ECHO FROM THE BIVOUAC
Messengers of the desert
The sun is setting over the bivouac positioned at the heart of the El Aatchana wadi. Though the light is fading, the faces are lighting up. At the entrance to the tent, Hélène and Orlane, members of the dream team of bivouac stewards, arrive with their hands full. It’s time to distribute the post to each of the tents.
On the evening of the first leg of the 27th Sultan MARATHON DES SABLES, nearly 5,000 emails have already made it to the South of Morocco. In the emails are children’s words to their heroes, to a Dad or Mum that has headed off to the desert, comforting words from friends and fan. They’re a real energy boost after each leg. And sometimes they’re enough to cause a few tears to trickle down the cheeks of runners whose emotions are running high as a result of the extreme conditions of the race. “At a time where everything is instantaneous and virtual, this sheet of paper with the emails is something concrete, like a hand-delivered postcard, says Adrien, one of the members of Darbaroud, who’s in charge of printing everything out. You can hold onto it, reread it, carry it with you in your bag. It’s traditional, like the spirit of the race.”
“It comes as a great comfort after the day’s exertion, explains Lionel Habasque (D276-FRA) from the Terdav Equinox Cogex team. You see that your progress is being monitored in real time by a whole host of people. Ultimately we’re never alone when we’re running in the desert. Added to that, it’s really fantastic to receive news from your nearest and dearest in the middle of nowhere. Congratulations to the organisation.” By Saturday, some 40,000 emails will have been distributed. And doubtless a great many emotions shared.