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Green… like the desert ?

CP3 Le desert les attend1Rarely has the transfer between Ouarzazate and the first bivouac offered the competitors such a spectacular sight. Indeed the heavy winter rain has put on quite a show this year with the vegetation considerably more lush than usual to the great delight of the herds of sheep and goats massed along the roadside. Though the sand, the dunes and the usual desert landscapes will punctuate their strides, the competitors may have a few surprises in store over the next few days as they add a splash of green to the desert’s already wonderful palette of colours.

Messengers of the heart

As is the case every year at each evening’s finish, the runners will be keeping an eye out for the bivouac organisers to come along with messages of encouragement for them posted on the organisation’s site. Last year, nearly 50,000 emails were printed out and distributed. With an extra 300 runners this year, the records are set tumble.

Dulcet tones to ease the fears

After the traditional briefing, the runners got the chance to enjoy a concert by the Moroccan artist Aziz Sahamoui at the very heart of the bivouac - an opportunity for everyone to clear their minds and forget tomorrow’s programme for a few moments. As tradition has dictated for a number of years, the musicians from the Paris opera will treat the runners to a concert at the end of the race, at the foot of the Merzouga dunes.