Marathon Des Sables 2013

robotrobot ✭✭✭
I'm considering the idea of this race and just trying to find out a few things about the actual running. For instance, on day 4 you have to cover something like 55 miles in 24 hours. Does everybody actually run this entire leg or walk run/walk etc


  • There is a programme on t.v this week about it. Not sure what channel ....discovery??
  • Discovery channel 9 p.m. Thursday. called the toughest race on earth.
  • that show is the first in 3 part james cracknell series.

    you have to carry all your kit and its over 40 degrees. there will be plenty of walkers!


    I watched the very lovely Ben Fogle do this event via you tube awhile ago, but it does not seem to be on there now. Quite fancied doing this, but would probably end up getting lost and having to drink my own urine.

    Read this book, which was okay, but more about the training getting there, then the actual race in my opinion.
    The Marathon Des Sables: Seven Days in the Sahara Enduring the Toughest Footrace on Earth [Paperback]
    Mark Hines (Author)

    Believe there is a waiting list, unless you gain a charity place. Keep us updated if you enter.
  • robotrobot ✭✭✭
    thanks for the answers - ill certainly be watching that program and buying the book.

    I'm no ultra runner (yet) but i cant stop thinking about this race - it does seem to be closed for 2011 2012 so i was thinking about registering for 2013. it will be very expensive.

    as for getting lost and having to drink your own urine, i hate ot when that happens.
  • Robot, there's a good book by Steve Cushing about his training and taking part in the 24th MDS. Looking forward to the James Cracknell programme.
  • robotrobot ✭✭✭
    this book seems to have taken a bit of a panning from reviewers at amazon: The Marathon Des Sables: Seven Days in the Sahara Enduring the Toughest Footrace on Earth

    but the steve cushing book seems to be unavailable. anyone kno where i might find a copy?

  • It may turn up on ebay at some point if you list it, and then you get an email letting you know. I personally would hold out for the steve cushing book. The author of the book I bought annoyed me from about page 2!
  • robotrobot ✭✭✭
    thanks again to those who mentioned the program. i watched it last night and really enjoyed it - an excellent insight into the race. cracknells performance was incredible. maybe the added drama from the 'thermo physiologists' was a touch over the top though. one thing i would have liked to know was the actual times for each section. they didn't really go down that path.
  • Mds Link

    Robot here is a link to the book you want...i read it a few years reads more as a blog/diary then a "how to" guide....mostly covers his year before the race and only the last few chapters cover the race....he also hates anyone that walks in the event as well

  • robotrobot ✭✭✭
    nice one flat footed - i just bought it from your link
  • Watched the discovery programme, James is amazing, how can he push himself so hard?
  • His achievement was good, I would have liked to see how he would have got on without all the flunkies carrying out tests on his body all the time.
  • I think he would have done okay, he knows how to get the best out of his body.
  • race looked incredibly boring; sand and sky for umpteen hours a day.

    good program but commentary was OTT, he's an olympic rower with a team of scientists training/maintaining him. the guy he was 'racing' looked like a complete amateur

    can anyone tell me why he was pouring lots of the water over his head rather than carrying it for a little while and drinking it later on?

  • robotrobot ✭✭✭
    yes i did think it was a bit odd chucking the water around like that while the commentary was insisting he was on deaths door through dehydration. another thing about the commentary was the 'james has just 45 days to train for the toughest race in earth' thing - not mentioning he was already fit enough to qualify for the duathalon team.

    but i suppose your average viewer needs this kind of added drama to keep them interested.
  • Still interested in competing in it Robot?
  • robotrobot ✭✭✭
    yes, even more so having watched the program
  • Good luck in your preparation, I hope it comes off for you!!
  • robotrobot ✭✭✭
    reg open now, i'm in
  • me too. weird reg procedure, too easy?
  • robotrobot ✭✭✭
    yeah i had the credit card at the ready for deposit but not needed (yet)
  • for those who haven't worked it out, there is a new UK agent from 2013:

  • Yip, I'm in - wife thinks I'm a nutter........correct!
  • I'm in as well - Someone commented it was easy to get in, indeed it was - even I was surprised at getting in.  But consider that all places went in an hour - It won't be so easy for those now wanting a place.  Some would say we were the lucky ones - some would say the unlucky ones!!!  Brilliant - can't wait!
  • ah, there is a thread after all....thought there might be

    I am in also and massively looking forward to this but glad there are two years to train for it!

    Just thought it might be good to gauge experience/youth/madness etc of the group of us who have signed up so here are a few stats on me:

    Age = 40
    Years running = 7
    Years injured  = 2 (major achilles surgery)
    Marathons done = 12
    Ultras done = 3 (2 times Comrades plus one 31 miler)
    Desert experience = NONE!!!!
    Multiday experience = 2011 Jurassic Coast Challenge (three v.hilly off road marathons in three days)

    Anyone else care to share???

  •  Welcome Clive, Stuart and Rich. Has it sunk in yet that you'll be in the desert in less than two years?

    A useful website (including forum) just for the mds:

  • Thanks, madaussie - yes it has image and I'm already excited image

    Already on the MdS forum (richL) - it's a great site

  • registered now (nottcl)

    and yes - it's slowly dawning on me what I have let myself in for

  • I spent some time this evening explaining to my friend exactly what she'd signed up for (shes on the waitlist), not sure if she'll pull out?
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