Episode 109 – Ray Zahab and Mina Guli

A_GRAVATAR

This is Episode 109 of Talk Ultra. We speak with inspiring adventurer and I2P ambassador Ray Zahab about his amazing Antarctica 2 Atacama expedition. We also speak with an amazing Australian lady, Mina Guli, who ran 40-marathons across 7 deserts on 7 continents in 7 weeks. We also have a little pre-MDS chat and Speedgoat is here.

01:30:00

It’s a different show this week as Ian is in the Sahara at Marathon des Sables and this show was recorded in advance and then programmed for release.

Please enjoy and share

00:24:52 INTERVIEW

Elisabet Barnes pre MDS HERE

00:45:35 INTERVIEW 

Sondre Amdahl pre MDS HERE

01:04:30 INTERVIEW 

RAY ZAHAB In February 2016, Ray Zahab (CAN), Jen Segger (CAN) and Stefano Gregoretti (Italy) set out on a unique and challenging expedition that spanned 100 degrees celsius on the thermometer. The team journeyed from -50°C (-58F) to +50°C (120F) over 1,500km, on mountain bikes and foot, crossing both Baffin Island in Canadian winter, and the Atacama Desert in Chilean summer. Website HERE

01:53:00 INTERVIEW

MINA GULI  From 1 February to 22nd March, 2016 Mina did something nobody in the world that has ever done before – she ran across 7 deserts on 7 continents in just 7 weeks.  She did it for one reason – to raise awareness about the water crisis. To show the world in pictures and in images, what the water crisis looks like, and to highlight the fact that left unchanged, our water use will increase unsustainably – to a point where by 2030 we will have a 40% greater demand for water than supplies available. Website HERE

THIRST HERE

UP & COMING RACES

Argentina

50 km | 50 kilometers | April 17, 2016 | website

80 km | 80 kilometers | April 17, 2016 | website

Australia

Queensland

50 km | 50 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Victoria

50K | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Maroondah Dam 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Belgium

Wallonia

La Bouillonnante – 56 km | 56 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

British Virgin Islands

Tortola Torture | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Canada

British Columbia

50K | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Chile

Ultra Fiord 100K | 100 kilometers | April 15, 2016 | website

Ultra Fiord 70K | 70 kilometers | April 15, 2016 | website

China

Dalian 100 | 100 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Dalian 50 | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Croatia

100 Miles of Istria | 108 miles | April 15, 2016 | website

100 Miles of Istria – 110 km | 110 kilometers | April 15, 2016 | website

100 Miles of Istria – 69 km | 69 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

France

Alpes-Maritimes

Ultra Trail des Balcons d’Azur (80+25) | 105 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Ultra Trail des Balcons d’Azur (UTBA) | 80 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Aveyron

Le Saint-Guiral | 60 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Trail du Capuchadou | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Trans Aubrac | 105 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Ultra du Pas du Diable | 120 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Bas-Rhin

Trail du Wurzel | 52 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Dordogne

100 km de Belvès en Périgord Noir | 100 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Morbihan

118 km | 118 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

64 km | 64 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Relais 65 km | 65 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Oise

Trail’Oise – 60 km | 60 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Seine-Maritime

Le RaDicAtrAil – 110 km | 110 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Le RaDicAtrAil – 57 km | 57 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Var

La Trace des Montrieux 51 km | 51 kilometers | April 17, 2016 | website

L’Ultra de Signes 80 km | 80 kilometers | April 17, 2016 | website

Vosges

Trail des Roches | 73 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Germany

Baden-Württemberg

Lauf “Rund um Wolfach” | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Hesse

Bilstein-Marathon BiMa 53+ | 53 kilometers | April 17, 2016 | website

Lower Saxony

HeXenStieg Ultralauf | 219 kilometers | April 21, 2016 | website

Hexentanz | 104 kilometers | April 22, 2016 | website

Saxony

Saxonian Mt. Everestmarathon | 84390 meters | April 16, 2016 | website

Greece

Doliho Ultra-Marathon | 255 kilometers | April 22, 2016 | website

Hungary

Mátrabérc Trail | 55 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Indonesia

Volcans de l’Extrême | 164 kilometers | April 29, 2016 | website

Israel

The Sea to Jerusalem 70 km Ultra | 70 kilometers | April 15, 2016 | website

Italy

Emilia-Romagna

50 KM di Romagna | 50 kilometers | April 25, 2016 | website

Piedmont

100 km di Torino | 100 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Sicily

Lafuma Volcano Trail | 72 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Tuscany

The Abbots Way | 125 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Tuscany Crossing Val d’Orcia 100 km | 100 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Tuscany Crossing Val d’Orcia 50 km | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Japan

Challenge Fuji 5 Lakes – 100 km | 100 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Challenge Fuji 5 Lakes – 112 km | 112 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Challenge Fuji 5 Lakes – 72 km | 72 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Fuji Five Lakes 100 km Challenge | 100 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Fuji Five Lakes 118 km Challenge | 118 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Fuji Five Lakes 71 km Challenge | 71 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Mexico

50 km | 50 kilometers | April 17, 2016 | website

Morocco

Ecotrail de Ouarzazate | 111 kilometers | April 15, 2016 | website

Nepal

Mustang Trail Race | 170 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Netherlands

Limburg

Limburgs Zwaarste 100 km | 100 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Limburgs Zwaarste 60 km | 60 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Limburgs Zwaarste 80 km | 80 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Portugal

Arrábida Ultra Trail | 80 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Gerês Trail Aventure® | 130 kilometers | April 29, 2016 | website

Gerês Trail Aventure® Starter | 70 kilometers | April 29, 2016 | website

Madeira Island Ultra Trail 115 | 116 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Madeira Island Ultra Trail 85 | 85 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Peneda-Gerês Trail Aventure® | 280 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Serbia

Great East Trail 81.372 km | 81 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Great South Trail 91.483 km | 91 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Great West Trail 85.063 km | 85 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Medium East Trail 59,271 km | 59 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Medium West Trail 57.679 km | 57 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Ultra Extreme Trail 133.614km | 133 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Ultra Trail 107.414 km | 107 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

South Africa

Loskop Ultra Marathon | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

The Hobbit Journey 90 km | 100 kilometers | April 29, 2016 | website

Spain

Balearic Islands

Trail Mallorca Serra de Tramuntana | 62 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Ultra Mallorca Serra de Tramuntana | 102 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Canary Islands

Anaga Ultratrail 88 km | 88 kilometers | April 17, 2016 | website

Catalonia

Oxfam Intermón Spain – Girona | 100 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Valencian Community

CSP-115 | 118 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

MIM Marató i Mitja | 63 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Sweden

100 miles | 100 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

200 Miles | 200 miles | April 15, 2016 | website

50 miles | 50 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

50 Miles Night | 50 miles | April 17, 2016 | website

Turkey

Iznik 130K Ultramarathon | 130 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Orhangazi Ultra Marathon 80K | 80 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

United Kingdom

East Lothian

2x25K Relay | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

50K | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

North Yorkshire

Hardmoors 160 ‘The Ring Of Steele’ | 160 miles | April 29, 2016 | website

The Fellsman | 60 miles | April 23, 2016 | website

USA

Alabama

Grand Viduta Stage Race | 43 miles | April 29, 2016 | website

Arkansas

Ouachita Trail 50 Km | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Ouachita Trail 50 Mile | 50 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

California

50K | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

50km | 50 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

50 Miles | 50 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

Diablo Trails Challenge 50K | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Folsom Lake Trail 50K Run | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Mokelumne River 50K | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Mokelumne River 50M | 50 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

Rodeo Beach Rumble 50K | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Ruth Anderson 100k | 100 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Ruth Anderson 50k | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Ruth Anderson 50M | 50 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

Colorado

100K | 100 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

50K | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

50 Mile | 50 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

Desert R.A.T.S. 50K | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Desert R.A.T.S. Double Marathon | 52 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

Rattler Trail Races 50K | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Connecticut

Jack Bristol Lake Waramaug 100k | 100 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Jack Bristol Lake Waramaug 50k | 50 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Jack Bristol Lake Waramaug 50M | 50 miles | April 24, 2016 | website

Traprock 50 | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Delaware

Trap Pond 50K | 50 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Florida

DTR Endurance Race 50k | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

JWCorbett 50K | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

JWCorbett 50M | 50 miles | April 23, 2016 | website

Georgia

100k | 100 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

100M | 100 miles | April 23, 2016 | website

50K | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Double Top 100 km | 100 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Double Top 100 Mile | 100 miles | April 23, 2016 | website

Double Top 50 km | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Running Dead Ultra 100M | 100 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

Running Dead Ultra 50K | 50 kilometers | April 17, 2016 | website

Running Dead Ultra 50M | 50 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

SweetH20 50K | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Idaho

Menan Butte Trail Challenge 50K | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Weiser 50k Ultra | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Weiser 50k Ultra Relay | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Kansas

Free State Trail Runs 100 km Trail Ultra | 100 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Free State Trail Runs 40-Mile Trail Ultra | 40 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

Kentucky

Vol State 500K 2 Person Relay | 500 kilometers | April 29, 2016 | website

Vol State 500K 3 Person Relay | 500 kilometers | April 29, 2016 | website

Vol State 500K 4 Person Relay | 500 kilometers | April 29, 2016 | website

Massachusetts

Don’t Run Boston 50K | 50 kilometers | April 17, 2016 | website

TARC 50M | 50 miles | April 17, 2016 | website

TARC Spring Classic 50K | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Michigan

Running Fit Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Trail 50K | 50 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Traverse City Trail Running Festival 50k Run | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Minnesota

Trail Mix Race MN – 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Missouri

Double Chubb 50k | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Nebraska

Double Half Mary+5 | 50 kilometers | April 15, 2016 | website

New York

Sybil Ludington 50K Run | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

North Carolina

100 Mile | 100 miles | April 23, 2016 | website

Leatherwood Ultras 50K | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Leatherwood Ultras 50M | 50 miles | April 23, 2016 | website

Run the Rock Ultra | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Ohio

Forget the PR Mohican 50K | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Oregon

Roseburg to Coos Bay Relay | 67 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

Pennsylvania

3 Person Relay | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

6 Person Relay | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Hyner Ultra Challenge 50K | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Solo Run | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

The Ironmasters Challenge – 50K Ultra | 50 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Texas

50K | 50 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

Brazos Bend 50 | 50 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

Utah

Salt Flats 100 | 100 miles | April 29, 2016 | website

Salt Flats 50K | 50 kilometers | April 29, 2016 | website

Salt Flats 50 Miles | 50 miles | April 29, 2016 | website

Washington

50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

Capitol Peak 50 miler | 50 miles | April 16, 2016 | website

Mt. Si 50K Relay & Ultra Runs | 50 kilometers | April 24, 2016 | website

Mt. Si 50 Mile Relay & Ultra Runs | 50 miles | April 24, 2016 | website

Spokane River Run 50K | 50 kilometers | April 17, 2016 | website

Yakima Skyline Rim 50k | 50 kilometers | April 17, 2016 | website

Washington D.C.

Relay | 150 miles | April 29, 2016 | website

West Virginia

50 km | 50 kilometers | April 16, 2016 | website

Wisconsin

Chippewa 50K Trail Run | 50 kilometers | April 23, 2016 | website

02:58:30 CLOSE

 

03:07:04

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MARATHON DES SABLES 2013 Preview

copyright Marathon des Sables

copyright Marathon des Sables

MARATHON DES SABLES 2013

The 2013 edition of the Marathon des Sables is a self-sufficient race in the South of the Moroccan desert, the event will take place from 5th to 15th April 2013. For the 18th consecutive year, it will be run under the patronage of his Majesty King Mohammed VI.

Since its creation in 1986, the Marathon des Sables has attracted over 13,000 competitors over 27 editions. From humble beginnings, the race is now the most prestigious multi-stage race in the world.

The 2013 Marathon des Sables will see 1,091 entrants toe the line. With 45 different nationalities and a strong presence from France and the UK, the 28th edition will be a memorable one.

Taking place in South Morocco, in the provinces of Errachidia and Tinghrir the race will cover 223.8km over 5 stages. It will encompass some of the most beautiful terrain in the Moroccan desert. Eagerly awaited by one and all, the dunes, ergs and dried-up wadis will delight the thousand or so entrants from the fifty plus countries across the globe.

MDS LOGO

Race Programme:

5 April 2013: Leave country of residence for Morocco (UK entrants leave on the 4th) – Arrival in Ouarzazate, bus transfer to the 1st bivouac.

6 April 2013: Administrative, technical and medical checks – Day to acclimatise.

From 7-12 April 2013: Race in progress. (The self-sufficiency begins from breakfast on the 1st leg).

12 April 2013: Prizing ceremony in desert.

13 April 2013: Charity leg for UNICEF– Transfer to Ouarzazate.

14 April 2013: Day of relaxation, festivities.

15 April 2013: Return to country of residence.

Race Logistics

Patrick Bauer affectionately describes the Marathon des Sables as a big circus. It’s like moving a city everyday… just look at what is involved.

Race management : This team comprises more than 100 people including a race HQ, race marshals, controllers, timekeepers and ranking compilers. Since 2010, the official ranking has been achieved using a “transponder” for all the competitors.

Supervision : 400 people: technical, logistical and medical skills, 100 vehicles, 2 helicopters, 1 CESSNA plane, 4 dromedaries… and the active support of the Royal Armed Forces: 21 lorries (6×6) and 40 men to supervise logistics.

Medical Assistance : A team of 50 people under Dr Frédéric COMPAGNON, DOC TROTTER supervises the runners as much on a medical level (care of feet, resuscitation…) as a mental level, both of which fail sometimes in front of the toughness of the event and the hostility of the climate.

In the 27th SULTAN MARATHON DES SABLES, 3 tonnes of gear was transported and the medical team used : 5km of Elastoplast, 2,700 second-skin patches, 125 litres of disinfectant, 230 litres of drip solutions, 15,000 compresses, 2,800 pairs of surgical gloves,…

The Team

  • 115 volunteers on the course itself
  • 400 support staff overall
  • 120 000 litres of mineral water
  • 270 berber and saharan tents
  • 100 all-terrain vehicles
  • 
2 “Squirrel” helicopter and 1 “Cessna” plane
  • 6 “MDS special” commercial planes
  • 23 buses
  • 4 dromedaries
  • 
1 incinerator lorry for burning waste
  • 4 quad bikes to ensure environment and safety on race
  • 
52 medical staff
  • 6.5 kms of Elastoplast, 2 700 Compeed, 19 000 compresses 6 000 painkillers, 150 litres of disinfectant
  • 4 editing stations, 5 cameras, 1 satellite image station
10 satellite telephones, 30 computers, fax and internet

Marathon des Sables

Marathon des Sables – how did it start?

Patrick Bauer interview available HERE

1984 : At the age of 28, Patrick Bauer decided to make a journey into the Sahara. His objective was to traverse 350km’s of uninhabited desert, on foot, alone and without any possibility of encountering a single village, oasis or watering place. Totally self sufficient, Patrick entered the desert with a pack weight of 35kg containing all his water and food. The journey lasted 12 days and it was the starting point of what has now become the MARATHON DES SABLES.

Patrick Bauer, Marathon des Sables copyright www.lest-eclair.fr

Patrick Bauer, Marathon des Sables copyright http://www.lest-eclair.fr

1986 : The creation of the first MARATHON DES SABLES 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 today has become unmissable on the schedule for major adventure sport meets.

1989 : 170 competitors take the start of the race and the rest is history.

I caught up with Patrick Bauer at the MDS UK expo in late 2012. You can listen to that interview (lasts 13 minutes):

talkultra.com

LISTEN HERE

The 2013 Race – who will be taking part?

1,090 competitors aged 20 to 76 are expected to take the start (definitive number on 6 April following administrative and medical checks) representing 45 different nationalities: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Luxembourg, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of El Salvador, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and the United States.

The participants are men and women with various and varied profiles (Doctors, farmers, coppersmiths, pilots, builders, chefs, servicemen and women, students, professional athletes and retired persons…).

The 2013 MDS Challengers for the overall win

DRAYMDS2012-04-08-7945-1

The Female contenders for the overall win :

Laurence Klein 2012 MDS

Laurence Klein 2012 MDS

  • Laurence KLEIN (FRA) – 1st woman in 2007, 2011 and 2012, European 100km Champion.
  • Meryem KHALI (MAR) – 2nd woman in 2012. N°1082:
  • Megan HICKS (USA) – 2nd woman in 2009.
  • Simone KAYSER (LUX )– 3 victories in the MDS.


The Male contenders for the overall win : 

Mohamad Ahansal

Mohamad Ahansal

  • Salameh AL AQRA (JOR) – 1st in 2012, 2nd in 2008, 2010, 3rd in 2009, 2011.
  • Mohamad AHANSAL (MAR) – 4 victories and 2nd place 9 times.
  • Samir AKHDAR (MAR) – 6th in 2011, 7th in 2009.
  • Rachid EL MORABITY (MAR) – 1st in 2011.
  • Aziz EL AKAD (MAR) – 2nd in 2009 and 3rd in 2008 and 2012.
  • Christophe LE SAUX (FR) – 6th in 2012, 1st Guyan’trail 2011 and 2012.
  • Anton VENCELJ (SLO) – 4th in 2010, 8th in 2012.
  • Abdelaaziz TAYSS (FR) – French Cross-Country champion 2008 and 2011
  • Vincent DELEBARRE (FR) – 9th in 2005, 1st UTMB, Réunion, Templiers, etc
  • Martin FIZ (SP) – World Marathon Champion in 1995.
  • Carlos GOMEZ DE SA (POR) – 4th 2012 and 8th in 2008, 4th UTMB 2012.
  • Marco OLMO (ITA) – Top 10 in the MDS, 2 UTMB victories.
  • Antonio Filippo SALARIS (ITA) – 7th in 2012.

In 2013 I followed two runners in the build up to the 2013 Marathon des Sables. Tobias Mews placed 21st overall in the 2010 race and Stuart Rae is toeing the line for the first time in 2013. Each interview alternated on episodes of Talk Ultra but they have been joined together in one episode (lasts just under 1 hour)

talkultra.com

LISTEN HERE

2012 results (for reference)

1st : Salameh Al Aqra (JOR) in 19h59’21’’
 2nd : Mohamad Ahansal (MAR) 21’02’’ behind 3rd : Aziz El Akad (MAR) 1h38’56’’ behind

1st : Laurence Klein (FRA) in 26h15’40’’ 2nd : Meryem Khali (MAR) 1h19’38’’ behind 3rd : Karine Baillet (FRA) 1h31’07’’ behind

iancorless.comscreenshot_217

The 2013 race route

  • 1st leg – 37.2k Undulating terrain, interspersed with small ergs representing 5km of small dunes (dunettes).
  • 2nd leg – 30.7km 3 djebels with 10 to 25% gradients – exceptional panoramic views.
  • 3rd leg – 38km 2 djebel sections, 2 dried-up lakes and lots of sand.
  • 4th leg – 75.7km a total of 13km of dunes and around 30km of sandy terrain.
  • 5th leg – 42.2km the final leg is a marathon with ergs, regs, a dried-up lake and wadi beds…
  • Total Distance – 223.8km

Mandatory Kit

One of the key aspects of the Marathon des Sables is what kit to take? Here is a list of ‘mandatory’ kit. Of course, you need to add to this food requirements, cooking equipment and any additional luxuries.

  1. Distress flare: For use in the event of an extreme emergency. A range in excess of several dozen metres once activated.
  2. Knife: Equipped with a metal blade, it’s obviously useful in the bivouac and it can be of service when useful in the bivouac and it can be of service when running too.
  3. Compass: Surpassing both intuition and signposting, the compass is the marathon runner’s signposting.
  4. Whistle: Slowed by problems with your health or astray of the initial route, it enables other competitors or the organisation to be alerted to your whereabouts.
  5. Lighter: An important ally after a day’s running, whenit’s time to make a fire to heat up your meal.
  6.  Anti-venom pump: Even though it’s rare to have an unpleasant encounter with a snake, the anti-venom pump is compulsory and can enable action to be pump is compulsory and can enable action to be taken quickly.
  7. Antiseptic: As the days go by, all kinds of injuries can crop up, even during the race sometimes. So whilst awaiting assistance from a Doc Trotter, antiseptic can be important prior to linking up with the medical team.
  8. Sleeping bag: To be carried for seven days, ideally it shouldn’t exceed 400g and should be suitable for temperatures of between 5°C and 10°C. Indeed, the nights are cold in the desert.
  9. Survival blanket: In the event of serious problems, the survival blanket enables you to protect yourself from both the cold and sun. It weighs in at no more than 60g.
  10. Signalling mirror: If lost, someone competing in the Marathon des Sables will want to signal his or her presence. Playing with the sun and a mirror may be an alternative prior to using a distress flare.
  11. Salt tablets: Not exactly pleasant tasting, they are nonetheless essential for avoiding dehydration.
  12. Glow sticks: The perfect marker during the long leg.
  13. Headtorch: once night falls or when wandering around the bivouac, the headtorch is essential.

I will be reporting from the 2013 event as the race unfolds and providing I am able to gain adequate access to internet, I will update my website, Facebook and Twitter with reports and images as often as possible. So please keep checking!