WELCOME TO THE MOROCCAN SAHARA DESERT
As the official Marathon des Sables representative for Australia & New Zealand, Travelling Fit are here to help you every step of the way. We will answer all your questions and guide you with sound advice in the lead up to Marathon des Sables. Mari-Mar Walton, Founder and Managing Director of Travelling Fit, has completed 6 MDS events and can provide first-hand knowledge and experience. We know what it takes to participate.
Travelling Fit also take care of your pre-race land arrangements in Morocco and answer all your questions in the lead up to the event so that you are well prepared. Our involvement in your booking process allows you to focus on your training and we will take care of the rest.
We highly recommend that you stay a minimum of 2 nights in Erfoud prior to the event. To facilitate this we have put together a “Pre-Event” package that will allow you to not only meet your fellow competitors but also to acclimatise to the conditions before you get to the start of the race.
We hold two Marathon des Sables training camps, usually in October and February. This is the chance to trial out all your food, equipment and ask all the questions you have. You will be presented with an extremely informative and invaluable weekend to help you prepare for “the toughest footrace on earth”, the Marathon des Sables.
deposit and payment structure
Marathon des Sables is a self-sufficient foot race held across the Sahara desert in Southern Morocco. It’s held in six stages over seven days covering a total of approximately 250kms with set distances for each day ranging from approximately 10kms to 90kms.
Participants must carry all their supplies including clothing, food, sleeping bag and first aid for the duration of the event. Overnight shelters (in camps) and water (strictly controlled and distributed during the race) is supplied. The first five stages will be timed with the final stage being untimed “Solidarity” charity stage.
The route details are only given to the participants on the day of registration in Morocco, so there is no unfair advantage in planning.
The event goes way beyond merely covering 250 kilometers in extreme conditions; it is a challenge to get past what normal people would regard as crazy, and achieve one’s personal goals.
Entry Fees must be paid directly to the race organisers online – https://www.marathondessables.com/en.
The total registration cost for the 2023 Marathon des Sables is EUR3,190 for individual registration and EUR3,290 for team registrations (per person) and includes all arrangements from Friday 21 April through to Monday 01 May 2023.
Qualifying Times are not required however you must be 18 years or over. Written permission from parent or guardian must be given for any entrants aged between 16 and 18 years inclusive.
Competitors must hold a medical certificate form (issued by the event organisers) which must be completed by their GP along with a resting ECG report with graph. The medical certificate and ECG must be dated no more than 30 days before the start of the race.
Please note that failure to provide an up to date medical certificate and ECG may result in a fine or potential disqualification.
The start time for each stage race will be confirmed by the race organisers at race control the day prior to the event start.
Cut off times do apply for each stage.
Cut off times will be confirmed by the race organisers in the handbook which is distributed on the way out to the Bivouac on the Friday.
Competitors will be equipped with a ChronoTag for real-time monitoring and ranking.
Technical and administrative verification will take place at the first Bivouac, on Saturday, prior to race start. Participants must present themselves to the race organisers and meet all administrative, technical & medical requirements.
Participants will receive two race bibs, timing system (Chrono Tag), distress beacon (SPOT), salt tablets, toilet liners, road book and a check-in card.
Not applicable for this event
Personal Refreshments and Clothing
Competitors must be completely self-sufficient during the entire 7 day event. Water however will be provided on a daily basis.
All of the compulsory equipment and personal belongings for each competitor (eg food, first aid, sleeping bag and backpack) should weigh between 6.5kg and 15kg.
This minimum/maximum weight does not include your daily water supply.
Each participant will have to fulfil the above obligations during the administrative and technical checks on a daily basis.
Water will be distributed per day to each competitor during the race at check points and upon arrival at the bivouac.
Medical assistance will be available at each check point. As a “rule of thumb” water will be distributed as per the following:
Standard stage (Stages 1,2 & 3):
** 12 litres per person per day as follows:
- 1.5 litres or 3 litres at check-points 1 and 2
- 1.5 litres or 3 litres at check-point 3, if applicable
- 6 or 7.5 litres at the finish.
Ultra (2-day) stage (Stage 4):
** 25.5 litres per person over 2 days as follows:
- 3 litres at check-points 1, 2, 3 and 4
- 1.5 or 3 litres at check-points 5 and 6
- 4.5 litres at the finish
- 6 litres at the bivouac.
Marathon stage (Stage 5):
** 15 litres per person per day as follows:
- 3 litres at check-points 1, 2 and 3
- 6 litres at the finish.
Solidarity stage (Stage 6):
- 3 litres per person
Finishes T-Shirts, Medals and Certificates
All finishers will receive a medal after the event (at the end of stage 6).
T-Shirts will be given out the day after the event in Ouarzazate.
Finishers Certificate and Official race video will be downloadable about 3 months after the race.
Average Temperature in April is 30 degrees Celsius during the day and 14 degrees Celsius during the night. The Moroccan Sahara is a very dry heat with the average humidity being less than 10 %.
In the event of a sand storm lowering visibility to zero, competitors must stop on the course and wait for instructions by the organisers.
Solidarity Event – last stage of Marathon des Sables where family and friends of the MDS participant can join them.
This stage of the race is compulsory however the time it takes to complete it is not included in the overall MDS time.
If family and friends of the participant wish to partake in the final stage then they will be required to purchase a package.
Please contact Travelling Fit for details.