Marathon des Sables
I'm not sure what possessed me to enter Marathon Des Sables other than a wish to have a long term goal to build towards. An opportunity to do something that would test my mettle, mind and sportsmanship.
A 150mile Sahara Desert Foot Race, Singing Out Loud And A Taste For Gin Taught Me Anything Is Possible
Nothing could have prepared me for how I felt when I first saw the empty infinity stretch out in front of me. I could hear it goading me. What right do you have to be here! It shouted. This was mankind's most deadly theatre. It had consumed armies; halted dictators and sucked the life out of the unprepared. It was going to chew me up and spit me out. It told me it would destroy me. It would spare my life but not my dignity. I nodded politely but then stared it down, hard. I had other ideas. "Let's see", I said, as I turned and walked back down the hillock of sand (I tripped a little as I got to the bottom).
For myself, I'd been running for well over a decade before I first came across the Golden Secret five years ago. I was training for the Marathon des Sables, in the Sahara, and one of the absolute keys to finishing this extraordinary race is to stay injury-free.
The Marathon des Sables - The Ten Secrets You Need to Know Before Running the World's Toughest Foot-Race
In five weeks' time, at the beginning of April, there will take place in the Sahara this absolutely insane mid-life Rite of Passage when over 800 men and women will beast themselves to breaking point...
So many endurance runners spend their lives knocking off endless marathons - and though they probably think it's a stretch, it's nothing of the sort. I guess it depends what you want out of life. Do you want to continue striving for the same goal over and over again? Or do you want to evolve?
I know how the fantasy goes. Those wonderful dreams of striding along through the parks, powerful, effortless, and then the cheers and tears as you finally spill over the finish-line. The reality, as any runner knows, is a little different.
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The Marathon des Sables, or MdS as it is known, is a week-long 150-mile trek through the heat of the Sahara. The French Commissaires provide you with water and flapping leaky tents, but as for the rest, you're on your own...