In six weeks you will be on the start line of the 32nd MARATHON DES SABLES: time to make sure you are familiar with the rules, and sign up to the athletes’ health preservation programme.
MEDICAL AND TECHNICAL CHECK
On 8 April, the day before the first stage of the 32nd MARATHON DES SABLES, you will need to pass the technical and medical check. A few important reminders:
• Starting from 8.30 am, you must attend the check in correspondence with your race number (the list will be posted on the bivouac). Don’t forget to take your water bottle!
• At this point, you will hand over your personal belongings, which you will not recuperate until 15 April in Ouarzazate: make sure you don’t forget anything!
• You will hand in your filled-out check form; this will have been distributed to competitors in the bus on the journey from Ouarzazate to the 1st bivouac.
• You must present ID.
• You must then show your obligatory equipment. As a reminder this comprises:
• MARATHON DES SABLES backpack or similar;
• sleeping bag;
• headlamp + 1 complete set of spare batteries;
• 10 safety pins;
• compass with accuracy of 1° or 2°;
• lighter, whistle;
• metal-blade knife;
• skin antiseptic;
• venom extractor;
• signalling mirror;
• survival blanket;
• tube of sun cream;
• 200 euro or equivalent foreign currency;
• passport or, for Moroccan residents, identity card.
• Reminder: your backpack, without water, should weigh between 6.5 and 15 kg. Test it at home with all of your equipment.
• If necessary, any missing items from your administrative file.
• Verification of your medical certificate (N.B. only the organisation’s version downloadable from your online account) and your electrocardiogram (the original). Both of these documents must have been established on or after 8 March, and no earlier. Be aware that you will not be able to take part without these documents, unless you pay a fixed fine and undergo the examinations on site. Do not forget these documents!
• You will receive your SPOT messenger, your ChronoTag (electronic tag), your check-in card for water, your salt tabs and your two race bibs.
Throughout the race, your two bibs must be secured in the obligatory positions and remain visible. These positions are the chest for the front bib, and the outside face of your backpack for the back bib. Under no circumstances should the bibs be covered.
Since 2015, every competitor has been equipped with a SPOT messenger to step up security and follow you from a distance. Normally, you won’t need to do anything with the messenger apart from making sure that it is turned on every morning. In case of problem (signal light not flashing green, or the need to activate SOS during the race), you will find instructions in your roadbook, which you will receive at Ouarzazate airport for those arriving on 07 April, and in the bus on the journey from Ouarzazate to the 1st bivouac for the others (new this year: 3 roadbooks available in English, French and Spanish).
Health prevention and research actions are being implemented on MDS. These actions are not designed or competent to replace current national and international regulations in terms of anti-doping, but aim to reinforce medical surveillance.
They are carried out in collaboration with ITRA (International Trail Running Association), the Ultra Trail World Tour (UTWT) and the association Athletes For Transparency (AFT).
You can sign up now for free on the website www.itra.run to declare your medical history, any illnesses, treatment and Therapeutic Use Exemptions.
During MDS, you agree to:
1. Accept any urine, blood, capillary or saliva samples and associated analyses.
2. Accept to attend any invitation to appear before the Medical Commission.
3. Accept that data relating to you may be used for research purposes, on the understanding that these data will be used strictly anonymously.
Remember that the regulations and health policy are above all designed to protect you and ensure the respect of our sporting ethics. Good luck with your training, and we’ll be back in a few days with information on the environment during MDS!