27 February 2015

FBF: MdS 2000

Today is a flashback to the first time I did Marathon des Sables....my very first ultramarathon. I was pulled off the course by medics during the 50-mile day, day four, so this remains an unfinished task for me. It has taken 15 years, two careers, two children, a near-death experience and the full disintegration of everything I thought my life would be for me to get back to this point. I am not sure what it is I will gain from this race, other than the satisfaction of knowing that I wanted it badly enough to get back to the start. I will find a way to make it across the finish line.

Below is the documentary on the 2000 race, the 15th running, and you'll find Lisa & Jay Batchen as well as Mike Wardian and Cathy Tibbetts, among the many athletes who ran the race. I'm there briefly in the beginning with the Americans group photo as well as around the 35-minute mark, limping along. Mike is just as fun and funny now as he was then (and without the beard!). Also, if the athletic prowess of the Ahansal brothers does not leave you in awe, well, you should just stop reading my blog now.

Check out the shoes and clothes we wore, as well as the jerry-rigging for my water bottles on my back pack. I do remember the heat, especially on dune day. On the 50-mile day, we had a sand-storm that just filled your mouth. If you watch the start of the 50-mile day, you'll see two of the Spaniards who are in the pics below. They helped me treat my feet every night and took some of the photos below. (I also met several others who have become lifelong friends, including Gerry D. from Scotland, who helped me make it through 2013 and who has been a devoted friend over the past 15 years.)

Some of the Americans, yes, that's Cathy Tibbetts next to me, then Mike with a sweet do-rag. 
Me & Mike after day one. Our hair is awesome. 
Day two. 
Mike & Jordi 
My daily foot treatment! 
This was taken as we emerged from the dunes on day three. 
Dune day. 
A view of the desert. 
One thing I know about MdS is that it parallels my life's experiences: it's not always about being fast or being first, it's about persevering, it's about getting past the doubt and fears and finding a way to keep going, through our heart and our will. And I will. 


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