By Larbi Arbaoui
By Larbi Arbaoui
Morocco World News
Taroudant, Morocco, March 24, 2012
The 27th Sultan Marathon Des Sables (Marathon of the Sands), organized by Atlantide Organisation Internationale, will take place from 06 to 16 April 2012 in southern Morocco.
This 27th annual event will take place under the aegis of the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism and will bring together around 1 000 Moroccan, French and foreign participants.
The Marathon des Sables, or Sahara Marathon as some people like to call it, is one of the most grueling sport events in the world. The MdS, which is the equivalent of six regular marathons, is a six day, 255km (155-mile) ultramarathon across the desert in southern Morocco in temperatures that reach up to 48 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit). The distance covered is run in free style and in several stages.
According to the MdS 2012 regulations, “The 27th SULTAN MARATHON DES SABLES is a foot race, open to runners and walkers, with several stages, free style, and with food self-sufficiency over a distance of about 240 Km. Each participant must carry his/her own backpack containing food, sleeping gear and other material.” ART. 3
“Anyone meeting the following conditions will be accepted: over 18, any citizenship. Competitors must hold a medical certificate issued by the organization stating their ability to participate and a resting ECG report. The medical certificate and ECG must be dated no more than 30 days before the start of the race. Teenagers over 16 may participate in the 27th SULTAN MARATHON DES SABLES with written permission from a parent or guardian. They will have to meet the same requirements as adults.” ART. 4
The first event of the Marathon started in 1986 and it is organized every year in southern Morocco.
Usually, the winners are Moroccans. In 2011 race the winner was Rachid Almorabty, a Moroccan athlete and Mohamed Ahansal’s pupil, in a time of 20 hours, 56 minutes and 19 seconds. Mohamed Ahnsal was ranked 2end. He covered the race in 21 hours, 03 minutes and 37 seconds. It was the longest yet at 250.7 km.