Runners from all over the world assembled in Morocco for the start of the 34th of the iconic Marathon des Sables, created by Patrick Bauer, 34 years ago!
With a total of 226km’s ahead, the heat of the desert was not the only pressure the participants felt as bivouac 1 was erected in the heart of southern Morocco, close to Erfoud, after a 6-hour journey from Ourzazate.
Day-1 in camp is all about admin as all participants go through a series of checks to ensure their safety on the epic Saharan journey. Running in a self-sufficient manner for 6-days, through intense heat with only water and a tent cover supplied provides a very unique challenge on every runner. It is the reason why, ‘MDS’ as it is known, has pioneered the growth of multi-day racing worldwide.
Since 1986, the statistics show that just over 20.000 runners have participated – That is less than a ‘typical’ year at London Marathon!
To toe the line is a truly unique and life-changing journey.
This years race is a truly unique race with a seriously beautiful course laid out that will show the best of this region. Heading south from Erfoud, the runners will pass through Merzouga Dunes, and on day-5 climb the infamous Jebel Oftal.
For now though, the runners are under bivouac cover, admin day completed and with a hearty welcome from Patrick Bauer.
Tomorrow, the 34th edition starts at 0900, with a relatively easy day of 32.2km.
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