IT all began in the obscure Moroccan city of Ouarzazate.
From here, Team Odyssey was transported along with 750 other competitors from more than 30 nations into the heart of the Sahara Desert.
Our homes for the next six days were to be Moroccan Berber tents. These were little more than old carpet bags pinned together and stretched over a couple of wooden poles.
The race began at 6am with the majority of people settling down to the 'Sahara Shuffle', a sort of half run, half marching action.
The finish line came as a relief after six hours. The day had been hot, surprisingly humid and our rucksacks were cutting into our backs.
Everyone seemed relieved to get the first day over. The evening was spent tending to sore feet and cooking up our delightful freeze-dried food.
Day two started off with a difficult climb up a very sandy hillside.
I started off a little quicker than my teammates, Paul Davies and George Mantzaros, and when I got to the top of the hill I couldn't see either of them. I cracked on, thinking all would be well. How wrong I was.
On reaching the sanctity of the finish line, I learned that I would be taking on the rest of the adventure alone.
Paul and George had reached checkpoint one late and they were told they had no chance of reaching the finish within the deadline and so they were forced to pull out.
Day three turned out to be one of the most disastrous in the Marathon Des Sables history.
By 7am, the temperature had reached 41 degrees centigrade and there had already been a record number of drop outs.
Dehydration was the order of the day and I was feeling very down following the disintegration of Team Odyssey.
I somehow made it to checkpoint two and saw bodies lying everywhere with bleeding feet and people bent over vomiting.
I set off for checkpoint three but had to take shelter at a rest point. As I sat there sipping my meagre ration of water I saw distress flare after distress flare arching into the sky.
Something has gone terribly wrong. I forced myself onwards and eventually found the finish line.
There had been 140 retirements and we were receiving news of one Irish competitor who was in a coma.
By day four, I was exhausted. My feet and back were in agony and I just wanted to go to bed.
After 17 hours crossing the desert and countless sand dunes I made it to the day's finish line.
The desert can be a lonely place. On day five, everyone set off at a cracking pace across the dunes and checkpoints one and two came and went.
My feet and back were in agony but nothing seemed to matter at this stage as I made it to the finish.
The body was starting to fail but the mind was getting stronger.
One more day to go. Soon it was day six and we were nearly there.
Despite my injuries I was confident that I was going to complete the race.
The last trek of the course took me through the highest dunes in Morocco - the magnificent Kings Dunes.
I found myself running with an Italian chap. We didn't converse but we had the same goal, feeling the same unrelenting draw to the finish line.
Suddenly it appeared before us. We picked up our pace, excitement coursing through our veins. We had made it.
We received our medals and I celebrated completing the hardest and greatest challenge I had ever faced. nMike Rudd was born and bred in Little Sutton.
A former pupil at Pius XII Primary School and the Catholic High, he now lives in Kent.