He must be CRACKERS! Part One of an interview with James Cracknell

Crackers 1

In a previous life, James Cracknell spent too much time mucking about in a boat with big blokes wearing too much Lycra. He was lucky enough to win gold medals at the Sydney and Athens Olympics. After that he stupidly rowed across the Atlantic and did a race to the South Pole (both filmed by the BBC).

 

After Antarctica he decided the cold wasn’t for him and entered the Marathon des Sables where he did okay and came 12th. At the time that was the highest place a Briton had ever come until Danny Kendall upstaged the Olympian.

James’s MDS progress was filmed by the Discovery Channel. This was followed with another film documenting a journey from LA to New York: cycling from LA to Death Valley running through Death Valley then remounting and cycling Route 66 to Lake Erie, rowing Lake Erie then cycling to New York and finally swimming to the Statue of Liberty.

 

Unfortunately James didn’t complete this journey as a fuel truck in Arizona hit him! Placed in a coma and a two-month stay in a Phoenix hospital, James was close to the edge. It’s been a long journey and one that is ongoing.

Read the full (part one) article on RUN ULTRA HERE 

run-ultra-logo

Win €250 COMPRESSPORT goodies!

 

©iancorless.com.IMG_1876MDS2014

With the imminent start of the 2015 and 30th edition of the Marathon des Sables (preview HERE), leading sport compression brand COMPRESSPORT are providing you all with the opportunity to win one full set of TRAIL clothing.

Male or female apparel is available, all products will be shipped directly from Compressport.

How do you win?

You need to answer the question below using the contact form on this website.

Deadline – April 10th for last entries.

Image ©compressport

Image ©compressport

The total value of products available is €250 and includes the following items

Trail Running shirt Black 02

                                                                Image ©compressport

 

 

 

TRAIL running shirt (male or female)

Trail Running Shorts black 02

                                                                Image ©compressport

 

 

TRAIL running short (male or female)

Compressport Paire US Black

                                                               Image ©compressport

 

Compression Calf

prs_v2_trail_ blackred_2

                                                              Image ©compressport

 

TRAIL sock

If you would like to win a full set of apparel as listed above.

Please answer the following question using the contact form below.

“Please predict the winning male OR the winning female of the 2015 (30th edition) of the Marathon des Sables.”

Entries will close on April 10th and no entries will be accepted after this date.

Please use the form below

 

 

Marathon des Sables – What goes in the rucksack?

MDS Kit

It’s countdown time to the 30th edition of the iconic Marathon des Sables. The training is done and it was time for Niandi Carmont to go through all her equipment, lay it all out, weigh everything and decide what to take and what not to take.

To be clear for those who do not know. Minimum pack weight is 6.5kg.

Minimum food requirement is 2000 calories per day for 7-days.

In addition to the above, each runner must have ‘mandatory’ kit that includes venom pump, compass, penknife and so on…

Marathon des Sables is a self-sufficient race and therefore the runner must carry everything they need for the duration of the event. The only exception comes with water (this is provided and rationed) and a Bivouac (tent) for the evening which is shared with 7 other runners.

Niandi was very clear… my pack will be minimum weight: 6.5kg

It’s been an interesting process and one that has provided both Niandi and myself with some real eye openers… normally you would have too much kit and you would be deciding what to take and what not to take! The reality has been here that we have EVERYTHING that Niandi wants to take and we are under weight. A nice situation to be in.

You can download the equipment list in Word HERE or Excel HERE

Before we get to the pack. Lets look at what Niandi will wear:

  • inov-8 Race Ultra 290 shoes with Raidlight gaiters (gaiters sewn on by Alex in London)
  • Injinji toe socks
  • Raidlight Skort
  • Raidlight T-Shirt
  • Arm Coolers
  • Anita sports bra
  • inov-8 peaked hat
  • Oakley sunglasses
  • Buff

The above is essential and will be worn for the duration of the event.

The pack is an Ultra Aspire Fastpack that will have 2x750ml bottles that sit on the hips and provide easy access

©iancorless.com_MDSkit-7707

Sleeping bag (with Piglet) Yeti Passion One

©iancorless.com_MDSkit-7704

The North Face Summit Series down jacket

©iancorless.com_MDSkit-7692

Raidlight Tyvek suit which has been tailored and modify for a tighter fit and to reduce weight.

©iancorless.com_MDSkit-7691

Petzl head torch with spare batteries

©iancorless.com_MDSkit-7689

The items below make up additional items that are optional extras (such as iPod) and mandatory kit. One or two items are missing: Spot Tracker, signalling mirror and sun cream.

Food is broken down on the excel spread sheet but here is a summary in words and images:

Dehydrated Meals x6 672
Dried Mango 93g x 4 372
Porridge 59g x 7 413
Coffee 1g x 10 10
Peanut Butter 33g x 5 165
Honey 21g x 8 168
Mini Salami 10g x 10 100
Tropical Mix 194
Sesame Bites 27g x 6 162
Dried Banana 270
Mixed Nuts 200g x 2 400
Macademia Nuts 153
Cranberries 175
Wraps 296
3550

We have not added photos of the dehydrated meals as currently we do not have them but we have calculated the weight and you can see a review of dehydrated meals and options HERE

So in a nutshell. With everything listed above we have a current pack weight (without water) of:

TOTAL WEIGHT 6189
*all weights in grams

Niandi does have some additional optional items that she was considering taking and now based on the weight above she will add:

  • Flip Flops 250g
  • Cheese 150g
  • Stove and fuel 150g

The above 3 items tip the scales at 550g

This will make a total pack weight of 6189 + 550 = 6739g

JOB DONE!

Read an in-depth preview of the 2015 Marathon des Sables HERE

Episode 83 – Grinius Campbell Murray Bragg

Ep83

Episode 83 of Talk Ultra has a great interview with rising ultra star, Gediminas Grinius​. Dr Andrew Murray and Donnie Campbell​ talk about their recent epic journey and Jez Bragg​ talks about getting speed back after his epic Te Araroa journey and how he plans to tame the Dragon. Marc Laithwaite​ is back in Talk Training, we have the News, a Blog, Up & Coming races and Niandi Carmont​ joins me as co-host and we discuss the MDS.

00:32:36 NEWS
 
Way to Cool 50k
Pay Smyth 3:04:48 new CR beating Max King
Ryan Bak 3:10
Tim Tollefson 3:20
Megan Roche 3:41:56 new CR
Stephanie Howe 3:47
Yiou Wang 3:51
World Records on Treadmills
50k – Mike Wardian failed first time and 36-hours later did it… crazy 3:03:56 (3:06:24 first time)
50k – Gemma Carter in the UK 3:55:28 (Tracy Dean did 4:15 just before Christmas)
12-hour – Denis Mikhaylove ran 80.54 miles
 
Transgrancanaria article HERE
  1. Nuria Picas 16:53:27
  2. Carole Chaverot 17:16:48
  3. Dong Li 18:15:55
  4. Andrea Huser 18:37:53
  5. Manu Vilaseca 18:42:59
  6. Ester Alves 19:11:45
  7. Lucinda Souza 19:25:46
  8. Aliza Lapierre 19:58:48
  9. Raquel Delgado 20:24:16
  10. Silvia Trigueros 20:38:18
  1. Gedminas Grinius 14:23:27
  2. Didrik Hermansen 14:30:07
  3. Antoine Guillon 14:39:35
  4. Sondre Amdahl 15:06:37
  5. Cyril Cointr 15:28:22
  6. Anton Krupicka 15:29:49
  7. Remi Queral 15:59:11
  8. Freddy Thevenin 16:07:06
  9. Marco Zanchi 16:25:13
  10. Piotr Hercog 16:30:45
Max King impresses once again running 2:17 for an Olympic Qualifying slot. Sage Canaday just missed out!
Hillary Ultra in NZ 80k
Andrius Romanas 8:23
Chris Morrisey 8:55
Scott Hawker 9:07
Beth Cardelli 9:57
Joanna Johansen 10:17
Fiona Hayvice 10:22
Lakes Sky Ultra announced – HERE
 
00:49:07 INTERVIEW
 
DONNIE CAMPBELL and DR ANDREW MURRAY need no introduction when it comes to expeditions, I catch up with them and discuss the latest one!
01:18:08 BLOG
 
ANTON KRUPICKA talks Transgrancanaria HERE
01:19:00 INTERVIEW
 
JEZ BRAGG talks all about putting speed back in his training and how he will tame the Dragon in 2015.
 
01:54:08 TALK TRAINING
 
Marc Laithwaite talks all about butter in coffee… would you do it?
02:25:16 INTERVIEW
 
GEDIMINIAS GRINIUS is a star in the rising, an incredible 2014 has been followed up with the biggest win in his career: Transgrancanaria.
 
03:11:41 UP & COMING RACES
 

Algeria

Ultramarathon des Ziban | 100 kilometers | April 02, 2015 | website

Belgium

Wallonia

Crêtes de Spa – 55 km | 55 kilometers | March 28, 2015 | website

Canada

Yukon

6633 Extreme Winter Ultra Marathon – 120 mile | 120 miles | March 20, 2015 | website

6633 Extreme Winter Ultra Marathon – 350 mile | 350 miles | March 20, 2015 | website

Likeys Ultra 6633 – 120 Mile | 120 miles | March 20, 2015 | website

Likeys Ultra 6633 – 350 Mile | 350 miles | March 20, 2015 | website

China

Action Asia 3 day ultra marathons 60k | 60 kilometers | March 27, 2015 | website

Lijiang Shangri-La AA Ultra Marathon 100km | 100 kilometers | March 27, 2015 | website

Shangri-La LIJIANG Action Asia 3 day 100 km Ultra Marathon | 100 kilometers | March 27, 2015 | website

Shangri-La LIJIANG Action Asia 3 day 60 km Ultra Marathon | 60 kilometers | March 27, 2015 | website

Croatia

Istratrek Trail Race | 60 kilometers | March 28, 2015 | website

France

Lot

Cahors (Lot) – Eauze (Gers) | 185 kilometers | April 01, 2015 | website

Morbihan

Trail du Kreiz Breizh Bras | 55 kilometers | March 29, 2015 | website

Yvelines

Ecotrail de Paris IDF – 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

Ecotrail de Paris IDF – 80 km | 80 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

Germany

Hesse

Eschollbrücker Ultra-Marathon 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 29, 2015 | website

Hungary

BSI Half Lake Balaton Supermarathon | 95 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

BSI Lake Balaton Marathon+ Balatonfüred – Siófok | 51 kilometers | March 22, 2015 | website

BSI Lake Balaton Marathon+ Fonyód – Szigliget | 52 kilometers | March 20, 2015 | website

Ireland

Leinster

Wicklow Way Ultra | 51 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

Italy

Lombardy

100 km di Seregno | 100 kilometers | March 29, 2015 | website

60 km di Seregno | 60 kilometers | March 29, 2015 | website

BVG Trail | 73 kilometers | March 28, 2015 | website

Jordan

Dead Sea Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | April 03, 2015 | website

Luxembourg

La GranDucale – 55 km | 55 kilometers | March 29, 2015 | website

Morocco

Marathon des Sables | 250 kilometers | April 03, 2015 | website

Morocco Tizi N’Trail | 120 kilometers | March 28, 2015 | website

Morocco Trail | 120 kilometers | March 28, 2015 | website

Nepal

Kathmandu West Valley Rim 50km | 50 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

New Zealand

Northburn Station 100 km Mountain Run | 100 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

Northburn Station 50 km Mountain Run | 50 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

Oxfam Trailwalker NZ | 100 kilometers | March 28, 2015 | website

Triple Peaks Challenge | 50 kilometers | March 28, 2015 | website

Philippines

CEBU50 Trail Ultramarathon – Aspirant | 54 kilometers | March 28, 2015 | website

Portugal

Inatel Piódão Trail Running – 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 28, 2015 | website

Réunion

Caldeira Trail | 74 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

South Africa

Om Die Dam 50 km Marathon | 50 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

Spain

Catalonia

Ultra Trail Muntanyes de la Costa Daurada | 90 kilometers | March 28, 2015 | website

Valencian Community

La Perimetral | 65 kilometers | March 28, 2015 | website

Sweden

Silva Ursvik Ultra – 75 km | 75 kilometers | March 22, 2015 | website

United Kingdom

Dorset

Jurassic Coast Challenge | 78 miles | March 20, 2015 | website

East Sussex

Coastal Trail Series – Sussex – Ultra | 34 miles | March 21, 2015 | website

Manchester

The Canalathon 100 km | 100 kilometers | March 22, 2015 | website

The Canalathon 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2015 | website

The Canalathon 75 km | 75 kilometers | March 22, 2015 | website

North Yorkshire

Hardmoors 55 Ultramarathon | 55 miles | March 21, 2015 | website

Oldham

Oldham Way Ultra | 40 miles | March 22, 2015 | website

Worcestershire

Hot Runner 14 in 7 | 590 kilometers | March 23, 2015 | website

Hot Runner 7 in 7 | 295 kilometers | March 23, 2015 | website

USA

Alabama

Lake Martin 100 Mile Trail Race | 100 miles | March 21, 2015 | website

Lake Martin 50 Mile Trail Race | 50 miles | March 21, 2015 | website

Oak Moutain 50+ | 50 kilometers | March 28, 2015 | website

Alaska

White Mountains 100 | 100 miles | March 29, 2015 | website

Arizona

Crown King Scramble 50 Km Trail Run | 50 kilometers | March 28, 2015 | website

Arkansas

3 days of Syllamo | 150 kilometers | March 20, 2015 | website

Race Across Arkansas – Border to Border (6 Marathons) | 161 miles | April 02, 2015 | website

California

Beyond Limits Ultra and BLU Relentless 100 Miler | 100 miles | March 28, 2015 | website

Beyond Limits Ultra and BLU Relentless 50K | 50 kilometers | March 28, 2015 | website

Beyond Limits Ultra and BLU Relentless 50 Miler | 50 miles | March 28, 2015 | website

Canyon Meadow 50 Km Trail Run (March) | 50 kilometers | March 22, 2015 | website

Nine Trails 35 Mile Endurance Run | 35 miles | March 28, 2015 | website

Old Goats 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

Old Goats 50 Mile Trail Race | 50 miles | March 21, 2015 | website

Delaware

Trap Pond 50K | 50 kilometers | March 29, 2015 | website

Florida

Fort Clinch 100M | 100 miles | March 28, 2015 | website

Fort Clinch 50M | 50 miles | March 28, 2015 | website

Georgia

Bear Blaster 50k | 50 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

Running Dead Ultra 100M | 100 miles | March 28, 2015 | website

Running Dead Ultra 50K | 50 kilometers | March 29, 2015 | website

Running Dead Ultra 50M | 50 miles | March 28, 2015 | website

Idaho

Pickled Feet 100 Mile Run | 100 miles | March 27, 2015 | website

Illinois

Chicago Lakefront 50K George Cheung Memorial Race | 50 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

Kansas

Prairie Spirit Trail 100 Mile Ultra Race | 100 miles | March 28, 2015 | website

Prairie Spirit Trail 50 Mile Ultra Race | 50 miles | March 28, 2015 | website

Louisiana

Race Across Louisiana – Border to Border (52 Miles) | 52 miles | March 30, 2015 | website

Maryland

50K HAT Run | 50 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

Hat Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

Mississippi

Gulf Coast Interstate Relay – Ride or Run | 263 miles | April 03, 2015 | website

Spring Equinox 50K | 50 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

Spring Equinox 50 Miler | 50 miles | March 21, 2015 | website

Missouri

Forrest Gump Challenge 50 Mile Ultra-marathon | 50 miles | March 28, 2015 | website

New Jersey

NJ Ultra Festival – 100K Trail Race | 100 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

NJ Ultra Festival – 100M Trail Race | 100 miles | March 21, 2015 | website

NJ Ultra Festival – 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

NJ Ultra Festival – 50M Trail Race | 50 miles | March 21, 2015 | website

North Carolina

Badwater Cape Fear 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

Badwater Cape Fear 51.4 Mile | 51 miles | March 21, 2015 | website

Race for R.A.R.E. 50K | 50 kilometers | March 28, 2015 | website

Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | March 28, 2015 | website

Umstead 50 Mile Endurance Run | 50 miles | March 28, 2015 | website

North Dakota

Extreme North Dakota Sandhills Ultra Run Experience 100K | 100 kilometers | March 28, 2015 | website

Extreme North Dakota Sandhills Ultra Run Experience 50K | 50 kilometers | March 28, 2015 | website

Ohio

Fools 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | March 29, 2015 | website

Oregon

Gorge Waterfalls 100k | 100 kilometers | March 28, 2015 | website

Gorge Waterfalls 50k | 50 kilometers | March 29, 2015 | website

Pennsylvania

Lt. J. C. Stone 50K UltraMarathon | 50 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

Mt. Tammany 10 | 40 miles | March 21, 2015 | website

Tuff FKN 100 miler | 100 miles | March 28, 2015 | website

Tuff FKN 100 Miler 2 Person Relay | 100 miles | March 28, 2015 | website

Tuff FKN 100 Miler 4 Person Relay | 100 miles | March 28, 2015 | website

Western PA Endurance Fest 50K | 50 kilometers | March 28, 2015 | website

Western PA Endurance Fest 50K Relay | 50 kilometers | March 28, 2015 | website

South Carolina

XTERRA Hickory Knob Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

Texas

Race Across Texas – D-Town (4 Marathons) | 106 miles | March 20, 2015 | website

Race Across Texas – Plains to Pines (3 Marathons) | 84 miles | March 25, 2015 | website

The Grasslands 50-Mile | 50 miles | March 21, 2015 | website

Utah

24 Hours of Utah – 100K | 100 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

24 Hours of Utah – 100 Mile | 100 miles | March 21, 2015 | website

24 Hours of Utah – 50K | 50 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

Antelope Island 100 Mile | 100 miles | March 20, 2015 | website

Antelope Island 50K | 50 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

Antelope Island 50 Mile | 50 miles | March 21, 2015 | website

Behind the Rocks 50 K | 50 kilometers | March 28, 2015 | website

Behind the Rocks 50 Mile | 50 miles | March 28, 2015 | website

Vermont

Twin State 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 28, 2015 | website

Twin State 50 Miles | 50 miles | March 28, 2015 | website

Virginia

Terrapin Mountain 50km | 50 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

Washington

Badger Mountain Challenge 100 Mile Endurance Run | 100 miles | March 27, 2015 | website

Badger Mountain Challenge 50k Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | March 28, 2015 | website

Badger Mountain Challenge 50 Mile Ultramarathon | 50 miles | March 27, 2015 | website

Chuckanut 50 K | 50 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

West Virginia

Haulin’ in the Holler 50K Trail Race | 50 kilometers | March 21, 2015 | website

 
CLOSE
03:20:00

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Website – talkultra.com

JAMES CRACKNELL to run Richtersveld Wildrun in South Africa

Mens Four Medal CeremonyIn a previous life, James Cracknell spent too much time mucking about in a boat with big blokes wearing too much Lycra.  He was lucky enough to win gold medals at the Sydney and Athens Olympics.  After that he stupidly rowed across the Atlantic and did a race to the South Pole (both filmed by the BBC).

Atlantic start

After Antarctica he decided the cold wasn’t for him and entered the Marathon des Sables where he did okay (his words) and came 12th… at the time that was the highest place a Britain had ever come until Danny Kendall upstaged the Olympian.

MDS2010 James’s MDS progress was filmed by the Discovery Channel and this was followed with another film documenting a journey from LA to New York: cycling from LA to Death Valley running through Death Valley then remounting and cycling Route 66 to Lake Erie, rowing Lake Erie then cycling to New York and finally swimming to the Statue of Liberty.

GD7A7944-1

Unfortunately James didn’t complete this journey. While cycling in Arizona, James was hit on the head by a passing fuel truck. Without doubt his helmet saved him but it was touch-and-go. Placed in a coma and a two-month stay in a Phoenix hospital, James was close to the edge. It’s been a long journey and one that is ongoing.

However, in 2015 James is coming back!

richtersveld-page_0Firstly, James will head to South Africa and join elite ultra runner, Nikki Kimball (read HERE) at the Richtersveld Wildrun and should all things go well, James will return to Death Valley, the place of his horrific accident and put the experience well and truly behind him by tackling the Badwater 135. 

In an exclusive interview, I caught up with James, discussed his past, discussed his eagerness to push himself and asked why Richtersveld Wildrun?

“MDS was the only multi-day race I have done, so I’d like to know if it was a flook? I am also interested to see where I am. How am I after the accident? Am I recovered? I’m interested to see how I am day-after-day and I’m keen for preparing. I like the fact that I will have a focus, something to aim for.”

 

“I have been for sport post apartheid. SA is a perfect place for sport. I have been to the Drakensberg and Cape Town. It’s a phenomenal place…. Mountains, plains, safari, surf breaks and incredible people. A great place to be!”

The 150km Richtersveld Wildrun™ takes place in the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park over four days from 2 to 5 June. Starting and finishing at Sendelingsdrif, runners will get to experience a world of geological splendour. From the heights of Hellkloof pass, to the granite slabs of Tatasberg, the green swathe of the Orange River, the gargoyles of Halfmens Ridge and the crystal fields of the Sendelingsdrif plateau – every kilometre is unforgettable and participants are sure to leave the Richtersveld changed people.

“I haven’t been to the Northern Cape. But I relish the opportunity to see it on foot.”

Unsure of his current physical state (I am sure he is fit) I ask him about the terrain: rocks, climbing and running a marathon a day.

“Mmmm climbing? That is a little worrying! I am seeing this race as a stepping stone and I hope it will prepare me for an attempt at Badwater 135.”

It’s been a tough time for James, but he is not a person to give in. Ever the fighter, ever the one looking to push new boundaries, this experience is just one more obstacle to get over.

“It will be nice to go back to Death Valley and put some demons to rest… I need to square the circle and move on. I don’t want my life to be defined by winning two gold medals. I don’t want my life to be defined by being the guy who got hit on the head by a truck! I refuse, I will choose my path and I will not be Pigeon hold. I will create my path.”

And on that note, we conclude our chat. You can follow James and his experiences in the build up to Richtersveld Wildrun on this website in words and images. In addition, I will be following James on each and every step of his journey in South Africa. Needless to say, it’s an opportunity of a lifetime.

If you would like to join James and Nikki on this incredible experience. Limited places are available! Please use the contact form at the bottom of this post.

Atlantic BF and JC end

Credits: Images provided by James Cracknell and Mark Gillett all ©

About the Richtersveld Wildrun™ 

The 150km Richtersveld Wildrun™ takes place in the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park over four days from 2 to 5 June 2015. Wildrun™ stage races have become known as some of Southern Africa’s premier multi-day trail running events, and Owen Middleton, founder and managing director of the organising company, Wildrunner, is proud to see the interest in Wildrun™ events shaping up internationally, particularly with top-class runners such as Kimball and James Cracknell.

Where /Ai/Ais- Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, Northern Cape, South Africa
When Annually in June (2-5 June 2015)
Route Sendelingsdrift to ‘Die Koei’ to Hakkiesdoring to De Hoop to Sendelingsdrift
Total distance 150km
Daily distances 38.8km, 36km, 36.3km, 38.3km
Terrain Desert, rocky, climbing
Number of events One per year
Number of entries available Restricted to 80 runners yearly
Entries open 3 July 2014
Cost R 13 395.00
Challenges Sandy terrain, heat, climbing, remoteness
Records Overall male record: 13:30:36 – Bernard Rukadza (2014)
Overall female record: 18:04:56 – Katya Soggot (2014)
Cut-off times Yes – See Rules & Regulations

FOOD for THOUGHT – What freeze-dried food for multi-day racing?

All Food 3

Article ©Niandi Carmont

Niandi Carmont is taking on the 30th edition of the Marathon des Sables. No stranger to endurance events, Niandi regularly competes in ultras all over the world. However, it has been 10-years since she last toed the line at MDS and although an occasional freeze-dried meal has been consumed on some weekend fast-packing, eating out of a packet or packets for a whole week was going to take some getting used to! It’s a no brainer to test food in advance of a race, particularly one as expensive as MDS. You don’t want to ruin your race with poor food choices…

Niandi had always planned to take ‘real’ food such as Billtong, Parmesan Cheese, nuts and other similar portable and high calorie foods. However, Niandi’s main meal of the day will be a freeze-dried option. The question of hot food or cold food is a dilemma that you will each need to work out. Needless to say, all these food options can be eaten with hot or cold water.

FREEZE DRIED FOOD REVIEW 

I recently discovered a great site specializing in freeze-dried foods for outdoor and endurance events. I am taking part in MDS 2015, a multi-stage self-sufficiency event and therefore I need high calorie food in lightweight packages. I contacted LYOPHILISE.COM to test 5 of the dishes on the menu!

My choice was limited to:

  • Evening meals as I will be taking some of my own favorite snacks during the day. Having said that, this site also provides breakfasts, desserts, snacks, MDS packs, drinks and so on… all for the adventure/ multi-stage and/or endurance athlete.
  • High calorie to weight ratio. I want to limit the weight of my pack to the minimum requirement of 6.5kg and so my selection was based on high calorie/ low weight foods.
  • Preferably gluten-free options.

Well after a weekend spent subjecting my palate to 5 freeze-dried haute gastronomie dishes, here’s my feedback:

Peppered Beef with Rice & Vegetables by Travellunch €4.95/€8.90

Peppered Beef

This meal comes in 2 formats. A single portion or a double portion; I really liked this dish. Very tasty and very morish, I could easily eat this as a meal replacement. The texture is great. The rice absorbs all the water and provides the dish with just the right texture – it’s not soggy, soupy or gooey like so many freeze-dried dishes. And it is seasoned with just the right amount of pepper and spices. What I like too is that all the flavorings are natural and guys, who usually need more calories, can have double portions as this dish comes in 2 formats. The dish is relatively high in carbs so perfect fuelling before the long stage especially if you consume a double portion. Or alternatively it can be used as replenishment after the long stage when you are running low on carbs. What I liked less was the packaging – Travellunch could make their packets easier to open. When you’re in a self-sufficiency event you really want something that’s easy to cut open and reseal. It’s also great value for money compared to some of the other brands at 4.45€ for a single portion. I’ll be taking 3 of these to MDS.

Peppered Beef Before

Nutritional Values:

Energy value in Kcal per 100 g (dry product) 392
Energy value per 100 g (kJ) 1651
Energy value per product (Kcal) 980
Energy value per product (kJ) 4127,5
Protein per 100 g 9.9
Protein per bag (g) 24.75
Carbohydrates per 100 g 59.6
Carbohydrates per bag (g) 149
Fats per 100 g 12.7
Fats per bag (g) 31.75

Ingredients:

Rice, tomatoes, beef (5%), roast onions, red pepper, natural flavorings

Rating:

  • Price: *****
  • Taste: *****
  • Energy/Weight ratio: ****
  • Nutritional Value: ****
  • Convenience: ***

Mild Curried Beef & Rice by Expedition Foods €8.95

Curried Beef Rice

This is another of my favorites and I’ll be taking a couple of these to MDS too! Of all the meals I tried this was definitely the tastiest. Again this is a meal I would happily eat as a meal replacement. It’s mildly spicy and although it is a curry dish it is not hot. It’s very palatable. The diced and sliced vegetables are a great little touch to this dish. The texture is great too – nothing soggy and watery or bland about this dish – with a little imagination I could be sitting in the local curry house….In comparison with the previous rice & beef dish, this one has a considerably higher fat content and is lower in carbs. The bag is really easy to open and reseal so very practical. What’s great about this dish is that you can also prepare it with cold water so if you feel like a meal during the long stage at night you can just whip this out and add some water – bear in mind that the re-hydration time will be much longer.

FullSizeRender (3)

Rating:

  • Price: **
  • Taste: ****
  • Energy/Weight ratio: *****
  • Nutritional Value: *****
  • Convenience: *****              

Nutritional Values:

Energy value in Kcal per 100 g (dry product) 532
Energy value per 100 g (kJ) 2218
Energy value per product (Kcal) 808
Energy value per product (kJ) 3372
Protein per 100 g 17
Protein per bag (g) 25,1
Carbohydrates per 100 g 41
Carbohydrates per bag (g) 61,9
Fats per 100 g 33
Fats per bag (g) 50

Ingredients:

Rice, onions, minced beef (9,5%), tomato puree, carrots, vegetable oil, green beans, potato, yoghurt, sugar, cornflour, garlic, curry powder, salt, pepper,

 

Chickpea Curry with Rice by Trek ‘n Eat €6.95

Chickpea Curry Packet

This dish was far too hot and spicy for me! I definitely can’t see myself eating this after a day’s running in the desert! It’s supposed to stand for 10 minutes to re-hydrate but I found that the chickpeas were hard and crunchy. The dish just didn’t do it for me. The lack of taste and blandness might have something to do with the fact that it is gluten-free and also very low in fat.

Chickpea

FullSizeRender (5)

Rating:

  • Price: ****
  • Taste: *  
  • Energy/Weight ratio: ***
  • Nutritional Value: ***
  • Convenience : **  

Nutritional Analysis :

Energy value in Kcal per 100 g (dry product) 334
Energy value per 100 g (kJ) 1396
Energy value per product (Kcal) 601.2
Energy value per product (kJ) 2512.8
Protein per 100 g 9.3
Protein per bag (g) 16.74
Carbohydrates per 100 g 68
Carbohydrates per bag (g) 122.4
Fats per 100 g 2.3
Fats per bag (g) 4.14

Ingredients:

52% rice, 22% chickpeas, sugar, onions, iodised table salt, spices, apple, maltodextrine, paprika, mustard, coriander, cayenne pepper.

 

Cod and Potato Casserole by Real Turmat €9.90

Cod_Potato_Packet

Bland and tasteless. Not very appetizing looking and watery/soupy even after re-hydration. Tastes very floury and more like some bad potato/fish soup rather than a casserole as the name suggests. Very good energy to weight ratio with 501cal/100g and high in both fats and carbs. Another gluten-free option but not for me.

Cod Before

Cod_Potato_Prepared

Rating:

  • Price: *     
  • Taste: *
  • Energy/Weight ratio: *****
  • Nutritional Value: ****
  • Convenience : **

Nutritional Analysis :  

Energy value in Kcal per 100 g (dry product) 501
Energy value per 100 g (kJ) 2090
Energy value per product (Kcal) 536
Energy value per product (kJ) 2230
Protein per 100 g 13
Protein per bag (g) 14
Carbohydrates per 100 g 39
Carbohydrates per bag (g) 42
Fats per 100 g 31
Fats per bag (g) 33 

Ingredients :

Potato, cod pâté 18 % (cod 88%, potato flour, salt), sour cream, green pepper, carrot, onion, wheat flour, soybean oil, fish bouillon, salt and seasoning (celery).

 

NASI GORENG WITH CHICKEN AND RICE BY TRAVELLUNCH €4.95

Nasi Goreng Packet

A gluten-free dish and of Indonesian origin. I chose this dish having eaten a lot of Nasi Goreng in the Netherlands. The dish has quite a lot of flavor but the texture is a little odd like so many freeze dried dishes. However, the apricots, sultanas and spices add a nice touch to the dish and the meal is quite flavorsome. Once again the packet is not as practical to open and reseal as other brands. It’s very high in carbs and relatively low in fats compared to some of the other dishes with a very good weight to calorie ratio. Definitely a dish to be consumed pre or post a long day.

Rating:

  • Price: ****
  • Taste: ***
  • Energy/Weight ratio: *****
  • Nutritional Value: ****
  • Convenience : **

Nutritional Analysis :        

Energy value in Kcal per 100 g (dry product) 394
Energy value per 100 g (kJ) 1662
Energy value per product (Kcal) 492
Energy value per product (kJ) 2077
Protein per 100 g 11.9
Protein per bag (g) 14.875
Carbohydrates per 100 g 60.2
Carbohydrates per bag (g) 75.25
Fats per 100 g 11.8
Fats per bag (g) 14.75

Ingredients:

Ingredients: rice, hydrogenated vegetable fat, starch partly modified, chicken (6%), apricots, shrimps (3%), whey product, maltodextrin, salt, butter powder, onions, chicken broth, sultanas, natural flavoring, herbs, spices, spice extracts. Contains: celery.

For more information on the site and to order meals online:

http://www.lyophilise.fr/

CONCLUSION

  • Lyophilise is a very comprehensive site with an impressive list of different freeze-dried brands.
  • The customer service is very friendly & professional.
  • Delivery is fast if the products are in stock.
  • There is an on-line customer service.
  • They provide gluten-free, lactose-free and vegetarian options.
  • There provide special MDS packs that offer a one-stop shopping scenario.

logo

 

Marathon des Sables 2015 (30th Edition) – RACE PREVIEW

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MDS, Marathon des Sables, The Toughest Race in the World… whatever you want to call it, the 30th edition is just around the corner. Think about it, 30-years. It’s quite incredible how this race has grown and has become ‘the’ multiday race to do irrespective of experience. It was the first and arguably is still the best offering an ultimate adventure for novice and experienced runner.

Many a runner has started a passion for running at MDS and as such; the race will always be an important landmark for many. But it’s more than a race. It’s an experience, it’s escape and it’s a challenge.

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The combination of self-sufficiency, life in bivouac and running 250-km’s through the heat of the Sahara is something that those that have experienced it will never forget. It is the story of life, a story of men and women who have come to the heart of the desert to rid themselves of the superficial to keep only the essentials and get in touch with their true selves.

For the past three decades, some 18,000 runners have signed up for this experience, so, with the imminent running of the 2015 edition, it’s fair to say that race will see a great number of participants returning to ‘celebrate’ a very important birthday.

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Lasting six days participants must be self-sufficient carrying everything they need in a pack. Water is provided but rationed and a tent (bivouac) is provided each evening that must be shared with seven other participants.

The 2015 edition of the race will be 250-km’s offering a series of challenges that will test the mind and body in equal measure. Dunes, djebels, ergs and dried-up lakes offer a stunning backdrop that must be traversed. Battling against sand, heat and above all the mind completing the 30th edition of the Marathon des Sables will be a dream come true for those who toe the line.

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THE ROUTE for 2015

Stage 1 – Sunday 5th April

Here we have a very uneven playing field and a sufficient number of kilometers to make their presence felt. Competitors will have to run, avoid the obstacles and climb the surrounding uphill sections. The first dunes are between CP1 and CP2. It is fair to say that day-1 of the 30th MARATHON DES SABLES will be a long one.

Stage 2 – Monday 6th April

Those who imagine the desert to be flat are in for a surprise. Three steep little climbs form this second leg, with gradients reaching 30%… A new kind of roller-coaster ride which will open up landscapes that will be a sight to behold.

Stage 3 – Tuesday 7th April

Sand will be omnipresent today with some stony sections and some dried-up lakes. There will be a little something for everyone with some uphill sections here and there.

Stage 4 – Wednesday 8 / Thursday 9 April

A tough initial climb will hurt the legs, especially as it’s going to be a long day. Indeed this particular day will be the longest leg in the history of the MDS. And if that wasn’t enough, a climb of nearly a kilometer up a djebel awaits. At the summit runners will have 360° panoramic views. As for the descent, well it’s steep! After that, runners then traverse dunes, dried-up lakes and more dunes!

Stage 5 – Friday 10 April

Today’s route has a mixture of terrain that are hallmarks of the MDS, it’s a classic day!

Stage 6 -Saturday 11 April – SOLIDARITY UNICEF legs

For the majority of the participants, this leg is
a time for reflecting on the experience of this fine human adventure and is a united show of awareness before returning to civilization.

RUNNERS TO WATCH

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Antoine Guillon was second three times, third once and fourth three times in the Diagonale des Fous in addition, he is always well placed in the UTMB. Offered a place by the UTWT, Antoine will try his luck in the 30th MDS for the first time. Antoine just placed 3rd at Transgrancanaria, so his form is good. Can he recover in time?

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Christophe Le Saux never seazes to amaze me with his relentless racing calendar, he was 10th in 2014, 9th in 2013, 6th in 2012.

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Carlos Sà is a regular at MDS and has a wealth of talent and experience to excel. He was 4th last year’s, 7th in 2013. 4th in 2012 and 8th in 2011.

Dave Mackey has been one of the top American ultra runners for many years and he has excelled at the 100-km distance. His participation at MDS marks a new departure for him and it will be interesting to see how he handles racing over multiple days.

Javier Teixido Marti-Ventosa is the 2014 winner of the Andorra Ultra-Trail Ultra-Mitic (112km).

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Danny Kendall gets a nod from a UK perspective. He placed 5th last year and we can only hope that he moves up the rankings with a podium place. He knows the race, he knows the conditions and he understands survival in the Sahara; he just needs to bring it all together once again.

All six will be attempting to topple the Moroccan and Jordanian supremacy by keeping a close eye on the following:

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Mohamad Ahansal like his brother, Lahcen needs no introduction. He has 15 participations in the MDS, which includes 5 victories. He has been 2nd no less than 9 times and 3rd in 2014.

Abdelkader El Mouaziz placed 7th in 2014 on his first participation, he will be looking to improve in 2015.

Samir Akhdar has had several participations at MDS placing 6th in 2011 and 7th in 2009. 
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Salameh Al Aqra is always smiling and a great presence in the race, he was 1st in 2012, 2nd in 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2014 and placed 3rd in 2009 and 2011.

In the female contingent:

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Laurence Klein targets her 4th victory after making the podium in 2014 and 2013.

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Meghan Hicks champion in 2013, missed 2014 through injury and will be setting her sights on a 2nd win.

Liza Howard is the holder of a number of 100-mile race records and American champion over 100km and 50 miles in 2011, should have what it takes to treat the United States to a third crown in a row after Nikki Kimball and Meghan Hicks.

Jolanda Linschooten gets a heads up from my friend Jeroen Krosse and he says, ‘one to watch’ for sure. So I agree, she is one to watch. Jolanda has been 2nd and 4th before!

Claire Morrisey is the British hope who returns after placing 7th in 2014.

INSPIRING STORIES:

Moroccan Lahcen Ahansal, ten-time winner of the
MDS between 1997 and 2007 is
making a comeback this year after six years
absence. “I wanted to hook back up with this race through
a goal that isn’t purely competitive, but also human”, admits
the athlete who has agreed to act as a guide to the partially
sighted German runner, Harald Lange. “After pulling off the
challenge of securing 10 victories, I now want to rack up 20
participations. And why not be around for the 40th and 50th
editions too?” It should be said that Lahcen has not forgotten
his encounter with this legendary race, which has transformed his life. “I looked on with curiosity and amazement as the 23 athletes took the start of the first edition in 1986. From then on, I constantly dreamt that I, a nomadic child, would participate in this race. It has spurred on my life and created in me such a strong desire for sporting and human emancipation that I moved mountains to make my dream a reality some seven years later. It’s thanks to this race that I’ve become the man I am today.” Also of note, is the fact that another blind runner will participate in this edition as Didier Benguigui is returning with his guide, Gilles Clain, to celebrate his 11th edition.

The “4 Dinosaurs MDS” team comprises two French runners, Christian Ginter and François Cresci, one Moroccan, Karim Mosta and one Italian, Paolo Zubani, none of whom wanted to miss the 30th anniversary of the SULTAN MARATHON DES SABLES. Between them, these four passionate runners already boast a total of 105 participations, which amounts to 27 out of 29 editions for the restaurant owner-chef Christian Ginter and 26 for the other three. “The idea of creating a team of veterans came about in the tent last year”, beams Karim Mosta, the cheerful leader of this group of friends, who wouldn’t miss this key stage

The famous British explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, is embarking on a new adventure at 71 years of age. After earning the title of first man to reach the North and South Poles via land, the first person to traverse the Antarctic entirely on foot and the oldest Briton to climb Everest at 65 years of age, he now wants to become the oldest Briton to etch his name on the list of SULTAN MARATHON DES SABLES 2015’ medalists.

At 83 years of age, Joseph Le Louarn will be the most senior participant in this 30th edition. “I said that I’d stop in 2012, at 80, but with the energy drummed up by this anniversary, I couldn’t resist,” smiles the runner who has always loved ‘ambitious projects’. Indeed some three years ago he was quoted as saying “Card games and meals for retired people aren’t for me. I need to move; I need goals. I want to stay fit for as long as possible.”

A native of Luxembourg, Simone Kayser Diederich, 3-time champion of the MARATHON DES SABLES (2002, 2004 and 2005), will take the start of this 30th edition to celebrate her 60th birthday and her 14th participation. It’s a similar scenario for Moroccan Nadia Dadoun, 56, who will celebrate her 16th participation in this SULTAN MARATHON DES SABLES 2015, which is a record number of entries among the event’s female contingent.

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CRAZY STATS:

  • 150 volunteers to supervise the race,
  • 450 general support staff,
  • 120,000 liters of bottled mineral water,
  • 300 Berber and Saharan tents,
  • 120 all-terrain vehicles and trucks,
  • 2 Squirrel helicopters and 1 Cessna plane,
  • 8 Transavia ‘MDS special’ commercial planes,
  • 30 buses,
  • 4 dromedaries,
  • 1 incinerator lorry for burning waste,
  • 5 quad bikes to monitor race environment and safety,
  • 72 medical staff,
  • 2.3kms of Elastoplast,
  • 12,200 compresses,
  • 6,000 painkillers,
  • 150 liters of disinfectant,
  • 1 editing bus,
  • 5 cameras,
  • 1 satellite image station,
  • 10 satellite telephones,
  • 30 computers, fax and internet,
  • 18,000 competitors since 1986
  • 30% returning competitors, 70% international, 30% French, 
17% women, 45% veterans, 
30% in teams, 
10% walkers, 
90% alternate walking and running,
  • 14 km/hr.: average maximum speed, 3 km/hr.: average minimum speed,
  • 15 years of age for the youngest competitor and the oldest, 83!

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QUOTES

  • “The MARATHON DES SABLES is the United Nations. The runners come from all over the world, share the same emotions and help one another. All the boundaries are erased. We should take inspiration from it.” - Kirk McCall (United States)
  • “This event isn’t just a sporting activity. It’s a mental and philosophical process. In the desert, nature puts us back in our place at the heart of this environment. The MARATHON DES SABLES opens up new perspectives to us. People often think we’re crazy, but maybe they’re the crazy ones!” – Fernando Jose Castro Cabral (Brazil)
  • “The MARATHON DES SABLES represents Mecca. I come here for an annual pilgrimage. It purifies me.” – Amine Kabbaj (Morocco)
  • “Running in the desert purges me and enables me to empty my mind. I want to discover the desert by experiencing it from the inside. Each day, I recite a poem along the course. To think about poetry whilst running is a fantastic mental luxury. To run and be elsewhere through your thoughts… The sobriety of the desert is a source of inspiration.” - Duc Le Quang (Vietnam)
  • “In the MARATHON DES SABLES, you learn to rediscover and appreciate the simple pleasures. On top of that there is this solidarity between the runners. You run and you come across someone from Colombia, Portugal or China. You don’t know them but you share a moment with them. These encounters are worth all the money in the world.” – Nicolas Esterhazy (Belgium)

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Twenty-Nine years of victories.

Here is a who’s who of those 29-years.

1986 – Michel GALLIEZ (FRANCE) – Christiane PLUMERE (FRANCE)

1987 – Bernard GAUDIN (FRANCE) – Marie-Ange MALCUIT (FRANCE)

1988 – Bernard GAUDIN (FRANCE) – Marie-Ange MALCUIT (FRANCE)

1989 – Hassan SEBTAOUI (FRANCE) – Marie-Claude BATTISTELLI (FRANCE)

1990 – Hassan SEBTAOUI (FRANCE) – Claire GARNIER (FRANCE)

1991 – Hassan SEBTAOUI (FRANCE) – Monique FRUSSOTE (FRANCE)

1992 – Mohamed BENSALAH (MOROCCO) – Monique FRUSSOTE (FRANCE)

1993 – Mohamed BENSALAH (MOROCCO) – Irina PETROVNA (RUSSIA)

1994 – André DERKSEN (RUSSIA) – Valentina LIAKHOVA (RUSSIA)

1995 – André DERKSEN (RUSSIA) – Béatrice REYMANN (FRANCE)

1996 – André DERKSEN (RUSSIA) – Anke MOLKENTHIN (GERMANY)

1997 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Rosanna PELLIZZARI (ITALY)

1998 – Mohamad AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Rosanna PELLIZZARI (ITALY)

1999 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Lisa SMITH (USA)

2000 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Pascale MARTIN (FRANCE)

2001 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Franca FIACCONI (ITALY)

2002 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Simone KAYSER (LUXEMBOURG)

2003 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Magali JUVENAL (FRANCE)

2004 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Simone KAYSER (LUXEMBOURG)

2005 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Simone KAYSER (LUX)

2006 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Géraldine COURDESSE (FRANCE)

2007 – Lahcen AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Laurence KLEIN (FRANCE)

2008 – Mohamad AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Touda DIDI (MOROCCO)

2009 – Mohamad AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Touda DIDI (MOROCCO)

2010 – Mohamad AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Monica AGUILERA (SPAIN)

2011 – Rachid EL MORABITY (MOROCCO) – Laurence KLEIN (FRANCE)

2012 – Salameh AL AQRA (JORDAN) – Laurence KLEIN (FRANCE)

2013 – Mohamad AHANSAL (MOROCCO) – Meghan HICKS (USA)

2014 – Rachid ELMORABITY (MOROCCO) – Nikki KIMBALL (USA)

 

RACE SCHEDULE 2015

 

  • 3 April 2015 – Leave country of residence/Morocco – Arrival in Ouarzazate, bus transfer to 1st bivouac
  • 4 April 2015 – Administrative, technical and medical checks – Day to acclimatize 
  • From 5 to 10 April 2015 – Race in progress (The self-sufficiency begins from breakfast on the 1st leg)
  • 11 April 2015 – Solidarity UNICEF leg – (end of dietary self-sufficiency) – Transfer to Ouarzazate
  • 12 April 2015  – Day of relaxation
  • 13 April 2015 – Return to country of residence

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Marathon des Sables – A history in brief

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1984: At 28 years of age, Patrick Bauer decided to make for the Sahara to try to traverse a 350km expanse of uninhabited desert, on foot, alone, where he wouldn’t come into contact with a single village, oasis or watering place. Totally self-sufficient, with a rucksack weighing 35kg and containing water and food, he set off on a journey that was to last 12 days. It was the starting point of what was to become the MARATHON DES SABLES.

1986: The creation of the first MDS in the Moroccan Sahara. The 23 pioneers who took the start never imagined that their footprints would mark the start of a legendary event, which has today become a must among the major adventure sport meets. The creation of a non-mechanical competition in the Moroccan sands offers adventure runners a wealth of new prospects.

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1987: Creation of the MDS logo: the face of a runner covered by a keffiyeh, the eyes protected by a pair of sunglasses and the pipette from the runner’s water container clenched between the teeth.

1989: 170 competitors take the start of the race.

1991: The gulf drama puts the MDS at a disadvantage and the financial partners withdraw. Fortunately some runners answer the call. For these competitors, the true victory lies in meeting athletes from different backgrounds and their communion in the desert around the same goal. Sport proves once again that it can bring people together and create bonds.

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1992: One and the same regulation for everyone. This year sees the establishing of unexpected draconian tests, to ensure that each participant properly transports all his or her gear from one end of the course to the other. A 30-point charter is drawn up.

First participation by the Moroccan Lahcen Ahansal

1994: Arrival of the Doc Trotters at the event.

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1995: 10th anniversary. Since the start, over 1,500 men and women have left their footprint and their passion in the desert. Installation of water-pump for the inhabitants of the village of Ighef n’rifi (South of Er-Rachidia) – an idea by competitor Gilles Flamant and backed by Rolland Barthes and Patrick Bauer. Its success is to be repeated again and again

1996: First participation by Mohamed, a younger sibling of Ahansal. The two Moroccan brothers set off together and rank 4th and 5th respectively.

1997: This year heralds the start of the Ahansal saga. Morocco is honored with Lahcen’s first victory. He beats his two pursuers by nearly 30 minutes, despite them being international long-distance running champions.

1999: A mobile hospital on the MDS comes into being. There are around thirty practitioners on the ground, with doctors and nurses joining the caravan. A dedicated helicopter and ten all-terrain vehicles track the competitors each day. On- board these vehicles there are doctors of course, as well as high-tech equipment. The village boasts a genuine field hospital.

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2000: Internet puts in an appearance in the large MDS village. The organization decides to broadcast the texts and photos of the race live, day after day. The competitors can communicate with their nearest and dearest and receive messages of encouragement.

2001: For the first time the long leg, traditionally called “The 70”, exceeds the 80km barrier to reach 82km. The threshold of 240km is also surpassed since the 16th MARATHON DES SABLES spans 243km. Another first relates to the fact that there are no Moroccans on the podium this year.

2002: This edition is punctuated by a sandstorm, involving headwinds, which lasts the entire week. The doctors invent a machine for ‘low pressure cleansing’ to rinse out the runners’ eyes. Despite the difficult conditions, there are few retirements to report as the wind considerably reduces the temperature.

2005: The Luxembourg runner Simone Kayser is the first woman to win 3 MARATHON DES SABLES. For this 20th edition, the total number of runners exceeds 700 for the first time, with no fewer than 777 runners taking the start.

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2006: A drying wind and very high humidity levels cause damage to the runners’ bodies. Despite additional allocations of water, a whole series of retirements ensues. There are a total of 146 retirements ultimately, which equates to double that of the previous record… Race management decides to shorten the long leg by over 10km given how tired the runners seem.

2008: The Solidarité MDS association is created. The aim: to develop projects to assist children and disadvantaged populations in the domains of health, education and sustainable development in Morocco. 

2009: MDS is disrupted by flooding and the 1st and 6th stages are not able to take place. To avoid the flood zones, the organization is obliged to improvise new legs on a day-to-day basis. In this way, the edition goes down in legend for its 3rd leg, which is the longest ever contested: 92km of sand, loose stones and rocks… The leg even sees the retirement of Lahcen Ahansal… At the prize giving the 2 winners admit to having competed in their hardest MDS. However, it was also the shortest: 202km.

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2010: For its 25th edition, the number of participations reaches a record high of 1,013 participants. It is to be the longest MARATHON DES SABLES. It spans 250 kilometers with a course considered by former entrants to be the most difficult ever organized.

2012: A dramatic turn of events on the longest leg as the then leader in the overall standing, Rachid El Morabity (MAR) injures himself one kilometer from the finish. Medical examinations reveal a serious muscular lesion in the quadriceps. After over five years on the 2nd or 3rd step of the podium, Jordanian Salameh Al Aqra secures the title.

2013: 1,027 competitors on the start line make this a new participation record. New feature: a final “Charity” stage sponsored by UNICEF and traversing the Merzouga dunes round off the race. Sportswise, Mohamad Ahansal and Megan Hicks are the champions of the 231.5km event. On a human level, all of the finishers pull off their crazy bet.

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2014: 2011 winner, Moroccan Rachid El Morabity (MAR) wins the overall ranking and takes Mohamad Ahansal’s crown. In the women’s category, another American stamps her mark, Nikki Kimball. The French revelation is one Michaël Gras, 22 years of age, 8th overall and top Frenchman. A major athletics star, Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj lines up to take the start of Saturday’s Unicef Charity leg.

Content and information provided by ©marathondessables

FOLLOW THE 2015, 30th EDITION on this WEBSITE in words and images.

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Episode 82 – CRACKNELL EGLOFF MUIR

Ep82

 

Episode 82 of Talk Ultra has James Cracknell talking about the mind of an Olympian, how to succeed at endurance sports and we announce two new projects for 2015. Karl Egloff just set a FKT for Aconcagua, we have a full and in-depth interview. Ruby Muir had a troubled 2014 but turned it around topping the podium at Tararwera. The News, a Blog, Up & Coming Races and in Talk Training we discuss final prep for MDS.

00:10:11 NEWS
 
Ultra Caballo Blanco cancelled! – HERE
 
Aconcagua FKT
Karl Egloff does it. 11:52 – 57-minutes quicker! News here: HERE
00:26:40 INTERVIEW
 
KARL EGLOFF provides us with an in-depth interview about his background and how he became the new record holder for Aconcagua.
Transgrancanaria as the show comes out – Race Preview HERE
01:51:00 BLOG
 
MIKE MURPHY provided a great interview in our last show, he writes here about his hints-n-tips for multi day racing -  HERE
01:56:36 INTERVIEW
 
RUBY MUIR had a tough 2014 with injury but she managed to bounce back with a victory at Tarawera
 
02:29:22 TALK TRAINING
 
RORY COLEMAN talks final prep for MDS
03:03:37 INTERVIEW
 
JAMES CRACKNELL is a double Olympian and an inspiring endurance athlete who has continually pushed to be the best that he can be. He made the top 20 of MDS and then an horrific head injury almost stopped everything… but he is back. We announce James’s next projects…
 
04:16:20 UP & COMING RACES
 

Australia

New South Wales

Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 100 km Team Challenge | 100 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 50 km Team Challenge Day: Party All Night | 50 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

Wild Women on Top Sydney Coastrek 50 km Team Challenge Day: Sun, Sand, Surf | 50 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

Victoria

Maroondah Dam 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | March 15, 2015 | website

Razorback 58K Run | 58 kilometers | March 14, 2015 | website

Razorback 64K Run | 64 kilometers | March 14, 2015 | website

Cambodia

The Wild Elephant Trail | 210 kilometers | March 14, 2015 | website

Canada

British Columbia

Dirty Duo 50 km Ultra | 50 kilometers | March 07, 2015 | website

Yukon

6633 Extreme Winter Ultra Marathon – 120 mile | 120 miles | March 20, 2015 | website

6633 Extreme Winter Ultra Marathon – 350 mile | 350 miles | March 20, 2015 | website

Likeys Ultra 6633 – 120 Mile | 120 miles | March 20, 2015 | website

Likeys Ultra 6633 – 350 Mile | 350 miles | March 20, 2015 | website

France

Gard

Trail aux Etoiles | 58 kilometers | March 07, 2015 | website

Ultra du Bout du Cirque | 100 kilometers | March 07, 2015 | website

Haut-Rhin

Trail du Petit Ballon | 52 kilometers | March 15, 2015 | website

Pas-de-Calais

Trail Bullygeois des Tranchées – 63 km | 63 kilometers | March 15, 2015 | website

Trail Bullygeois des Tranchées – 85 km | 85 kilometers | March 15, 2015 | website

Tarn

Black Mountain Trail – 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 07, 2015 | website

Germany

Bavaria

Chiemsee-Ultramarathon März | 108 kilometers | March 07, 2015 | website

Hong-Kong

Translantau 100 km | 100 kilometers | March 14, 2015 | website

Translantau 50 km | 50 kilometers | March 14, 2015 | website

Hungary

BSI Lake Balaton Marathon+ Fonyód – Szigliget | 52 kilometers | March 20, 2015 | website

BSI Lake Balaton Supermarathon | 195 kilometers | March 19, 2015 | website

Italy

Umbria

Trasimeno Lake Ultramarathon | 58 kilometers | March 08, 2015 | website

Veneto

Ultrabericus | 65 kilometers | March 14, 2015 | website

Jordan

Sahara Race | 250 kilometers | March 08, 2015 | website

Malaysia

TITI 100KM | 100 kilometers | March 07, 2015 | website

TITI 200KM | 200 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

TITI 50KM | 50 kilometers | March 08, 2015 | website

New Zealand

Te Houtaewa Challenge 60 km Open Ultra Marathon | 60 kilometers | March 07, 2015 | website

The Hillary 80 km Trail Race | 80 kilometers | March 14, 2015 | website

Philippines

All Women Ultra-Marathon | 50 kilometers | March 08, 2015 | website

TRD80 Ultramarathon | 80 kilometers | March 14, 2015 | website

Spain

Andalusia

Ultra Trail Sierras del Bandolero | 150 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

Canary Islands

Transgrancanaria | 125 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

Transgrancanaria – Advanced | 84 kilometers | March 07, 2015 | website

Catalonia

Marxa dels Castells PLUS | 81 kilometers | March 08, 2015 | website

UT les Fonts | 120 kilometers | March 06, 2015 | website

UT les Fonts – Trail de les Fonts | 70 kilometers | March 07, 2015 | website

Thailand

Zulu W 80 km Run | 80 kilometers | March 08, 2015 | website

United Kingdom

Aberdeen City

D33 Ultra | 33 miles | March 14, 2015 | website

Bradford

Haworth Hobble | 32 miles | March 14, 2015 | website

Dorset

Jurassic Coast Challenge | 78 miles | March 20, 2015 | website

North Somerset

Green Man Ultra | 44 miles | March 07, 2015 | website

Wiltshire

Imber Ultra Marathon | 33 miles | March 08, 2015 | website

USA

Alabama

Delano Park 50 Mile Solo | 50 miles | March 07, 2015 | website

Alaska

Tanana River Challenge 45 Mile | 45 miles | March 14, 2015 | website

Arizona

Mesquite Canyon 50K | 50 kilometers | March 14, 2015 | website

Mesquite Canyon 50M | 50 miles | March 14, 2015 | website

Old Man 52K | 52 kilometers | March 07, 2015 | website

Old Pueblo 50 Miler | 50 miles | March 07, 2015 | website

Ultra Adventures Monument Valley 100 Mile | 100 miles | March 13, 2015 | website

Ultra Adventures Monument Valley 50K | 50 kilometers | March 13, 2015 | website

Ultra Adventures Monument Valley 50 Mile | 50 miles | March 14, 2015 | website

Arkansas

3 days of Syllamo | 150 kilometers | March 20, 2015 | website

California

Deo 50K | 50 kilometers | March 07, 2015 | website

Marin Ultra Challenge 50K | 50 kilometers | March 14, 2015 | website

Marin Ultra Challenge 50 Mile | 50 miles | March 14, 2015 | website

Old West Trails 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | March 14, 2015 | website

Way Too Cool 50k | 50 kilometers | March 07, 2015 | website

Colorado

High Line Canal 100K | 100 kilometers | March 14, 2015 | website

Florida

Cross Florida Route 40 Romp | 116 miles | March 07, 2015 | website

Cross Florida Route 40 Romp – 2 Person Relay | 116 miles | March 07, 2015 | website

DWD Green Swamp 50K | 50 kilometers | March 07, 2015 | website

DWD Green Swamp 50M | 50 miles | March 07, 2015 | website

Palm 100K | 100 kilometers | March 15, 2015 | website

Palm 50K | 50 kilometers | March 15, 2015 | website

Georgia

Georgia Death Race | 60 miles | March 14, 2015 | website

Kentucky

Land Between The Lakes 50 mile run | 50 miles | March 14, 2015 | website

Land Between The Lakes 60k | 60 kilometers | March 14, 2015 | website

Maryland

Seneca Creek Greenway Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | March 07, 2015 | website

Mississippi

Carl Touchstone Mississippi Trail 50 K | 50 kilometers | March 07, 2015 | website

Carl Touchstone Mississippi Trail 50 Mile | 50 miles | March 07, 2015 | website

Nevada

Vegas Moonlight Ultra 100 Mile Run | 100 miles | March 07, 2015 | website

New Jersey

Lenape Trail Run | 34 miles | March 07, 2015 | website

North Carolina

Graveyard 100K Ultramarathon | 100 kilometers | March 07, 2015 | website

Graveyard 100 Mile Ultramarathon | 100 miles | March 07, 2015 | website

Reservoir Park 50K | 50 kilometers | March 07, 2015 | website

Ohio

Buzzard Day 50k | 50 kilometers | March 14, 2015 | website

Green Jewel 50K Fun Run | 50 kilometers | March 07, 2015 | website

Pennsylvania

Naked Bavarian 40M | 40 miles | March 08, 2015 | website

Tennessee

Fall Creek Falls 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | March 15, 2015 | website

Music City Trail Ultra 50K | 50 kilometers | March 14, 2015 | website

Texas

50K | 50 kilometers | March 14, 2015 | website

Lone Star Trail Point-to-Point FatAss 35 M | 35 miles | March 14, 2015 | website

Lone Star Trail Point-to-Point FatAss 75M | 75 miles | March 14, 2015 | website

Lone Star Trail Point-to-Point FatAss 96.5 M | 96 miles | March 14, 2015 | website

Nueces 50K Endurance Trail | 50 kilometers | March 07, 2015 | website

Nueces 50 Miler | 50 miles | March 07, 2015 | website

Prickly Pear 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | March 14, 2015 | website

Race Across Texas – D-Town (4 Marathons) | 106 miles | March 20, 2015 | website

Race Across Texas – The Wild West (4 Marathons) | 106 miles | March 06, 2015 | website

Utah

Antelope Island 100 Mile | 100 miles | March 20, 2015 | website

Red Mountain 50K | 50 kilometers | March 07, 2015 | website

Vermont

PEAK Snowshoe 100 Mile Race | 100 miles | March 07, 2015 | website

Virginia

Elizabeth’s Furnace Fat Ass 50K | 50 kilometers | March 14, 2015 | website

Thomas Jefferson 100k | 100 kilometers | March 14, 2015 | website

Washington

Centennial Trail Run | 37 miles | March 14, 2015 | website

Dizzy Daze 100K | 100 kilometers | March 14, 2015 | website

Dizzy Daze 50K | 50 kilometers | March 14, 2015 | website

 
04:20:03 CLOSE
04:23:12 END

 

SHOW LINKS:

ITunes http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/talk-ultra/id497318073

Libsyn – feed://talkultra.libsyn.com/rss

Website – talkultra.com

Episode 80 – Coleman, Arnstein, Koop, Hines

Talk Ultra
Episode 80 of Talk Ultra has in interview with the UK’s Mr MDS, Rory Coleman. We speak with Hurt 100 winner and Fruitarian, Mike Arnstein. Jason Koop provides us with a fascinating Talk Training and Adventurer Mark Hines talks nutrition in relation to long distance races.
NEWS
 
News out that Born to Run may be made into a film with Mathew McConaughey in the starring role of Caballo Blanco – news from EW.com
 
Nickademus Hollon has laid out his calendar for 2015 and amongst this list of 13 projects, no 7 took my eye:
 
RACE #7 U.K. Fell Running Rounds FKT Attempt (June/ July)
The project is in development still. But the idea is basically this: the UK has three INSANE “rounds” they call them. Bob Graham round (~60 miles and 40,000+ft of gain), Charlie Ramsay Round (~60 miles and 40,000ft+ gain) and the Lake District Round (~60 miles and 40,000ft+ gain). These rounds are like peak bagging if peak bagging took two snorts of coke and drank five cans of Red-Bull. I heard about the rounds for the first time when I was at Ronda del Cims this last summer. I asked my friend who was talking about them, “Has anyone ever done them consecutively? Each under 24hrs?” He fell silent to my question. 180 miles and 120,000ft of gain? Why the hell not. That’s more vert. than Kilian runs in month!
 
It’s all kicking off on the Ultrarunning Community on Facebook…. oh yes, we always think that ultra runners are friendly, awesome, welcoming and encouraging to all. And I mean ALL! But this last couple of weeks has seem some real venom… we all have different journeys, different roads and different paths. Lets embrace everyone! Ultimately, if you don’t like a post on social media, ignore it.
INTERVIEW
 
Rory Coleman became a changed man in 1994 after ditching booze and cigarettes. He has gone on to run over 800 marathons and 200 marathons and in the UK he is known as Mr MDS as he has completed the race 11 times and 2015 will be his 12th. – HERE
 
INTERVIEW
 
Michael Arnstein won Hurt 100 in 21:29 and is just as famous for his diet; fruit. I caught up with Mike post his Hurt 100 win and discuss his running and diet.
 
BLOG
Steve Birkinshaw on Marmot Dark Mountains -HERE
 
TALK TRAINING
 
Jason Koop – Jason is director of coaching at CTS (Carmichael Training Systems). En experienced runner himself, he currently coaches some of the top names in ultra running. – HERE
 
Clients:
Jen Benn
Dylan Bowman
Larisa Dannis
Mike Foote
Ryan Ghelfi
Dakota Jones
Kaci Lickteig
Timothy Olson
Alex Varner
Devon Yanko
 
 
INTERVIEW
 
Mark Hines Mark Hines is an exercise physiologist and biomechanist who competes in the toughest ultra-endurance races in the world.  He has raced in rainforests, across deserts, over mountains, and in the sub-Arctic and Arctic. – HERE
UP & COMING RACES

Antartica

White Continent 50K | 50 kilometers | February 15, 2015 | website

Argentina

La Misión | 160 kilometers | February 14, 2015 | website

La Misión – 80 km | 80 kilometers | February 14, 2015 | website

Australia

Tasmania

The Cradle Mountain Run | 82 kilometers | February 07, 2015 | website

Belgium

Wallonia

Trail des bosses – 65 km | 65 kilometers | February 07, 2015 | website

Canada

Yukon

Yukon Arctic 100M | 100 miles | February 08, 2015 | website

Yukon Arctic 300M | 300 miles | February 08, 2015 | website

Yukon Arctic 430M | 430 miles | February 08, 2015 | website

Chad

TREG | 170 kilometers | February 06, 2015 | website

Costa Rica

Ultra-Maraton Arenal | 115 kilometers | February 07, 2015 | website

Finland

Lapland

Rovaniemi 150 | 150 kilometers | February 20, 2015 | website

France

Aude

Gruissan Phoebus Trail | 50 kilometers | February 15, 2015 | website

Aveyron

Trail des Ruthènes | 64 kilometers | February 15, 2015 | website

Côtes-d’Armor

Défi Glazig (45 + 18) | 63 kilometers | February 14, 2015 | website

Germany

Lower Saxony

Brocken-Challenge | 86 kilometers | February 14, 2015 | website

Hong-Kong

Green Power Hike 50K | 50 kilometers | February 07, 2015 | website

MSIG Sai Kung 50 | 50 kilometers | February 07, 2015 | website

Tsuen Wan, Ta Shek Wu, Fo Tan | 108 kilometers | February 07, 2015 | website

Ultra Trail Tai Mo Shan | 162 kilometers | February 07, 2015 | website

Yuen Long, Ta Shek Wu, Fo Tan | 52 kilometers | February 08, 2015 | website

India

Run the Rann 101 km | 101 kilometers | February 08, 2015 | website

Run the Rann 161 km | 161 kilometers | February 09, 2015 | website

Thar Desert Run – 100 miles | 100 miles | February 06, 2015 | website

Thar Desert Run – 50 miles | 50 miles | February 07, 2015 | website

The Great White Rann – Run of Kutch – 135 Miles | 135 miles | February 06, 2015 | website

The Great White Rann – Run of Kutch – 160 km | 160 kilometers | February 06, 2015 | website

The Great White Rann – Run of Kutch – 50 km | 50 kilometers | February 06, 2015 | website

The Great White Rann – Run of Kutch – 80 km | 80 kilometers | February 06, 2015 | website

Ireland

Leinster

Donadea 50K | 50 kilometers | February 14, 2015 | website

Italy

Marche

Maratona sulla sabbia – Ultra maratona | 50 kilometers | February 08, 2015 | website

New Zealand

Kaweka Klassic 50 km | 50 kilometers | February 07, 2015 | website

Tarawera 100K Ultramarathon | 100 kilometers | February 07, 2015 | website

Tarawera 60K Ultramarathon | 60 kilometers | February 07, 2015 | website

Tarawera 85K Ultramarathon | 85 kilometers | February 07, 2015 | website

Nicaragua

Fuego y Agua 100k | 100 kilometers | February 07, 2015 | website

Fuego y Agua 50k | 50 kilometers | February 07, 2015 | website

Oman

Wadi Bih Run | 72 kilometers | February 06, 2015 | website

Spain

Canary Islands

Marathón ‘Isla del Meridiano’ – 86 km | 86 kilometers | February 07, 2015 | website

Sweden

Ice Ultra | 230 kilometers | February 13, 2015 | website

Thailand

Thai Ultra Race | 140 kilometers | February 14, 2015 | website

United Kingdom

Cornwall

Arc of Attrition | 100 miles | February 06, 2015 | website

Devon

Coastal Trail Series – South Devon – Ultra | 34 miles | February 07, 2015 | website

Oxfordshire

Thames Trot 50 | 50 miles | February 07, 2015 | website

USA

Alaska

Little Su 50K | 50 kilometers | February 14, 2015 | website

Susitna 100 | 100 miles | February 14, 2015 | website

Arizona

Black Canyon Trail 100K Run | 100 kilometers | February 14, 2015 | website

Pemberton Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | February 14, 2015 | website

Race Across Arizona – Beeline and Beyond (4 Marathons) | 106 miles | February 06, 2015 | website

Ragnar Relay Del Sol | 200 miles | February 20, 2015 | website

Arkansas

LOVit 100k | 100 kilometers | February 20, 2015 | website

LOVit 100 Mile | 100 miles | February 20, 2015 | website

White Rock Classic 50K | 50 kilometers | February 07, 2015 | website

California

American Canyon 50K Ultramarathon | 50 kilometers | February 08, 2015 | website

Bandit Ultra Trail Run 50K | 50 kilometers | February 15, 2015 | website

Jed Smith Ultra Classic – 50K | 50 kilometers | February 07, 2015 | website

Jed Smith Ultra Classic – 50 Miler | 50 miles | February 07, 2015 | website

Rancho San Juan Trail 50 km | 50 kilometers | February 07, 2015 | website

Sean O’Brian 100K Trail Run | 100 kilometers | February 07, 2015 | website

Sean O’Brian 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | February 07, 2015 | website

Sean O’Brian 50-Mile Trail Run | 50 miles | February 07, 2015 | website

Sean O’Brien 50K | 50 kilometers | February 07, 2015 | website

Sean O’Brien 50M | 50 miles | February 07, 2015 | website

Florida

Destin 50K Beach Ultra | 50 kilometers | February 15, 2015 | website

Destin 50M Beach Ultra | 50 miles | February 15, 2015 | website

Iron Horse 100 km | 100 kilometers | February 07, 2015 | website

Iron Horse 100 Mile | 100 miles | February 07, 2015 | website

Iron Horse 50 Mile | 50 miles | February 07, 2015 | website

Lost 118 | 118 miles | February 07, 2015 | website

Ragnar Relay Florida Keys | 199 miles | February 06, 2015 | website

Kansas

Psycho Wyco Run Toto Run 50K | 50 kilometers | February 14, 2015 | website

Louisiana

Rouge-Orleans Ultramarathon & Team Relay | 126 miles | February 07, 2015 | website

Nevada

Jackpot Ultra Running Festival 100 Miler | 100 miles | February 15, 2015 | website

New Mexico

Race Across New Mexico – Border to Border (14 Marathons) | 390 miles | February 15, 2015 | website

Race Across New Mexico – Continental Divide (4 Marathons) | 105 miles | February 15, 2015 | website

North Carolina

Maysville to Macon 50 Mile Run | 50 miles | February 07, 2015 | website

Uwharrie 40-Mile Mountain Run | 40 miles | February 07, 2015 | website

Oregon

Bristow 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | February 07, 2015 | website

Hagg Lake 50k Trail run | 50 kilometers | February 14, 2015 | website

South Carolina

Mill Stone 50K | 50 kilometers | February 09, 2015 | website

Rut Rogue 40s – 40 Mile 3-5 Person Relay | 40 miles | February 07, 2015 | website

Rut Rogue 40s – 40 Mile Run | 40 miles | February 07, 2015 | website

Two Hearts Two Day Challenge | 84 kilometers | February 14, 2015 | website

Texas

Piney Woods TrailFest 50K | 50 kilometers | February 07, 2015 | website

Utah

Moab’s Red Hot 55K | 55 kilometers | February 14, 2015 | website

Virginia

Holiday Lake 50K | 50 kilometers | February 14, 2015 | website

The Wild Oak Trail 100 | 100 miles | February 13, 2015 | website

Virginia Beach Distance Races 100k | 100 kilometers | February 08, 2015 | website

Virginia Beach Distance Races 50k | 50 kilometers | February 08, 2015 | website

Washington

Fishline 50K | 50 kilometers | February 15, 2015 | website

Orcas Island 50K | 50 kilometers | February 07, 2015 | website

Two Million Inch Run | 31 miles | February 07, 2015 | website

Woolley Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | February 14, 2015 | website

Wisconsin

Dead Zone Ommegang 75 | 75 miles | February 14, 2015 | website

Marathon des Sables Hints ‘n’ Tips on RUNULTRA from JoMeek, Danny Kendall and Nikki Kimball

MDS Hints_n_Tips

 

Running the Marathon des Sables or any other multi-day race? Read some of the Hints ‘n’ Tips from Nikki Kimball, winner of the 2014 MDS, Jo Meek, 2nd at the 2013 MDS and winner, course record holder for The Coastal Challenge and Danny Kendall, highest male British finisher, MDS 2014.

The Marathon des Sables dates back to 1984 when a 28-year old Patrick Bauer ventured into the Sahara to traverse solo a 350km journey. It was the ultimate self-sufficient expedition. Lasting 12-days, Patrick carried all he required in a 35kg pack. Inspired by the experience, the first edition was created in 1986; just 23-pioneers embarked on that journey… a journey into the unknown.

Who would have thought those formative years would have laid the foundations for what is, without question, the father of multi-day racing. In 2015 the race is 30-years old. It’s quite remarkable, The MDS as it is known has had memorable moments; in ‘91’ the Gulf drama had an impact on the race, in ‘94’ the arrival of Doc Trotters medical team, in ‘96’ Mohamed Ahansal participated for the first time, in ‘97’ Lahcen Ahansal won his first MDS, in ‘2000’ internet arrived in the Sahara, in ‘01’ the long day exceeded 70km, in ‘02’ a week of sandstorms and wind made the journey extra difficult, in ‘09’ the MDS had flooding and in ‘13’ solar energy arrived.

Much has been written about how to survive at the Marathon des Sables. With the 30th edition looming on the horizon I caught up with previous winner, Nikki Kimball, 2nd placed lady in 2013, Jo Meek and the UK’s highest ever male finisher, Danny Kendall to pass on some words of wisdom.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON RUNULTRA HERE

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