It has been branded “The toughest foot race on Earth,” personally I’m sure there are more crazy events out there but this is certainly the most immense challenge I am yet to take on!
I have found a previous Marathon des Sables itinerary that might be interesting to look at so you have an idea what I will be up to each day next April……eeek!
Flight London (Gatwick) dep. 1030 to Ouarzazate arr. 1300(OZZ)
On arrival at OZZ, you will be met and transferred to the Belere Hotel where you will share a room with one of the other competitors.
After breakfast, meet in the lobby.
10.00 coaches / buses will collect all competitors and drive them to an unspecified location in a remote part of the Sahara. This drive could be anything between 3 – 5 hours drive. On route, packed lunches will be handed out to everyone. On arrival at the location, you will be provided with a place in a tent which you will share with 8 – 10 other people, generally of the same nationality.
Registration and inspection day.
This is a long and boring day when all competitors have to present themselves at various tents to have their equipment (clothing, food, compulsory items, shoes, personal items etc) checked and weighed before having to stand in another long line to go through the various medical checks (your electrocardiogram, medical certificate and essential first-aid items that you have taken) breakfast, lunch and dinner is provided on this day. During this day, you will be given a copy of the essential “Road Book”, emergency flares and salt tablets which must all be handed back at the end of the event.
Day 1 of the MdS, usually about 24 Kms (15 miles)
Day 2 of the MdS, usually about 37 Kms (23.1 miles)
Day 3 of the MdS, usually about 36 Kms (22.5 miles)
Day 4 of the MdS – The Big One! about 76 Kms (47.5 miles)
Day 5 of the MdS, a rest day for those who made it in during the day or night of day 4 and still at it for those who are still running/walking
Day 6 of the MdS, Marathon Day! 42 Kms (26.2 miles)
Day 7 of the MdS, At last!, usually about 14 Kms (8.7 miles)
End of the race
When you cross the finishing line, whether you finish on your knees or are leaping in the air, you will be greeted, hugged and kissed on both cheeks by Patrick Bauer, the race Director, before he presents you with a finishers medal. You will then, probably with tears in your eyes, make your way to a tent where a long awaited long cold drink and some “normal” food awaits you. There will be much mirth, laughter, joy and relief amongst the 600 or so competitors. A coach will then drive you back to OZZ where you will check-in at an hotel for the next 2 nights. After you have “hopefully” soaked in a hot (there is always a possibility that the water will not be hot by the time you get there) shower or bath and lain on a soft bed with clean white sheets and a pillow, you will have dinner at your hotel.
Breakfast will be served at your hotel up till 10 am. The remainder of the day is free for you to relax by the pool, explore the 17th Century Kasbah Taourirt in OZZ, do a little shopping for your loved ones back home or perhaps simply tend your weary feet all day.
Early morning breakfast before transfer to the airport 10 minutes away for the flight back to London Gatwick. dep. 0930 arr. 1520
(the above distances are taken from the itinerary of the 13th MdS in 1998 and are not to be taken as anything other than a guideline)
If you would like to know more about the Marathon des Sables please visit: www.saharamarathon.co.uk