AE Smith’s Stuart Gibson Australia’s Newest Ultra Marathon Champion

Stuart Gibson, 33, became the first Australian to finish in the top 12 of the famously gruelling Marathon des Sables running across the Sahara Desert. Gibson finished the 250km race in 11th place overall in a time of 25H31’45 - losing 18% of his body weight in the process

15 Apr 2010

Gibson’s initial quest was to finish in the top 50, but he far exceeded this goal and has become the highest placed Australian in the history of 25 year long event.

Gibson was proudly sponsored and supplied with running gear by AE Smith. Ironically, Gibson’s day job as a Senior Mechanical Engineer for AE Smith Construction sees him design commercial air conditioning systems that ensure comfortable indoor temperatures – a stark contrast to the heat and hellish conditions of the Sahara Desert. 

In preparation for the Marathon des Sables, Gibson ran between 150km and 180km a week training.

The challenging endurance race is held each year in the heart of the Saharan desert, where daytime highs can reach a searing 50 C and night-time lows can plunge to 3 C. This year’s field was the largest ever, with 1031 runners from 43 different countries competing. Competitors ran 250km in just six days. This equates to running a marathon each day in one of the harshest environments on the planet.

Runners have to be completely self sufficient by carrying all of the food and equipment they need to run 250 kms in 6 days, with the exception of a limited ration of race-supplied water strictly limited to 9 litres per person per day.

Gibson also raised money in his run for AE Smith’s nomainted charity Ronald McDonald House.

Donations to Ronald McDonald House can still be made in support of Stuart’s super human effort of mental toughness and physical endurance by clicking here.