World's Toughest Runs: Guide to the Marathon des Sables, Sahara Desert, Morocco
Do you think running 5 and a half marathons in 5 days would be a challenge? What if we said you’d need to do it in 50 degree heat, through the sands of the Sahara Desert? Still reading? Welcome to the Marathon des Sables, one of the craziest, hottest ultra marathons on earth. For over 30 years, the maddest of runners have been taking up the challenge of hitting the trail through the desert. Over 1300 competitors compete each year for glory along the sandy trails in Morocco. If the conditions of the race aren’t enough to entice you, here’s something else. You are required to carry your own food and support systems for the duration of the race. There are weight restrictions (minimum 6.5 kilograms, maximum 15 kilograms) so you’ll need to be very economical about what you take. From your sleeping bag to your toothbrush - you’ll have to haul it all to the end of the line. Food is critical to keep your body functioning throughout the gruelling race days. A minimum of 14 000 calories must be carried, equalling a budget of 2000 calories of food per day. As this contributes to your weight, you’ll be best off finding the most calorie dense foods you can (that means high fat sources like peanut butter!). Camaraderie is strong in the race, and this can be by design. Each night runners are accommodated in open sided traditional Berber tents with 7 other competitors. If you are connected with other runners you can nominate your sleeping arrangements ahead of time, or you can try your luck on the first night. Training for the Marathon des Sables requires special planning. It’s not enough to prepare your body by doing the miles. You’ll need to condition yourself to running marathon distances with weights. Buy your gear early if you can so you can find any trouble spots before the race. If you’re from a cooler climate, spending time doing Bikram yoga (a method of body conditioning conducted in very hot training rooms) may help you acclimatise. The Marathon des Sables is an extremely challenging race that pushes competitors to the edge of endurance, but it’s worth saying that many return to compete year after year - there must be something in that desert sand! About Enertor Advanced Technology Insoles - Enertor insoles are designed to prevent a number of common running injuries and provide more comfort. Designed by leading podiatrists to reduce your risk of injury, the unique design features support your foot throughout training. Enertor insoles are enhanced by D3O impact protection technology, which means they can provide more shock absorption than any other insole. Our expertise, combined with the patented D3O shock absorption technology, enables Enertor to deliver the most advanced injury prevention insoles on the market today. Enertor insoles are available online HERE .