Marathon des Sables

Fourth Stage | MdS

fourth stage | MdS | BARAKA

The fourth stage : the long one !

The Long Stage (86.2km) is something many competitors are both longing for and fearing: their Holy Grail and their Nemesis. Covering almost 90 km in the desert, with stony terrains, dunes, jebels, and even big trees –the first ones since the start of the event– is like having a daydream (or a nightmare?).
“My head is 100% OK, I just need to make my body cooperate.” Lauren O MALLEY (D0921-USA)
“My muscles are not aching, but my feet are destroyed.” - Jérôme SOUDAN (D0119-FRA)
“My biggest problem? My backpack is too heavy, so my back and shoulders are more tired than my legs.” Ruyuan MA (D0600-CHN)
Emily ROLFE (D0545-GBR)
“This morning, I'm feeling really tired mentally, and I'm afraid of this Long Stage. But I know that my dad will be here to support me.”
Bruno COLETTA (D0132-FRA)
“The wind blew quite strong during the night, and my friend got up to close the tent. I was so exhausted I couldn't find the energy to thank him.”
Gills ROBERT (D0273-FRA)
“Two days ago, in the long sandy descent, I went too fast and with the weight of my bag, I now have a contracture in my thigh...”
The maximum number of hours to complete the Long Stage: competitors must reach Bivouac 4 before 7:30 PM today.
Yesterday morning, one could sense the nervous tension in the 1,130 competitors at the start of the Long Stage. They all know that statistically, if they complete this stage, they are almost certain to finish the MARATHON DES SABLES. So they hold on tight, despite the (sometimes unforeseen) sores…
Rachid EL MORABITY (D0001-MAR) won last yesterday’s stage in front of Britain's Thomas EVANS (D0775-GBR), further strengthening his lead in the overall standings. Nathalie MAUCLAIR (D0247-FRA) beat Elisabet BARNES (D0663-SWE) on the stage, but the Swede is still ahead of the general.
Provisional results:
LARATTA family, a sporting one: François and Agnès (father and mother) have been practicing mountain bike, trail running and triathlon for 25 years, and their daughter, Alice, started triathlon at the age of 8. François has already participated in 3 MARATHON DES SABLES: For his wife and daughter, it's the first time. The family motto: “All together at the finish line”
The three of them run with other competitors for a charity called 'Le Point Rose': “The story of Carla Marie really moved us. Beyond the sporting adventure, we wanted to give a special meaning to our family participation, and the fact of competing to support a charity has become our main objective.”
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