The Marathon des Sables, The Toughest Footrace on Earth

I think somebody forgot to tell these guys that a marathon is only 26.2 miles. Because, um, they’re planning on running 150+ miles. And I *guess* somebody should also tell them that most marathons aren’t supposed to be quite this brutal. Because, um, they’re planning on running through the deserts of Southern Morocco. For a week. In 120° temps.

The Marathon des Sables (the Sand Marathon) is a footrace that features crazies who race by day and sleep in communal tents by night. Carrying everything they need to eat and drink, the racers also have to protect themselves from blisters, rashes, dust storms, snakes (SNAKES?!) — you name it. Despite all that, the official website boasts, “There’ll be a daily dose of sand and dunes, and breathtaking panoramic views once you’re up the jebels” — “up the jebels” no doubt being slang for hallucinating bitterly.

The 2007 Sand Marathon, which begins March 23, will involve 40 medical staff; 100,000 liters of bottled water; 150 Berber and Saharan tents; 100 all-terrain vehicles; 18 buses; 4 camels; 2½ miles of Elastoplast; 15,000 compresses; 5300 painkillers — and 50 exhausted teams.

To learn more about this grueling event check out this (PDF) feature from Outside.

[Via Whatsonwhen]