Two brothers are about to tackle one of the harshest foot races on the face of the planet - running an ultra marathon across the Sahara Desert.

Alex and Phil Hammick are taking on the Marathon Des Sables, the toughest foot race in the world.Alex and Phil Hammick are taking on the Marathon Des Sables, the toughest foot race in the world.

Alex and Phil Hammick, who grew up in Devon and regularly return to the South Molton area, are taking part in the 254 kilometre (156 mile) Marathon Des Sables for charity.

The race starts tomorrow (Sunday) will see them tackle some of the most punishing terrain on the planet, with temperatures capable of soaring above 50 degrees Celsius.

The Army reservists are aiming to raise £10,000 and awareness for the charity Walkoncemore, which seeks a cure for spinal cord injuries.

Their jaunt across the Moroccan Sahara is the equivalent to six regular marathons and they will cross everything from sand dunes to salt flats and mountains to rock.

The Hammick brothers have been training constantly for their 254km endurance race across the Sahara.The Hammick brothers have been training constantly for their 254km endurance race across the Sahara.

They will complete the course with their entire kit on their backs, containing all food, cooking equipment, sleeping bags, clothes, venom pumps, flares, and other essential survival kit.

The brothers both work in London in the insurance industry but still have many friends and family in North Devon and return regularly.

They have both been training at the University of Roehampton in London as part of a research program – which included exercising in a heat chamber to simulate the extreme conditions they will face.

They say they have covered literally thousands of kilometres in training to prepare for the event.

A long file of competitors take the start of the Marathon des Sables in the Sahara desert. Picture: PIERRE VERDY/AFP/Getty ImagesA long file of competitors take the start of the Marathon des Sables in the Sahara desert. Picture: PIERRE VERDY/AFP/Getty Images

Alex is 29 and Phil is 27. Alex said: “We are looking forward to the challenge and how we will deal with it.

“We’re very active, we love walking and running around Exmoor and North Devon – during the recent period when it’s been icy and snowing has been particularly challenging.”

On their JustGiving page for online donations, they said: “All of this combined though still doesn’t compare to how tough daily life is for millions of people around the world after falling victim to a spinal cord injury.

“With each unforgiving mile of the course, we are aiming to raise as much money and awareness as possible towards a cure for this debilitating condition.”

The Marathon Des Sables has a variety of punishing terrainThe Marathon Des Sables has a variety of punishing terrain

If you would like to support the brothers and the charity by making a donation, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/the-hammicks .