British humour, it’s a wonderful thing! Dry, witty and at times it can be difficult to tell if a joke is really being told… David Loxton personifies this and in all honesty, it’s this humour that got him and his tent mates through the 31st edition of the Marathon des Sables. Niandi Carmont picks up the story from within the bivouac.
Nothing like a touch of humour to help your tent mates get through a challenging event like the MDS. Humour is a natural pain-killer …
David Loxton has just finished the marathon stage and joined the ranks of finishers over the 31 editions of the MARATHON DES SABLES. He is relaxed in his tent, a bit grubby as can be expected but grinning from ear to ear. His tent mates look happy too. And no surprise as they are in good company – David is a laugh and a gaffer too.
So how did it go I ask?
“I’ve got no blisters, I’ve got very tough feet and I’ve been very quick most days, apart from the long day where I wasn’t quite as quick. What else? I hate sand, I hate sunshine …”
His tent mates crack up laughing.
Seriously, I ask if he feels he’s got in enough preparation or was the event tougher than he expected?
“Nobody told me about preparation so I thought I’d just pitch up and do it.” More laughter. “Well I did do a training camp in Lanzarote to train for this in January.”
I ask him if he had any moments of doubt during the event.
“On day 1 actually I did. I thought I can’t do this for the next 5 days. It hurts. Beyond that it was OK. Apart from day 2 and a few moments of day 3 and most of day 4. Day 5 was good apart from the bad bits.”
I ask him if he would do anything differently if he had to do it again.
“I would probably search online for some tent mates. Probably do some more work on the fitness and definitely pack before the Thursday night. We flew to Morocco on Friday.”
I know he’s not serious but he’s funny anyway and his mates seem to be enjoying his self-depracating humour.
“I’d also bring some business cards for the ladies.”
I ask him if he met some interesting people.
“I met some of the people from the training camp in January. I made myself unpopular with the Helpful Heroes tent by accidently stealing some of their water flavours, the French guys have been good and the Japanese guys too. I’ve loved every moment of it but once is maybe enough for me.”
Is he looking forward to getting back to wet, windy and cold UK?”
“No I’m married.”
And has he learnt anything from his experience? Suddenly David takes on a more serious air, this time he’s not joking, he’s more philosophical.
“In terms of fitness it is surprising what you can do, how far you can push yourself. Sometimes your mind can overrule your body. The guys here have got some pretty horrific blisters and they’ve worked through it and they found more within themselves than they expected.”
When you are back in Ouarzazate and back in civilisation, what is the first thing you will treat yourself to?
“Apart from beer? The first thing will be beer, the second thing will be beer, the third thing will be beer …and after that I will phone home.”
And I lift my glass to David who deserves that long-awaited beer after keeping his mates going with his very special priceless sense of humour!
Read Niandi’s interview with ladies 2016 MDS champion HERE
Read a summary and view images of the 31st edition HERE