Everything started in 2015. Meheza WALLA, a young Togolese who had been living in France for almost twenty years, discovered the MARATHON DES SABLES when he volunteered in the Race Marshal team. He worked there 2 years in a row before crossing the barrier – from being controlled to controlling!
But who on Earth convinced this telecom engineer to tempt fate – the MARATHON DES SABLES being considered as one of the world's toughest foot races? “While working twice in the organization team, I was in direct contact with a wide array of competitors, and I've been deeply impressed by the values they convey: overcoming one's limits, solidarity, humility, and respect for other people. With a few of my Marshal friends, we decided to set up a team and take part in the race,” he explains, before confessing that he was somewhat fearful about this demanding race: “The closer the date was getting, the more difficult it became for me to sleep! But here I am, participating in the race!”
Before adding: “I'm competing to support ‘Aimes-Afrique’, a charity headed by Dr Serge Kodom, which does a fantastic job in Togo by offering free health care to populations living in rural and remote areas. I am present on this race to show this spirit of solidarity.”
In the camel drivers' community, no one ever recalls a Togolese participating as a racer since the first edition of the MARATHON DES SABLES in 1986! And Meheza WALLA definitely wants to be equal to the occasion by being on the souvenir photo with all the finishers. Otherwise, history will recall him as the first Togolese and one of the few Sub-Saharan Africans to have taken part in this showpiece event.