The Race

In April 2010 Simon Saunders and Harry Harron will take part in the Marathon des Sables.

Why this IS the toughest footrace on Earth

It covers 243km/151 miles (in sections similar to 25, 34, 38, 82, 42, 22 km) run over 6 days (7 for some) – equivalent to 5 1/2 regular marathons. That’s a speed of between 3 and 14 km an hour. In addition to that, competitors have to carry everything they will need for the duration (apart from a tent) on their backs in a rucksack (food, clothes, medical kit, sleeping bag etc). Water is rationed and handed out at each checkpoint.

The team will have to prepare all our own food throughout the race. No Tesco stores in sight of course. We will experience mid-day temperatures of up to 120°F, of running or walking on uneven rocky, stony ground as well as 15 – 20% of the distance being in sand dunes.

The heat, distance and rubbing will hurt feet and may cause severe trauma if incorrect shoes and equipment are used. Mental stamina probably constitutes at least 50% of whether participants will complete the distance or not. Physical fitness is important but no one can underestimate the mental stress that the team will need to endure. Even though Harry and Simon have run many 26 mile marathons and mountain marathons between them, this does not mean that we will automatically find the MdS easy – either way we will be planning to do lots of training prior to the MdS.

On the 4th day, we will set off across the barren wilderness to complete a 45 – 50 mile stage. Few people complete this before dark that evening and some will not come in till after dark the next night. This is followed by the 42km Marathon stage!! We know it’s tough, so we can’t say that nobody warned us in the strongest terms.


Desert Kit List

The below list is compiled from experienced runners in this event that we will need to carry with us. The aim is to keep the weight below 10kg. For each 10% of body weight carried there is a 20% increase in work load on the heart.

Below is a summary

2 x Running Tops

1 x Running Shorts

1 x light weight fleece for night time (can be cold)

1 x Hat with neck protector

1 x Buff

1 x Night head wear – light weight hat to sleep in

2 x socks

1 x Raid light desert gaiters (stop sand getting into shoes)

1 x Running shoes

1 x Down Sleeping Bag (must be light weight)

1 x Sleeping bag liner

1 x Sleeping mat

1 x Back pack

1 x Front pack

1 x Drinking system

1 x Stove – MSR Pocket Rocket

1 x Pot and Utensils – MSR Titan Kettle

Food – Expedition Food Breakfasts, Meals, Puddings

Energy bars, electrolytes, protein bars, gels

1 x Anti-venom pump

1 x First Aid Kit – Adventure Medical Kit 3

10 x Engo Blister patches

1 x Signal mirror

1 x Survival Blanket – AMK Heat sheets Survival Blanket

1 x Whistle

1 x Knife with scissors

1 x Head torch

5 x Wemmi Wipes – Hygiene

1 x Sunglasses

1 x Watch

2 x Insoles


2 responses

1 11 2010
Hand Car Wash :

energy bars gives me the energy i need specially during heavy workouts ‘

18 11 2010
Condenser Dryer

some sleeping bags are waterproof and weatherproof too, they are nice for camping outside the house ;,.

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