometimes. “The desert isn’t necessarily a dream. It was just to see if we were capable of going the whole way with this race. Now, it’s become our nightmare,” laughs Charles Coupland, 27. Indeed, even though they have indeed suffered on the first three legs, these four mates haven’t lost any of their humour and smiles along the way. The parasols? “A practical idea for protecting yourself from the sun isn’t it? Their beach trunks? “We had them made in Kenya, where Thomas worked, because it was fun and not expensive”. They even thought to buy the same boxer shorts and their England shirts so as they all stand out in the bivouac. They snigger as they get one out of the bag to show it off. The pain? They’re not thinking about it. They’re just trying to make the most of the beauty of the landscapes, so as to have the strength to go all the way. “We didn’t even think about getting advice prior to the race”, they laugh, shrugging their shoulders, very much aware of their rashness. “We’re weak, that’s why we let ourselves be persuaded…” They burst out laughing. Ah, damned Jimmy!



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