Well, it's 150+ miles across the Moroccan Sahara, carrying everything you need for five (or six) days of running on your back; yes, that includes food, clothes, hygiene (!) and the requisite emergency gear. The race organizers kindly provide you with approximately 10 1/2 liters of water per day, which you ration according to your needs, and a coursebook, to ensure you make a left at the next wadi. You bivouac at night, and by this, I mean you sleep on Berber rugs laid over the desert floor under an open tent supported by wooden poles, which you share with seven other runners.
Here are a couple of recent visuals on the course itself:
Here's a section of the map from the coursebook last year:
|I kid you not.|
It's also the last race in my 12for12for1200 series.
Fear not, dear readers, for I will have a teammate - the incredible Mosi Smith, also a Marine officer and Semper Fi Fund fundraiser. In case you were wondering, he's done over 14 races of 100 miles or more (including Badwater and Western States), the JFK 50-miler four times, and last year completed a triple Ironman - that would be 7.2 miles of swimming, 336 miles of biking followed by 78.6 miles of running - all in one fell swoop. He's pretty much indestructible, so I think I'll be good if I run in trail.
|Mosi in action|
Lest you think I am in over my head, worry not! It is Flashback Friday, after all....
I give you the following two images from almost 15 years ago:
|Gaiters? Compression? What're those things? I got mad sunscreen, I'm good!|
|Yes, those folks are Jay & Lisa Batchen and Mike Wardian. |
I'm on the right, with a super short haircut!
But first, I have stops in Texas, Virginia and North Carolina....always one more mile to go....
(For a great race overview and recap, check out: Outrunning MS: Marathon des Sables Diary)