I’ve always been fascinated by the Sahara Desert in Morocco. A few years ago I was reading the travel section of the Chicago newspaper and there was a beautiful picture of runners in the desert. The caption read, “Marathon Des Sables: Toughest Footrace on Earth!” That caught my attention.
I started reading and was fascinated from the start. Why so tough? Well, the race is six days long. You basically are running a marathon each day in extreme heat. On the 4th day they really put you to the test by having you run about 46 miles. Keep in mind that you have your entire week’s supply of food, clothing, sleeping bag, etc. on your back as you run.
Did I mention extreme heat of over 100˚ Fahrenheit? During the day runners are given water at different rest stops. At night you sleep in a designated tent with seven other people, who become your family. Yes, there could be scorpions, but it sounds like you don’t care… at that point you are so tired and dealing with blisters that you plop down to sleep.
I fantasize about doing this race; although, I know it’s not realistic. I cannot take the heat, I really dislike running, I have never been in a marathon, I am currently not in marathon shape and I am not in my 20s – 30s. Did I miss my chance?
The appeal for me with this race is crossing the desert – having an adventure. Of course, there is the question of stamina, endurance, and determination as well. So, when are we too old to attempt something like this? They say some people in their 60s have walked the race. Yes/No? What do you think?
FYI – registration for 2016 is now.