A RUNNER battled 45-degree heat, sandstorms, sleep deprivation and brutal conditions as he completed back-to-back marathons in the Jordanian desert.

Liam Willis, from Leigh, not only completed the incredible challenge but also won the event finishing first on both days as he competed in the gruelling event to raise money for the Glenwood School, in Benfleet.

Despite the constant risk of heatstroke and exhaustion, Liam ran through the sand dunes for two consecutive days to complete a total of 52-miles.

Echo: Niece Lylie-Lou Green with Liam’s medalNiece Lylie-Lou Green with Liam’s medal (Image: Liam Willis)

The personal trainer was inspired to take on the challenge by his 12-year-old niece, Lylie-Lou Green, who lives with autism, after seeing the positive impact the Glenwood School has had on her.

Liam said: “It was a brutal challenge, it was very hot, around 40 degrees in the shade and 45 in the desert.

“The direct sun and the heat being reflected from the sand was brutal, from the off it was a battle about keeping focus and concentration because heatstroke sets in so quickly, you can become unstuck really quickly.

“Maybe a quarter of runners made that finish line, some did as little as half due to the full exposure to the sun and it was incredibly difficult with the constant sleep deprivation as the heat made it incredibly difficult to sleep.

Echo: Victory - Liam in JordanVictory - Liam in Jordan (Image: Liam Willis)

“We were running entirely on soft sand. There are no roads and it means that you have nothing to push off, which made it so much harder than the average marathon.”

Heat exhaustion and sleep deprivation affected Liam to the point where he “was hallucinating while running.”

He added: “It was incredibly difficult and scary at times but it forced me to dig deep and really exercise what I teach as a trainer.

“There were dangerous repercussions to getting it wrong out there and I needed to push, for the school, and for my niece.

“I wanted to make her proud and I felt so inspired that when I had an inkling that I could win the thing, I really pushed for it.”

Liam has so far raised more than £2,000. To donate visit justgiving.com/page/liam-willis-1705328562481.