Your Middle East
Last updated: April 7, 2014

These folks run 251km in five days. Through the Sahara.

Banner Icon Imagine running five and a half marathons in five or six days. That’s a tough task. Now imagine doing it across the Sahara desert… a warm welcome to the notorious Marathon of the Sands.

The 2014 edition of MdS, ranked by the Discovery Channel as the toughest footrace on earth, has just begun. The notorious multi-day race covers 251 kilometers and begins in southern Morocco. According to the rules you are self-sufficient and carry with you everything you need to survive, except water. You spend the night in organized tents but food and other equipment must be carried on your back.

The race started in 1986 by Patrick Bauer and has since grown in popularity.

The website reassures that you gain lifelong friendship, experience something you will never forget, “push your mind and body to the limit,” find out about things you never knew of yourself, and finally, that “in all likelihood you’ll get kissed (twice!) by a Frenchman.”

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But in order to survive you will need a high dose of commitment. On the MdS website we find words of wisdom from Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, meant as a source of inspiration for the competitors:

" Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.

Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now."

Follow the adventurous competitors on Twitter using #MDS2014 and @RunningSaharaUK

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