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MEETING UP WITH THEIR SOUL

Far from the bustle of the upcoming Paris Marathon, those competing in the 30th SULTAN MARATHON DES SABLES have really benefited from the immensity and the peace of the desert. At the end of the longest leg in the history of the event (91.7km), much of which was under the cover of darkness, they have written one of the most beautiful pages in the event’s history and above all one of the most intense in their existence.
TODAY'S NEWS

An endless day

1,258 starters, 72 retirements since the start

Some have yelled and cried. Others crossed the finish line more simply. At the end of this 4th leg of the 30th SULTAN MARATHON DES SABLES between the Zireg and Jdaid jebel, the longest leg in the history of the event with some 91.7km on the programme, there is the same relief. Pride was the keyword whatever the level, from Rachid El Morabity, the fastest in 8h39’ to those who walked for over 30 hours. Despite a rather haggard look at times, the eyes are bright, the gait heavy, they emerge out of the darkness, the light of the headtorches mixing with the dazzling stars.

Some prefer to stop off at one of the checkpoints to take some time out and rest the body and the mind. A soup, a little corner of a rug in a tent, and above all some attention from the volunteers, checkpoint controllers and the Doc Trotters, who always know just what to say to erase their ills. After that they head back out onto the racetrack, pushed along by their faith, pushed along by the cause they have come to defend, pushed along by the spirit of those who inspire them somewhere around the planet. Along the way, they’ve probably gone some of the way with another competitor. Some kilometres share the same route, the same breathing and the same sensations. They didn’t know each other a few hours earlier and yet when one is suffering, the other is there. A little later, the roles may be reversed. United we stand as the saying goes… The competitors in the SULTAN MARATHON DES SABLES can testify to that. When day breaks in the valley taking them to the bivouac, they’ll rediscover the grandiose landscapes of the south-Moroccan Sahara. As they move ever closer to the finish line, the tears and the yells surface.

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