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Paulo Zubani (D888-ITA)

THE DESERT BUG

At 60 years of age, Italian Paulo Zubani still isn’t tired of the desert. Indeed he has just celebrated his 26th edition competing in the SULTAN MARATHON DES SABLES and is already promising to come back for the 30th anniversary next year… “The first time I came was back in 1989, Paulo says. I wanted to discover the desert and I was looking for a way to do it with a certain degree of security around me.” Pulling at his heartstrings, he hasn’t missed a single meeting ever since. “You know the Marathon des Sables is a bit like an illness, you get the bug one day and after that you want to come back every year.” Of course the caravan has increased in size since the first editions where “there were barely 90 tents (compared with 147 this year)”… but the pleasure of rediscovering the bivouac atmosphere, old friends and the vibrant immensity of the desert is as strong as ever in the very depths of his heart. “The Marathon des Sables has changed my life, as it’s enabled me to meet the real Paulo, who was hidden inside me. The emotions are difficult to explain, very intimate, personal sensations… and if I come back every year, it’s also about not losing those”, smiles the person who now coordinates the Italian contingent in the Marathon des Sables in Milan. It is a way for him to participate in the influence of his favourite race and thus help “other runners experience this extraordinary adventure too.

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