Are You Able To Do The Sables?
Photo credit: MyBestRuns.com
Some people love to run. We all know that it can be a great form of exercise, that it releases endorphins into your system, and that it can be very rewarding.
Then, there are those who take running to the next level. There are some people who run half marathons at incredible speeds, those who take on the full 26.2 mile marathon challenge, and then... there are those runners who may be called borderline insane. The runners who will be taking part in the Marathon de Sables ultra-marathon fall into that last category. Though most people would consider them completely nuts, to fellow marathon enthusiasts the world over, they are heroes.
The Marathon de Sables is considered by Discovery to be the most grueling marathon on the face of the planet. This 156 mile ultra marathon is held in one of the world’s most unlivable pieces of land- the Sahara Desert.
Runner’s will race through six main stages of the marathon, the longest being over 50 miles itself. The runners not only have to brace themselves against sweltering heats that will definitely reach 120 degrees or more, but also sand whipping across their faces and bodies as well as limited water rations. That’s exactly right! Runners are entirely self sustained. They carry everything they need for the challenge ahead on their backs as they run through the desert. Although tents are set up for them at the end of every night, everything else is left up to the runners. The water that they drink is carried on their backs and if they decide that they need more to survive than they’ve been rationed, their time is penalized.
The Marathon de Sables, known simply as MdS, offers challenges beyond belief. But, for those who do make it to the starting line, there’s already a lot that’s been won. Given the absolute intensity of the experience, some incredible and lasting friendships are fostered. Can you imagine connecting with anyone in a more authentic, vulnerable way than while traversing up the sides of jagged mountains and across blazing salt plains?
Not only are the friendships that are fostered rewarding for runners, but participants also are contributing to the livelihood of local communities. Runners will course through destroyed towns and over endangered landscapes. Their racing will help financially support those areas that are most in need. What could be better, honestly? Good friendships, a workout beyond belief, and positively helping those in need? The Marathon de Sables is what’s up!