Here we go AGAIN!!
My old buddy, Scott Nathan, and I challenged each other to a race back in 2009... Scott and I have known each other since primary school - Upper Ferntree Gully Primary - nearly 30 years ago.. We even ended up in the same class at Melbourne High School from year 9 onwards. It's safe to say I've know Scott longer than anyone that is currently in my life, save members of my family. For this and many other reasons, I knew Scott was up to this massive challenge and have been looking forward to sharing the journey with him. He's a former Ironman Smasher and has a number of very quick marathons under his belt. I'd also like to thank his gorgeous wife Jo and his beautiful 1 year old daughter Amelia, for letting him come along for the ride!
The race has an extraordinary amount of prestige attached to it.. It began as a personal challenge for a French adventure runner named Patrick Bauer, when he covered 320km of the Sahara in 1986. He wanted to share his amazing challenge and thus created the Marathon Des Sables to encourage others to live a similar dream. Now the race is in it's 26th year, with 1000 competitors from 42 countries.
The basic schedule is as follows:
- 01 april 2011: departure in Morocco, transfer to first bivouac
- 02 april 2011: technical and administrative checks, acclimatisation day
- 03 to 09 april 2011: the event - 250km course will be revealed on technical day
- 09 april 2011: transfer, dinner and night at hotel
- 10 april 2011: relaxation, lunch, awards, entertainment, dinner, night at hotel
- 11 april 2011: return to France
In essence we will run various distances each day for 6 days, with an 80km section on the third day. We do get a rest on the fourth day, as long as we complete the long stage in just one day. We need to carry at least 6 days worth of food and a whole lot of compulsory survival kit. We get 1.5 litres of water for each section of the run, then 4.5 litres of water. Each stage begins at 9am and the heat of the desert gets up to 50?C, running over sand dunes and across desert plains, so the water is of enormous value! Whichever way you cut it, it's pretty tough stuff..
We are in Ouarzazate right now. Tomorrow (actually, today) is the 1st of April and we begin our ride to the Sahara Desert. I'm not gonna lie... I'm pretty bloody excited. I can't say I'm particularly nervous or anxious yet, but I think I've just gotten to a point that I don't get too razzed until I'm on the start line. But this adventure is bigger than the proverbial Ben Hur, so it's worth getting just a little super goddamn excited about!!
You can watch Scotty and I take on this massive challenge checking 3 things daily from the 3rd of April to the 9th of April:
Now check out this cool little promo video and see just why I'm a little excited... hehe..
Well, I'm off. Stay well, do amazing things and believe in yourself, the way I believe in you.. I'm off on the next BIG adventure, running like crazy all over this beautiful little planet of ours!
Your boy in the African Furnace - The T-Bone!