Marathon Des Sables

Has anyone done it and how easy is it to get a place?
My mate at the kayak club has done it. I'll speak to him on Sunday and post back..
Its very, very, very hard. (think shedding all the skin on your feet, major dehydration etc etc.)

Its not easy to get on - you will need help, probably from a charity.

I'm reliably informed by my brother that its one of the most difficult, and most rewarding things you'll ever do. (I'll stick to motorised transport, thank you very much...)
Cheers Bossdog
Harry_Boomers said:
Has anyone done it and how easy is it to get a place?
Did you post this drunk? Your mad, but good luck, looks like fun and something I would probaly want to do one day.

All the best.
A great friend of mine, a mad dutch woman did it in her forties. Her training was done mainly in West Africa. In fact she did one marathon session around the Freetown peninsular with both |Malaria and Typhoid!!!!

She did it with a young TA Captain ( female) of about 26. If they can I am sure you can.
Being a fan of the marathon des sables I was going to post this link but you beat me to it Bossdog. Love this quote from it:

"It’s tempting to underestimate the power of blisters, and without the pictures I can’t really show you the extent of some people’s trouble, so I’ll take one guy as an example. He lost all the skin off the base of his heels on the first day. They only got worse: by the end he had no epidermis on his feet at all, and the doctors were checking him at every checkpoint. He was walking on raw meat and exposed nerve endings for most of the race. He finished. English."
A couple of friends did it in 2005, I few out to Morocco meet them at the finish line. Here's a rather good diary of the event from one competitor Charlie Norton

As taken from the article, it seems the British have an affinity for understating hardship:
Age breeds stamina and mental toughness but for pure stoicism it was hard to match the British contingent of over 200. Most would pride themselves on not complaining about the hardship of the race and having a laugh over everything.

I saw one Brit crawling up a dune looking as though he was at death's door, but when he was asked how he was he said: "Just a moment of bother."
Read the account by Dr Mike Stroud an MoD doctor and complete loon who did it a few years ago. His book is called Survival of the Fittest. And is an excellent book about human fitness and endurance.....
I am seriously thinking of doing it .. I need a new challenge in life!


Book Reviewer
There's a Gunner doing it next year to raise funds for Headley Court (unless that is Hammersley ?) - I'll see if I can dig out a link.

And a team from RAF Valley are in training NOW for 2009.

Harry, if you're serious about this you might want to Google a guy called Chris Moon.

Ex RMP who became a de-miner and got into a barney with a Soviet AT mine in Mozambique.

I went past him in the 2000 London Marathon. He was running on an artificial leg. The girl I was with ( well, hanging on to actually) said

' look at him. Think about how much pain HE's in - and stop whinging'

Fair comment really.

He went on to run the Marathon des Sables ( and by way of light exercise a gentle jog in the States called the Death Valley Ultra).

Good luck in your ambition. My hat is well and truly doffed to anyone who makes it round.

Don Cabra
A very hard race.

Do consider Morocco's illegal military occupation of Western Sahara before signing up. You might not wish to passively support it by entering the event.
troopie said:
Did it in 2001, doing it again in 2009. is the website for the UK, Ireland & Israel representative.

Entries for the 2009 event were sold out in 20 minutes! Keep an eye on the website for when entries for 2010 open.
Did you run it in a pair of Union Jack shorts per chance?
Personally I think I'll wait until I do the London Marathon next year before I try anything further. Although I do fancy doing an Ironman in the near future.

What other challenges are there: I know of Gobi Challenge, Marathon de Sables but there must be more?


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