Endurance: Bold Martyn Bird is aiming to knock a staggering 15 hours off his endurance running personal best as he takes on the Gobi March in June.

The 50-year-old from Ladywood, Market Lavington, is an old hand at endurance races after competing in the Atacama Crossing in Chile last year.

Then he finished the 250k trek in 65 hours but hopes to complete the same distance in the Gobi Desert in 50 hours.

"My goal is to get a far better time than last year," said Bird.

"I fit in the super-vets bracket because I am over 50 and there are about 20 over 50s so I would dearly love a top five finish.

"I crossed the finish line last year and felt so elated, I was thinking when is the next one?' and the plan was always to enter the Gobi."

The Major, who is based at the Ministry of Defence's Bulford camp, is running for forces charity Help for Heroes, which supports men and women who return from operations injured.

"About four weeks after I chose it one of my friends was injured in Basra," said Bird.

"Once he gets out of hospital he will end up in Hedley Court so it is of much greater personal significance to me now."

And, because of his fund raising aim, where he hopes to raise over £10,000, Bird is running more than 100 miles a week.

He said: "Training is going really well.

"With trying to get better than last year I am up on the Plain most days.

"You can go out there for days without covering the same ground twice.

"At the moment I don't go out for more than two hours but I'll be doing five hours with my kit nearer the time."

Like many endurance races, competitors have to carry their supplies, equipment and tent with them - and Bird has to make sure he has everything.

"There is a checklist of things you must have with you at the start," he said.

"If you don't have it all they will tell you to go away and get it.

"You then have to hope you can borrow it or buy it."

To sponsor Martyn visit justgiving.com/h4hmartyb