A DIRECTOR of a Falmouth estate agency is running across a South American desert in a bid to raise money for local charity Turn to Starboard.

This week Jon Sampson flew to Peru to compete in the Half Marathon Des Sables, a 120km, three-stage race over the sand dunes of the Ica Desert.

The gruelling event, which runs from November 30 to December 6, includes climbing elevations of up to 2,500 metres and camping in the harsh desert environment.

Felicia Sampson, co-director of Martin and Co Falmouth, said: “Having spoken with Jon while he’s in Peru, I know that he enjoys the challenge, but it will be no mean feat to complete the race. I just hope that we can reach our target to donate £2,000 when so much hard work from the team has gone into raising money for such an amazing cause”.

Jon has already put quite a few miles behind him this year by competing in the Virgin Money London Marathon in April and the Bath Half Marathon in March alongside his colleague Tom, the branch manager for the firm.

Staff at Martin and Co have been tackling a number of running challenges throughout the year as they attempt to raise £2,000 for the sailing charity, which helps Armed Forces personnel readjust after operational tours.

The agency has also held two successful charity comedy nights, one of which featured the Edinburgh Fringe performer and 2010 winner of the South West New Act of the Year award, Luke Honnoraty, who has supported the likes of Matt Richardson, Russell Kane and Katherine Ryan.

At the beginning of each year the company chooses a new charity to support and fundraise for. This year Turn to Starboard was chosen due to its important connection to Jon, who served in the Royal Navy.

Turn to Starboard is a Falmouth based charity which supports serving and retired Armed Forces personnel and their families by delivering RYA sail training and family sailing opportunities onboard their training yachts and their own replica Pilot Schooner, the Spirit of Falmouth, which was donated to the charity by The Prince’s Trust.

The staff at Martin and Co Falmouth set themselves the target of raising £2,000 for Turn to Starboard over the course of 2019. The Half Marathon Des Sables Peru is the final challenge of the year and with less than a month to go they are now only £500 away from hitting their goal.

For more information about their fundraising or to donate, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/MartinandCoFalmouth or find their Facebook page by searching @macfalmouth.

For more information about the Half Marathon Des Sables Peru visit peru.halfmarathondessables.com/en/half-marathon-des-sables-peru.