"The MDS is about letting go"

Alexandre & Emmanuel ELALOUF (D135&129-FRA)

Embarking on the MARATHON DES SABLES PERU as a family is a beautiful way of raising further interest about an event that promises to be incredible: Alexandre and Emmanuel ELALOUF are brothers in real life and also in the desert. Emmanuel, the eldest, is taking part in his third MDS tomorrow, whereas for Alexandre, the youngest, it will be his second edition. They had already participated together in the 30th Moroccan edition, and won over by the concept, they decided to repeat the experience: "For us, the MDS is about letting go, being immersed in essential and simple nature: the desert."


As in any brotherhood, the eldest has the difficult task of watching over his younger brother: "The only thing is that my mum has asked me to bring him back," says Emmanuel, before Alexandre adds: "Otherwise he'll get beaten up and will be disinherited."


Both brothers admit they "are like diesel engines": it takes time for them to get started, but then, they have endurance...a lot of endurance. And also a decent sense of humour: "Emmanuel will be completing his 60th year with a beautiful MDS - not bad, uh?" And the concerned brother to complete: "I'm about to have two grand-children. I hope I'll run fast enough to arrive before they do!"


The two brothers share their 6-tent circle with another Frenchman met by chance on the bivouac and three Romanians – two women and a man. They like this confrontation with new people, which can lead to enriching discussions. Their team is called Latitude 55: "Our name comes from the fingers of the hand – 5 for one hand, 5 for the other hand, and 55 is both hands", he explains by holding his hands tight, as a symbol of the fraternity that binds these two participants.