- “Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle” – Napoleon Hill
SAHARA DESERT, 280KM, 5 STAGES, FOOD SELF-SUFFICIENCY
We could perfectly summarize with such four bullet points the way to describe the Maraton Des Sables, considered the toughest race in the world among all. Nevertheless, that would be an understatement. It is much more than running for 5 days exceeding forty/fifty degrees Celsius, among dunes, mountains, and dry desert lakes. Need to admit that the momentum of emotions you face is without a doubt the most beautiful challenge I have ever undertaken. In addition, the reward you get gives you the opportunity to live each day with the greatest desire.
The key is in the preparation, in training everything: from the freeze-dried food you will eat every day to getting used to running with weight, leaving the comfort zone with each training session seeking elevation gain, taking care of your feet – which are your contact with the environment… It cannot be explained; it must be experienced.
Living it after good preparation is differential to enjoy an experience like this. You live with seven people you don’t know upfront, in a tent (who end up being your best friends), rest is limited, you cook your own food, you are totally disconnected, and you can only send one email a day… when you tell people, they call you nuts, and yet it is one of the best experiences I have had in my life.
One of the most frightening memories of this entire journey happened on the last day,without any doubt, the toughest one. Not only because of the complexity of the stage: two marathons in a row, 84 kilometers in the middle of the desert, with tired legs and soul, almost about to collapse; but above all, because of the enthusiasm of those who yearn for their goal, and can almost taste it even with the dryness that the desert leaves you within your hearl. I took a look around myself and didn’t see a single person. It was literally nothing, the endless nature and myself. I had reached around kilometer sixty and it was starting to get dark, everything hurt and I thought: How lucky I am!
This sensation has been one of the most enriching and fulfilling that I have ever felt in thirty-six years of life, as all-in-all, we embark on this train called life to give out our utmost empowerment, and thus, enjoy every moment as if it were the last, as since we only live once, its better to do so with a smile.