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They open the way

etape3-campagnie-mds2015-copyright-15 bassedefUnder the leadership of Pépé, one of the race’s iconic figures, Boubou, Jaja, Pierrot, Alex and Brice are the six trackers from the SULTAN MARATHON DES SABLES. An essential mission in the organisation. “We came out for a first time in September with Patrick and Pépé to pinpoint the route of our course, explains Boubou. It’s then that we design the legs, note the different GPS points for the checkpoints and the bivouacs and the type of terrain. This enables us to create the road book. Then during the event itself, we head out one day in advance to mark out the route. We make the first tracks and that’s our little privilege.”

Nearly 3% retirement rate

After the first two legs, 37 competitors have had to leave the adventure, either through retirement or by finishing outside a deadline at a checkpoint or at the finish. This represents nearly 3% of the 1,330 runners at the start, or a relatively low total for a race renowned for being one of the toughest in the world. Further proof, if it was needed, of the quality of the competitors’ preparations. Please note that the experience of previous years shows us that the first legs are often those where the retirements are the most frequent. An abrupt finish in what are often very high temperatures is often lethal, as is is an overly ‘touristic’ approach for those who forget the harshness of the exertion.

Messages in their thousands

This was the figure of the day! 27,000 messages have been distributed to the runners over the first two legs of the 30th edition of the SULTAN MARATHON DES SABLES. That equates to over half of what was distributed over the entire race last year. Proof that there is an increasing number of family, friends and colleagues cheering on their nearest and dearest by sending them short messages via the race website. To be continued…