25th Marathon des Sables 2010 is on!
It's only 250 km of relatively slow running, divided into six stages during a week, so what's the big deal?
- Even if you have the money (this is not the cheapest race around), it can be tough to get in because of the incredible popularity. This year 1013 lucky runners were able to start.
- You have to carry all your food and gear on your back while running. Only limited water and simple tents are provided. Can you imagine living on dehydrated meals a full week?
- Sand. Although the exact course in Moroccan Sahara will be different each year, nobody has ever complained that there weren't enough sand dunes on the way. Sand in shoes means blisters, which is why most runners wear gaiters.
- Temperature. It can be hot (around 40 degrees C) in the sunshine. What's more, desert nights can be notoriously cold.
Results after 1st Stage (29 km) are in. As expected, Moroccan 3-time winner Mohamad Ahansal won in 2:11. American Michael Wardian finished second in 2:19, closely followed by several others.
61-year-young Italian Marco Olmo was 14th in 3:36 and has a fair chance to get in top 10 later on.
Jacques Mahne took 862. place with a relaxed 5:57 performance and is looking forward to becoming the first Finnish ever to finish MdS.