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Philip Culpan (D 704, NZL)

“A privilege to be here”

At 50, Philip is an experienced runner. With nearly 30 marathons to his credit and a personal best of 2h41’, his experience has pushed him towards the Sahara. A native of Auckland, in New Zealand, but living in London, this business analyst is returning to the SULTAN MARATHON DES SABLES, after a debut experience last year (240th). “It’s a race I’ve always dreamed of, he says. I really loved it last year. You meet a lot of people from all over the world. At the finish, you feel so good, so relieved. When I tell people I’m going to do it, they take me for a fool sometimes. They don’t see the point of running in the sand, in this heat and with a rucksack. I tell them they have to come and do it if they want to understand it. It’s a very special spirit. Everyone forms a kind of family and camaraderie is at the base of all that. You arrive not knowing anyone and by the time you leave you have new friends. I don’t know if it’s the toughest race in the world, but it’s certainly the most beautiful. In competitive terms, I’d really like to improve on last year’s time (133rd in the first leg of this 2015 edition) but above all I’m here for the desert. It’s a privilege to be here and be able to run in such a setting. It’s everything you could possible hope for as a runner and some….

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