Race report 1, March 30
The waiting is over. The race is on.
Since stage 1 was cancelled the race started with the 33K second stage,
starting with a 14K crossing of the magnificent and somewhat terrifying
sanddunes at Erg Chebbi. As usual the Moroccans took the lead.
Chosing the best line through the dunes proved to be tricky as the field spread out in different groups.
It was also much hotter in the dunes with no cooling wind whatsoever.
It would have been hard even without the backpack, which in my case meant about 8 kilos including water.
Many carried much heavier packs, like one japanese woman whose pack weighed 16 kilos at the gearcheck the day before.
At the first CP, we got more water and faced 10 K running on stoney
plains until CP 2. The stage ended with more big dunes, where the famous
Italian ultra runner Marco Olmo passed me, very light on his feet.
If I had been tired before now I also got cramps and had to struggle to keep
up with his little group.
I reached the finish after 3 hours and 8
minutes, on 22 nd place, more than half an hour after the stage
winner Mohammed Ahansal, who crossed the line after 2H 34Min.
Relaxing in the camp afterwards feels good.
Eating and resting.
Making necessary repair work on the equipment and chatting with other runners that I have got to know the last few days.
The rainfall and floodings will affect the race course and we will be
briefed daily about course changes.
In the next story I will tell about the 7 unlucky Brittish runners who were left behind at the flooded camp on Friday afternoon and had to spend all night long standing since there were no dry spots to lie down; until they were found next morning.
For more infomation about the race check out the official website at