Marathon des Sables

MdS Timings No 2

  • MdS Timings 2 | BARAKA

Between a mouthful of roast turkey and a smoked salmon canapé, take a few minutes to immerse yourself in your future adventure in the heart of the Moroccan desert. Note down your reply to each question then check the correct answers. Don't forget to add up the total and determine your MDSlevel. Good luck!
Q1: How many kilometres will you have to cover next April ?

1/ 42,195 km.
2/ 200 km.
3/ 250 km.

Q2: On the bivouac, how many runners sleep in each tent ?

1/ Only one.
2/ Four.
3/ Eight.

Q3: What's an erg ?

1/ A dune field.
2/ A desert pavement.
3/ An egg fried in the sun.

Q4: What's the highest altitude you can reach on MDS ?

1/ About 500 metres.
2/ About 800 metres.
3/ About 1200 metres.

Q5: What kind of animal might you meet when you go down a track ?

1/ Kangaroos.
2/ Camels.
3/ Dromedaries.

Q6: What's a djebel ?

1/ A Moroccan dish.
2/ A typical dress.
3/ A mountain.

Q7: What's a reg ?

1/ A desert pavement.
2/ A very regular runner.
3/ A chain of dunes.

Q8: What's the average temperature during the race ?

1/ Around 0°C.
2/ Around 20°C.
3/ Around 30°C.

Q9: What's the average speed of the best runners finishing MDS ?

1/ About 9 km/h.
2/ About 11 km/h.
3/ About 13 km/h.

Q10: How many litres of water do you have a right to each day on MDS ?

1/ About 5 litres.
2/ About 10 litres.
3/ About 15 litres.


A1: Answer 3 - yes, you really have committed to running 250 km on MDS. So don't be embarrassed about taking a second helping of pudding tonight.

A2: Answer 3 - the Berber tents on the bivouac each sleep 8 runners. They are pretty basic: a few sticks of wood covered with some black cloth, a ground sheet, and that's it. But they're strong!

A3: Answer 1 - an erg is a field of dunes and sand. You will be crossing a few of them on MDS. Because the sand is soft, at the start you might find it difficult moving fast. And at the end as well!

A4: Answer 3 - on some stages, you will climb real mountains to go from valley to valley, and some of them are about 1,200 metres high. Overall, theMDS route ranges from 500 to 1,200 metres.

A5: Answer 3 - you will mostly see dromedaries while you're in Morocco. Reminder: a dromedary has one hump, a camel has two. Don't let the rearguard of the camel train catch you up with his dromedary!

A6: Answer 3 - a djebel is a mountain, or a group of mountains. You'll be going over a few during MDS, and each time will be an unforgettable experience. At the summit, don't forget to stop and look around you to take in the view.

A7: Answer 1 – a reg (desert pavement), is the opposite of an erg (dune field). You will be crossing a whole load of regs during MDS, and you'll generally appreciate the hard ground that's easier to run on when you're not too exhausted!

A8: Answer 3 - of course, in the desert, it gets hot. Frequently about 30°C during the day, often hotter (32-35°C), and sometimes hotter still (40°C and over). The contrast with the night is huge: take care to manage the significant temperature differences.

A9: Answer 3 - the best men finish MDS at over 13 km/h, and over 11 km/h for the best women. That's very fast when you think of all the difficulties of the race: heat, terrain, bag, food self-sufficiency, complicated recovery, several days in a row.

A10: Answer 2 - depending on the duration of the stage, the organization provides you with 10.5 to 12 litres of water a day per person. This water is to be used for everything! For drinking, washing and cleaning your clothes. Don't waste it. In the meantime, enjoy what comes out of your taps!


You scored :

From 0 to 5 points: 100 days is all that that remains, so work on preparing your MDS! Regulations, equipment, food, training, tourist guide: go for it!

From 6 to 9 points: easy stuff: you're well into the adventure already, you've even read the regulations. But don't take it too easy : don't forget to run January 1st !

10 points: hey that was a cinch! You've won MDS before, haven't you?

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