A long, long way…

7 04 2010

…and a long wait for those waiting for news. We expect no details on stage four until tomorrow evening, but this, taken from the official site, gives you a flavour of what our Loons are going through right now…

This year’s long stage (82.2 km) is rather longer than the average on the MDS, but its most notable feature is the diversity of landscapes encountered. The long stage, that can run over two days, was organized so that the 50 best runners so far got to start at 12.15, while the rest of the 961 competitors still in the race set off at 9.15. The day starts with a 12km flat stretch to get to check point 1. It’s the price to pay to access the beautiful valley between Jebel Zireg and Jebel El Mziouda. After climbing up to a pass, they marvel at the extraordinary landscape: golden sand at the foot of the mountains, rocky undulations, fields of locust tree and camel grass, large stretches of black shiny stones.
Coming out of the valley, they come across CP 2, at 26.1km, and behind it, the dried up lake of the El Mader wadi. They cross it and then go up towards the El Maharch oasis, its inn and most of all its palm trees, offering shade to those who want to rest and recover. CP 3 at 38.7km heads towards the Rhéris wadi crossing and CP 4 at 51km. Most of the competitors will be spending the night on the track, using the lamps on their backpacks. Some will want to carry on no matter what, others will only stop to eat or sleep a few hours at a check point. One thing is sure, in the darkness the pace will get slower.

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