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Marathon des Sables Marrakech, Morocco

Marathon Des Sables, also known as the sand marathon is one of the planet’s toughest and unique marathon events, undeniably not for the faint-hearted. Competitors have to cover close to 150 miles of exigent Sahara desert’s sandy terrains, withstand the scotching desert temperatures of between 80 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit, brave the sand storms and rely on basic supplies for several days. Despite these challenges, the event still attracts both individuals and teams who not only strive to reach the finish line, but also learn some of the most essential life skills.

Marrakech - Sand Marathon

Competitors are usually advised to organize, ration and carry their own basic supplies; clothing, medical supplies, sleeping bags, anti-venom pumps (yes, the Sahara is home to over 20 types of very poisonous snakes and scorpions), aluminum survival blanket, among others. The organizers only provide rationed water and some communal open tents. The main challenge starts even before the marathon, where you have to careful plan your supplies, not so heavy since the luggage will slow you down and not so little as you risk running out of supplies before the end of the challenge. Competitors must reach specified checkpoints within stipulated time or face disqualification.

Despite the glaring abrasion and blisters, the whopping $4,000 entry fee, venomous desert snakes and scorpions, and the super high temperatures, the marathon is always booked to capacity; in fact, there is a 2-year registration waitlist. The marathoners can pick their water rations at checkpoints spread between five and ten miles, where medical staff can decide to pull out those who appear unfit from the race. Despite the challenges, the race attracts both experienced marathoners and common persons ready to brave the challenges.

Just before and after the marathon, visitors can view the magnificent Marrakech attractions like the Koutobia Minaret-the tallest and most famous landmark in the city, Djemaa El-fna square, the medina, souks or venture into some other great spots just outside the city. Marathon Des Sables Marrakech, Morocco sets the standards higher every year, are you ready for the challenge?



Kevin T
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 10:59:30 AM
This marathon is really nice, it tests your will and determination. I would like to try that sometimes.

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