With just three weeks to go before the start, the excitement is palpable and, having achieved the bulk of your training programme, it’s a good idea to have a rest. Keri KANUGA, a competitor from the Cayman Islands, sums it up as follows: “If it’s possible to be really excited and absolutely exhausted at the same time, well that’s exactly how I feel.” So don’t do anything crazy, relax, pamper yourself, and let the desire to walk and run through the desert slowly seep in. You’re nearly there!
FLIGHTS – 7 April
You have received your notification of the MDS flight on 07 April. It gives you all the details (time, flight number, etc.). Allow plenty of time to go through security checks. You will need to withdraw your ticket at the desk indicated on the notification.
Don’t forget your valid passport, and your bags (maximum 20 kg). We recommend taking your backpack as hand luggage, obviously containing no liquids or knives.
Depending on the time of day, breakfast or lunch will be provided during the flight.
For all competitors coming through France, note that flights take off from Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle (Terminal 3), and not Orly as in the past. Please make arrangements accordingly.
ARRIVAL AT OUARZAZATE – 7 April
When you arrive in Ouarzazate, you will receive your road book (in French, English and Spanish), and then be taken directly by bus to the first bivouac. This journey will last about 5 hours, during which you will be given lunch. You will have plenty of time to study your road book in depth on the journey. It provides details of the race route and essential information you will need during the race.
NB: Any competitors registered with the France agency who are not flying from Paris with ATLANTIDE ORGANISATION should be in front of Hotel COS in Ouarzazate (corner of avenue Mohamed V and boulevard Erraha) at 8.30 (local time).
On the route starting from the first bivouac, all times are given in GMT.
In Ouarzazate, times are given in local time (including flights).
DROPPING OUT / DISQUALIFICATION
This is a thorny subject that can be painful, but be aware that voluntary or imposed withdrawal from the race is taken seriously and handled with great respect by the organization.
We naturally request that any competitor who wishes to stop the race should inform the organization and hand in his or her ID markings to the race marshal or bivouac marshal (note that the number bib will be sent back to the unlucky competitor about one month after the race, by post). He or she will be asked to sign an official release form. Any competitors who leave the race without letting us know will be invoiced for the search costs involved.
In case of serious medical condition, repatriation is organized rapidly. Competitors in a satisfactory physical state are taken back to Ouarzazate within a maximum of 48 hours. While waiting for this transfer, they are automatically cared for after having handed in their food to the organization.
In Ouarzazate, the organization will return competitors’ personal belongings and help them reserve a hotel if required. Competitors cover the cost of accommodation and food. A doctor is available for consultation and referral to hospital or a nurse for treatment.
STATE OF MIND
MARATHON DES SABLES is a wonderful opportunity for all of us, but it’s also up to each individual to make sure that everything runs smoothly. You are bound to experience some inconveniences during your race (queues, discomfort, different customs, etc.), but it’s all part of the game. Be relaxed and disciplined, don’t complain (too much), smile, and everything will be fine!