t

he Marathon des Sables

The Marathon des Sables (MdS, Marathon of the Sands, or Sahara Marathon)[1] is a six-day, 251 km (156 mi)[2] ultramarathon, which is the equivalent of six regular marathons. The longest single stage (2009) is 91 km (57 mi) long.

This multiday race is held every year in southern Morocco, in the Sahara desert. It is considered the toughest foot race on Earth.[1][3] The first event of the Marathon started in 1986.


  • Competitors must carry all personal belongings and food for the entire event in their backpack. Water and tents are supplied by the organizers.
  • During the 1994 race, Italian police officer Mauro Prosperi lost his way during a sand storm and wandered lost for more than 9 days, losing over 13 kg (30 lb) of body weight.
  • In 2007, the BBC reported the total cost to participate as being about ‚ā§2565 (US$5000).[4]
  • As of 2007, two competitors had died during the race.[5]
  • For the 2008 Marathon des Sables, the registration fee was ‚ā¨2550 before taxes.[6]
  • As of 2009, Lahcen Ahansal from Morocco had won 10 titles, and his brother Mohammed Ahansal 3 titles.
  • In the 2009 race, there was heavy rain, in the two days before the start of the race, causing the first and last day's stages to be cancelled due to flooding. This had never before occurred during the history of the MdS. To compensate, the 'long stage' was the longest in the race's history at 56 miles.
  • The 2011 race saw a new winner take the podium, Rachid Motaboity, Mohamed Ahansal's pupil and fellow countryman, in a time of 20 hours, 58 minutes and 19 seconds. It was the longest yet at 250.7 km.
  • For 2011 - the event used

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