ECHO FROM THE BIVOUAC
In a stiffling heat (around 40°C in the afternoon), the caravan of the 27th Sultan MARATHON DES SABLES set off on Sunday for a 33.8km long first leg. Whilst at the top of the race the champions ran in character - fast -, for runners at the back, the objective was simply to get to the finish line.
Dream spreaders Whilst Patrick Bauer is briefing the 853 competitors of this 27th Sultan MARATHON DES SABLES, a drone flies over them. A technological marvel that will provide a new type of images, ruffling the runner's hair – or rather caps. It's a new device on this edition, broadening yet again the coverage of the event and enabling viewers to get even closer to the runners' adventure. Over 40 journalists are following the week long race. Some have come from South Korea, the United-States, Brazil or Poland. "Many Koreans dream of running in the desert, says James Jang, a journalist from East Asia who works for many newspapers and TV channels. The race is in full expansion in Asia. Next year, we should have 60 competitors from Korea, China, Singapore, Malaisia and Hong-Kong." Such developpment is definitely encouraged by the broadcasting of images. "Things have changed a lot since the first editions, says Pierre Fliecx, a journalist and a former runner from the 1992 edition. But the spirit has remained the same. In the early 90s, the media coverage was much slighter. Its vast increase gives the runners proper recognition." Runners who are indeed at the heart of the Sultan MARATHON DES SABLES, a race which has become over the years one of the world's adventure races boasting the widest following.