The Marathon des Sables is ranked by the Discovery Channel as the toughest footrace on earth.
Known simply as the MdS, the race is a gruelling multi-stage adventure through a formidable landscape in one of the world’s most inhospitable climates - the Sahara desert. The rules require you to be self-sufficient, to carry with you on your back everything except water that you need to survive. You are given a place in a tent to sleep at night but any other equipment and food must be carried.
Started in 1986 by Patrick Bauer, the race will be in its 30th consecutive year in 2015 and continues to grow in popularity every edition. Places are much sought after, but those who do make it to the start line are richly rewarded. Under the scorching Moroccan sun, life-long friendships are fostered through a shared experience of unforgettable days spent running across saltpans, up desert-mountains, through ruined towns and through the occasional sand storm.
The Marathon des Sables is open to individuals and teams of individuals, amateur and elite runners. With runners coming from all over the world, the MdS is a truly international event that has a positive impact on the local environment and in local communities. Through the MdS foundation Solidarite, runners have raised funds to help hundreds of families through education and improve their quality of life.
Imagine yourself in the Sahara desert
with nothing but rolling sand dunes for miles around. When you plough your feet through the sand, a fine dust kicks up. You can’t feel the sweat dripping down your face because it’s evaporating in the baking heat. Your lungs feel parched. Today’s temperature is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees centigrade). Part of your brain is screaming at you to stop, right now, to drop out of the race, but the other part of your brain is stronger. The other part of your brain knows that when you complete the final stage of the Marathon des Sables, you will have run the equivalent of five and a half marathons in five or six days, a total distance of some 251 km – 156 miles*. (*Subject to the race route). Allow a total of at least 10 days for travel, preparation and tests for this race from the start date shown.
No one can deny that finishing the MdS is an incredible accomplishment. But more importantly, you will walk away with a new slant on life - that you can achieve anything you set your mind to do.
Join us for the event that defined the word ULTRAMARATHON.
You can register your interest for the next race here.
Read Mandy Davin's 2015 MDS experience here.
Read Matt Buck's 2014 review here.
Read Ian Corless' MDS article Darkness to light here.
Read about Ian Corless' Hints and Tips for MDS here.
Start reading John Bell's 2014 review here.
You can listen to interviews with 2015 runners here: