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The Toughest Footrace on Earth


Today marked the end of the fourth stage of the Marathon des Sables — a 150-mile footrace across the Sahara dubbed “the toughest footrace on earth.”  Now in its 28th year, the MdS as it’s most commonly called is a six-stage, self-supported adventure race across the desert.  Self-supported means that you carry everything you’ll need throughout the race (clothes, food, sleeping stuff, etc); the only support offered by the race is water and a tent to sleep in.  Here’s what the six stages (over seven days) look like:

  • Day 1: 29km
  • Day 2: 36km
  • Day 3: 40km
  • Day 4: 82km
  • Day 5: Rest Day
  • Day 6: 42km
  • Day 7: 21km

I spectated this race (well the start and finish of it) in 2005 when my husband participated, and can attest to the fact that it’s grueling, thrilling, and very, very special all at the same time.  It takes an extremely strong person to put in all the training and do all of the preparation required to get to Morroco, have the courage to start, and have the stamina and commitment to finish the race.  I was moved to tears at the end of it, and now — eight years later — I still find myself transported to the unforgettable experience.

If you’re interested in learning more, here’s a video that will inspire you to cheer this year’s participants on…and maybe even do the event yourself one day!

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