The 38th MARATHON DES SABLES is organized by ATLANTIDE ORGANISATION INTERNATIONALE (“AOI”) and will take place from the 12th to 22nd of April 2024 in southern Morocco. This 38th annual event will take place under the aegis of the MOROCCAN MINISTRY OF TOURISM and will bring around 1 200 participants.
The 38th MARATHON DES SABLES is a foot race, open to runners and walkers, with several stages, free style, and with food self-sufficiency over a distance of about 250 Km. Each participant must carry his/her own backpack containing food, sleeping gear and other material.
The 38th MARATHON DES SABLES will be administered according to the general race regulations and their amendments (road book, etc.) as well as to the General Terms and Conditions of Sale, to which all participants agree when they register. The General Terms ans Conditions of Sale may be viewed on the institutional website https://www.marathondessables.com/en and on the registration website https://inscription.marathondessables.com/en
Anyone meeting the following conditions will be accepted: over 18, any citizenship. Competitors must hold a medical certificate issued by the organization stating their ability to participate and a resting ECG report.
Teenagers over 16 may participate in the 38th MARATHON DES SABLES subject to prior consent from ATLANTIDE ORGANISATION INTERNATIONALE and written permission from a parent or guardian. They will have to meet the same requirements as adults.
Due to the specific nature of the course of the race (food self-sufficiency, race regulations) no accompanying person will be accepted on the event.
CATEGORY A: INDIVIDUAL PARTICIPATION
Each male or female participant enters the general classification without distinction of age or degree of professionalism. However, regardless of the general classification, the following classifications are established:
Classification is based on year of birth.
CATEGORY B: TEAM PARTICIPATION
A team is made up of at least three runners. To remain in the race, all three members of the team must complete the race. However, each member is recorded as an individual in the general ranking.
12 April: Arrival in Morocco, transfer bivouac. Distribution of a lunch package for lunch and start of food self-sufficiency at the bivouac.
13 April: Technical, administrative and medical formalities.
14 April: Stage 1, timed in food self-sufficiency.
15 April: Stage 2, timed in food self-sufficiency.
16 April: Stage 3, timed in food self-sufficiency.
17 to 18 April: Stage 4, known as “long” stage, timed in food self-sufficiency.
19 April: Stage 5, marathon, known as “solidarity” stage timed in food self-sufficiency.
20 April: Bus transfer to hotels and distribution of a lunch package. Dinner at the hotel included in the price (drinks not included).
21 April: Free day. Breakfast, award ceremony, and gala dinner and dinner. Lunch not included.
22 April: End of the MDS adventure, participant departure. Breakfast at the hotel.
ATLANTIDE ORGANISATION Internationale reserves the right to modify:
The checks will take place on 13 April 2024.
Participants must present themselves to the race administrators and medical team responsible for carrying out these verifications. He or she must imperatively have fulfilled his or her technical, administrative and medical obligations (see ART. 24, 25, 27 & 28) before departure. At the control point, an exact list of each participant's equipment must be established (i.e., compulsory items, personal belongings, food and caloric value, etc.). The race stewards are authorized at any time to check and supervise the participants' backpacks. Individual items of the participant's equipment as referred to in the above list is strictly personal. Any items missing from the list, whether thrown away, lost or stolen, shall be penalized. All competitors are responsible for their own equipment and they must therefore inform the organization of any missing item, failing which penalties could be levied (see ART. 27 and 28). Any found objects that remain unclaimed after 24 hours shall be disposed of, except for telephones, cameras and batteries. Each competitor is responsible for his/her own equipment.
During the race, none of the items in your backpack will be looked after by the organization.
During the administrative and technical registration, the organization will provide each participant with:
These ID marks must be worn by the participants throughout the race and positioned according to the organization’s indications, failing which penalties will be issued. The race stewards may carry out checks at any time. It is formally forbidden to cover the organization’s race numbers with any other lettering. Each participant must ensure his/her ID marking is clear, entirely visible, in good condition and in the proper place, under pain of penalty (see ART. 27 and 28). The organization will provide competitors with spare tags in case of damage or loss. The distress beacon must be handed in at the end of the race. The loss of the distress beacon will incur a penalty of 100 euro (see ART. 27 and 28)
Each participant agrees to adhere strictly to this rule, subject to serious penalty in the case of violation (see ART. 27 and 28)
In addition to official ID markings, participants may use other available clothing space for individual sponsors e.g. T-shirts (apart from the chest area exclusively reserved for race number) shorts, socks, caps, backpacks, etc.
However, the organization reserves the right to prohibit sponsorship considered to be oversized or in direct competition with the organization’s partners or for any other reasons and which the organization does not have to justify. The race organizers will be very strict about where your ID is placed. Therefore, think carefully about where to position your advertising and publicity on your tee-shirts and backpacks.
Stage starts are grouped, except for:
• the 4, long stage, where the leaders of the general and women's classifications will start around 3 hours after the 1st start.
• the 5, marathon known as “solidarity” stage, where the last on the list will be the first to leave.
Each competitor must attend a briefing session with the race Director before the stage starts.
Participants must imperatively start at the time indicated by the organization, subject to penalties (see ART. 28).
Stage 1, 2 and 3 to be covered in a maximum authorized time of 10 hours (approximately).
Stage 5 marathon, known as “solidarity” stage must take a maximum of 12 hours (approximately).
CP closing times are indicated in the road book. Anyone who has not reached a checkpoint before the deadline will be disqualified (see ART. 27 & 28).
A finisher medal is awarded at the end of this last stage.
Stage 4, known as “long” stage - between 75 and 85km, to be held partly during the night and within a maximum authorized time of 32 hours.
CP closing times are indicated in the road book. Anyone who has not reached a checkpoint before the deadline will be disqualified (see ART. 27 & 28).
From CP4 onwards, competitors may set up bivouac where they like as long as they are on the route axis and clearly visible.
Headlamp turned on from 7 pm.
The water distribution point at the finish line of each day's stage is compulsory check point.
Check points are located throughout the course of each stage of the race. There are two to six check points depending on the length of the race and each competitor must go through them, if not penalties will be applied (see Art 27 and 28). This allows the race officials to record times and distribute water (see ART.16).
Medical assistance will be available at each checkpoint.
The closing times for each checkpoint will be indicated in the road book.
An official time-keeper will take down the daily order of arrival for each competitor.
Obligatory checkpoints: water distribution and card punching.
The bivouacs will be pitched each day on previously chosen sites transformed into camping grounds for the competitors; Numbered, 8-man tents attributed by country of residence. Failure to adhere to these numbers will incur a penalty (see Art. 27 and 28) Competitors may use their free time to prepare for the night and get medical care, if necessary.
Each competitor's time is recorded in hours, minutes and seconds.
CATEGORY A: INDIVIDUAL
The daily race ranking is calculated by adding the time taken to run that stage of the race plus penalties, if applicable.
CATEGORY B: TEAM
Each team's time will correspond to the average time taken by its members, including penalties.
CATEGORIES A and B:
General ranking is calculated by adding together times for each stage of the race. Any claims must be made in writing at the race and handed over to the ranking marshals (see Art. 27).
The organization takes charge of supplying water to each competitor.
Water is typically distributed as follows.
Stages 1, 2 and 3:
Stage 4 (non-stop):
Stage 5 (Marathon known as « Solidarity » stage):
At the end of the stage, each competitor is given 6.5 liters of water.
Be aware that the next water supply will be on the first CP of the next day's stage.
Distribution times will be posted up on the bivouac the night before (see Art. 13, 27 and 28). Each participant must manage his/her daily water intake as and when water is distributed and cannot obtain further supplies at any other time.
Penalties will be given to competitors who abandon empty water containers along the route. Facilities for handing in empty containers will be available at check points (see ART. 27 and 28).
Never leave without water. Should you get lost in the desert, water reserves could be vital.
A specially chosen medical team, specializing in sports and tropical medicine will be present throughout the race with the use of assistance vehicles. It will be posted at check points and at the finish line each day and will ensure that any participants who are suffering from physical or mental exhaustion are brought back to the base camp. The medical team is allowed to remove ID plates and to eliminate any participant they feel physically unfit to continue the race and/or having received vital medical care. (See ART.27 and 28).
In no circumstances (and at the risk of having to pay the search costs involved) must any competitor leave the race without informing the organization and signing an official discharge provided by AOI. If a competitor abandons the race, he/she must notify the organization as soon as possible and give his/her identification marks to one of the course stewards.
A team which has more than 3 members and where one member drops out or is disqualified will result in the team receiving a one-hour penalty (see Articles 27 and 28).
In the case of a serious physical condition, repatriation may be arranged immediately.
If the competitor's physical condition is satisfactory, he or she shall be taken to Ouarzazate within 48 hours maximum, after signing an official disclaimer supplied by AOI. While awaiting transferral to Ouarzazate, the competitor shall automatically be taken care of and must hand over his or her food to the organization.
In Ouarzazate, the organization will give the competitor his or her personal bag and provide assistance to reserve a hotel if necessary. Accommodation and food shall be paid for by the competitor.
A doctor will be available for consultations and referral to hospital or a nurse for treatment.
The organization reminds all participants that the 38th MARATHON DES SABLES is a race through the Sahara where climatic and ground conditions can be extreme. Any outside assistance is strictly prohibited. Replenishment during the race shall incur a minimum penalty of 3 hours and possibly exclusion. If a competitor goes far off the race route, necessitating a lengthy search, he or she will be excluded from the race and pay a € 200 fine (see ART. 27 and 28).
An insurance policy covering medical evacuation is arranged by the organization for all entrants.
The policy covers the following:
Repatriation or sanitary transport (A)
(A) Actual costs
|Search and rescue costs (B)|
(In the event of justified unavailability of the MDS Organizer’s rescue resources, support of additional emergency resources put in place by the latter)
(B) €5,000 including tax
Medical expenses incurred during the MDS (C)
(C) €15 000 including tax per person
(C1) €230 including tax per person
Dispatch of prostheses (D)
(D) Shipping costs
Visit from a loved one (E)
(E) Round trip ticket *+
Repatriation of body:
(F1) Actual costs
Death formalities (G)
(G) Round trip ticket *
* by 1st class train or economy class airliner
All competitors take part in the full knowledge of the risks that may be incurred in this kind of competition. Since competitors participate of their own free will, the organization is not responsible for any incident or accident.
Participants are strongly advised to take out their own accident and death insurance.
Average temperature in April:
Temperatures are indicative and may vary.
The route (approx. 250 kms) covers a wide variety of terrain. In the event of sand storm lowering visibility to zero, competitors must stop in their tracks and wait for instructions by the organizers.
The participants in the 38th MARATHON DES SABLES must follow the route as marked by the organizers, failing which penalties may be applied according to the particular stage.
For stages 1, 2 and 3, the course will be marked approximately every 500 meters. There are several natural landmarks that will serve as additional points of reference.
Special 4 “long” stage and 5 MARATHON “solidarity” stage : night marking (reflective tape or light sticks) from CP3 to the finish line.
A road book will be compiled from the survey reconnaissance missions. The exact course will remain secret and will only be revealed at the time of distributing the road books on 12 April. It will include various items of interest on the stages, support, etc.
Competitors shall be penalized they you do not have their road book during the race. (see ART. 28). Each morning a briefing will be held relating to that day's stage by the organisers in French and in English.
All of the obligatory equipment and personal belongings for each competitor (food, survival equipment and Marathon kit, waist pouch...) should weigh between 6.5 kg and 15 kg. This minimum/maximum weight does not include your daily water supply.
Each participant will have to fulfil the above obligations during the administrative and technical checks in Morocco (see ART. 27 and 28).
Random spot checks may be carried out at any time during the event on any competitor with no justification required.
Each entrant must provide his/her own food from April 12th evening to April 20th breakfast included. He/she must select the type of food best suited to his/her personal needs, health, weather conditions, weight and backpack conditions.
Between April 14th and 19th, during timed stages, each competitor must have 12 000 k/calories, that is to say a minimum of 2,000 k/calories per day, otherwise he/she will be penalized (see ART. 27 and 28). Any food out of its original packaging must be equipped, legibly, of the nutrition label shown on the product concerned. Any food out its original packaging must be equipped, legibly, of the nutrition label shown on the product concerned. The first 4 meals will not be subject to inspection.
Gas stoves are strictly forbidden.
It is supplied by the organisation and will include the following:
This Marathon kit will be issued during the technical and administrative checks in Morocco.
A luminous stick will be issued at CP3 of the long stage. The distress beacon must be given back to the organization at the finish line.
CATEGORY A: INDIVIDUAL - 3,540 euro
OPTION 1 : Without flight
Valid for all except residents of the UK, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and the British Isles.
The total cost of the entry fee includes:
OPTION 2 : With flight from London - € 5,280/person
Valid only for residents of the UK, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and the British Isles.
OPTION 3 : Without flight - € 4,680/person
Valid only for residents of the UK, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and the British Isles.
CATEGORY B: TEAM, per person 3,640 euro (Price for resident other than French)
Competitors who wish to set up an official team to be part of the team ranking system must pay the registration fee plus 100 euro.
The entry fee covers the same services and obligations as for CATEGORY A, and also:
The name of the team and its members must be given at the time of registering.
ONLINE APPLICATIONS FOR INDIVIDUALS AND TEAMS
Given that the total number of participants is limited, the organization will only accept applications by order of registration and depending on places available.
The Organizer reserves the right to organize, in addition to the prices indicated above, preferential rates or exceptional promotions to enable you to benefit from special rates during a given period.
The prices indicated in the present regulations are expressed in Euros, inclusive of all taxes, at the rate in force on the day of your registration.
Registration fees can be paid as follows:
1. PAYMENT SCHEDULE
Payment in 1 instalment by credit card:
The total amount of the chosen offer is paid by credit card at the time of registration.
Payment in 2, 3, 4 or 5 instalments by credit card:
When registering, select the 2x or 3x free of charge method by credit card, the amount is then calculated automatically and debited automatically every month on the anniversary date for 2 or 3 months, depending on the method selected - the last debit to be made no later than 15 days before the start of the event.
Payment in 4x and 5x by credit card is only available for registrations made before a certain date. Direct debits are made automatically every month on the anniversary date.
2. WAITING LIST
If the number of seats for the 2024 edition is reached, the organization will set up a waiting list on the registration site AND will disseminate this information. This will require the competitor to have created an account and made at least one payment. It will not be systematically implemented, this will depend in particular on the closing date of registrations.
Competitors featuring on this list have two possible options:
1. If a place on the 2024 edition becomes free, his or her participation shall be validated, provided the conditions for definitive registration are complied with (see ART. 25 of the race regulations)
2. If no places become free on the 2024 edition, the application will be postponed with a priority to MDS 2025 following the conditions of the 2024 edition.
In order to feature on this waiting list, competitors must:
3. IMPORTANT INFORMATION CONCERNING APPLICATIONS
By registering for the event, the competitor acquires the status of "sympathetic member" of the association Solidarité MARATHON DES SABLES (SMDS). His/her financial contribution in support of the association SMDS will be deducted by the MDS from the amount of his/her registration and will be returned to SMDS.
All late payments shall be subject to a surcharge of €150.
All payments should be made to ATLANTIDE ORGANISATION Internationale. For bank transfers, any bank charges shall be at the payer's expense.
The organization reserves the right to refuse a competitor's application without giving any reason.
In case of cancellation, competitors partially or fully registered on the current edition may not be replaced by another individual. Applications are name-specific.
Mandatory documents to transfer to the organisation via the MDS online applications system:
The organization’s medical certificate (to download from your online account from March 11th 2024) and the resting electrocardiogram (ECG) report plus graph, dated less than 30 days before the start of the race, i.e. from March 12th 2024, are to be presented during the administrative, technical and medical checks on 13th of April 2024. Only the original documents, dated and signed, will be accepted (unvalid photocopy). Failure to present these documents will incur penalties (see ART.27 et 28). The signature and the stamp of the doctor must be applied on them.
The electrocardiogram of effort is advised for runners over 40 years. It is not compulsory and does not replace the ECG at rest and its plan. This can be joined to the medical certificate and presented in Morocco.
Article 1: Presentation
Recognizing the unique physical and environmental challenges associated with participation in trail-running events, including but not limited to extreme distances, varying weather conditions, altitude extremes, challenging and potentially unstable terrain and potential for limited visibilities or nighttime participation, the purpose of this Health Policy is to protect participant’s health and increase safety during competition.
This Health Policy supports the health monitoring of participants before the competition and protection of the physical health of participants during the competition.
This Health Policy applies to all participants.
Article 2: Rules
As a condition of participation, each participant agrees to:
2.1Provide within the framework in use by the Organization, any medical history and/or listing of medical conditions as well as the use of regular treatments, medications (prescription and non-prescription) or food supplements within 30 days before the start of the competition.
2.2Provide within the framework in use by the Organization all existing information relating to any ongoing anti-doping proceedings or sanctions as well as validated or ongoing Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) files.
2.3Accept within the framework of this Health Policy to answer any meeting request on site or remotely (phone or videoconference) within 30 days before the start of the competition to address medical concerns and up to 15 days after the competition to address any health concerns or health and safety related testing results.
2.5As a component of health and safety monitoring, accept within the framework of this Health Policy all urine and/or blood and/or capillary and/or saliva samples within 30 days before the start of the competition and up to 15 days after the competition to ensure compliance with this Health Policy knowing that all samples and analyzes costs remain entirely funded by the Organization.
2.6As a component of health protection and competition safety, the following are not permitted 24 hours prior to start and during competition (except only in the case of a stop a first aid station and a prescription only by the medical team of the competition with supporting evidence) and may be assessed by urine and/or blood and/or capillary and/or saliva samples:
2.6.1 Narcotics including codein, dermorphin (and its analogs), hydrocodone and tramadol.
2.6.2 Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) regardless of the mode of administration (excluding paracetamol/acetaminophen).
2.6.3 Cannabidiols (CBD) for safety reasons.
2.7.1 Within 30 days before the start of the competition and during the competition: Intravenous iron infusion.
2.7.2 Within 7 days before the start of the competition and during the competition:
Intravenous infusion (unless associated with a defined medical intervention and with notice to event and review).
2.7.3 Thyroid synthesis hormones except in case of partial or total removal of the thyroid or hypothyroidism of medical origin.
Breach of rules
The participant agrees to accept the decisions or sanctions of the Organization which may range from a simple warning or non-participation before the competition until the downgrade after the competition due to the following breaches:
1. Proven breach, refusal or transmission of erroneous information in connection with this Health Policy.
2. Proven breach in connection with the possible use of a substance and/or method not allowed by this Health Policy.
3. Medical condition incompatible with participation and/or continuation of the competition after verification of health information and/or any other way of investigation.
Enrollment cancellations and requests for refunds must be made in writing by registered post in order to avoid any misunderstanding.
Cancellation refunds will be made on the following basis:
Beyond 31/01/2024 midnight no request for reimbursement will be honored.
It is specified that the Competitor has no right of withdrawal in accordance with Article L.221-28 of the French Consumer Code.
Important: regarding cancellation insurance, we remind you that any cancellation of participation is a case of force majeure and that it is therefore strongly advised to take out a policy.
In the event of cancellation of your registration, AOI will not be able to take your claim into account, whatever the reason. Refunds will be made according to the established scale (see Art. 26 of the race regulations).
No request for postponement to another edition is possible.
Any competitor whose information is incomplete in the online applications process on 15/12/2023 will incur a 30-minute penalty (see ART. 28). After 15/01/2024, the application of competitors who have still not provided complete information will be cancelled (see ART.26, ART.28).
Technical and administrative checks
If a participant is more than 30 minutes late for these checks on 12 April he/she will be penalized by the length of time of his/her lateness.
If a participant does not submit proof of having all his/her mandatory equipment, he/she will be penalized or disqualified.
Failure to respect the minimum or maximum weight of equipment will also result in a penalty (see ART. 28).
At the medical check-ups in Morocco on 13 April 2024, competitors must present the organization’s medical certificate and his or her resting electrocardiogram with tracing. These 2 documents must be signed and dated at least 30 days before the start of the race, i.e. from 12 March 2024.
If these documents are not completed and signed correctly, they will not be accepted. However, such competitors shall be able to participate after an examination by the organizations’ doctors and subject to their approval. Each of these documents can be produced in the bivouac for a fixed penalty of 200 euro to be paid in cash on the spot.
A penalty of one hour per missing document shall be applied too (see ART. 28).
List of personal belongings
Competitors abandoning one or several elements of his or her personal equipment should inform a bivouac marshall.
Competitors who cannot justify at any check point the absence of any personal item will be severely penalized (see ART. 28).
12,000 compulsory k/calories. When spot-checks are made, any competitor unable to present and justify the minimum 2,000 k/calories per day during the race will receive a 2 hours penalty (see ART. 28).
In the event of loss or damage to ID markings, race officials must be informed immediately, or a penalty will be applied.
Competitors failing to wear their ID marking may risk disqualification from the race (see ART. 8, 9 and 28).
The loss of distress beacon will incur a penalty of 100 euro (see ART. 28).
Tampering with ID markings will result in the participant's immediate disqualification (see ART. 28).
Start of race
Competitors who fail to be present at the starting line when each stage begins will be penalized by the time equivalent to the delay. Exceeding 30 minutes, the competitor will be disqualified, and his/her ID markings will be handed over to the steward (see ART. 28).
At the non-stop stage, if the start order is not respected, a three-hours penalty will be given.
At each stage the finish line, and on the route, time-checking is obligatory at the check posts and is the responsibility of the competitor. The first infraction will result in a one-hour penalty, the second infraction a two-hours penalty and the third time elimination from the race (see ART. 28).
Maximum authorized time
Any competitor who exceeds the maximum authorized time for each stage shall be disqualified and must return his/her bib to the steward. Any competitor who arrives at a CP after the deadline shall be disqualified (see ART. 28).
Distress beacon/Torch/Luminous signal sticks/Bibs number
The following penalties apply during the stages (see ART. 28):
• 1 hour for the use of a distress beacon without a valid reason,
• 30 minutes for a headlamp not turned on after 7 pm,
• 30 minutes for lack of luminous signal sticks after 7 pm.
• 30 minutes for number bibs not visible.
Withdrawal / Elimination
Any participant withdrawing from the race must notify an organization official as soon as possible.
Withdrawal by one team member in a team of more than 3 members will result in a one-hour penalty for that team, provided of course that at least 3 people remain in the race (see ART. 28).
Any use of illicit drugs by a participant noted by the medical team will result in the elimination of that person from the race (see ART. 28).
Any inappropriate or harmful behavior may incur serious penalties (see ART. 28).
Mobile phones must not be used in the bivouac or at the CPs (see ART. 28).
Land and medical assistance
Any form of outside assistance is strictly forbidden.
Fraudulent outside assistance supplying food or drink to a competitor shall incur a penalty ranging from three hours to expulsion from the race. Any long searches brought about by excessive deviation from the route will lead to exclusion from the race and a € 200 fine (see ART. 28).
The use of transportation, either with 2 or 4 wheels will result in elimination from the race.
The receiving of extra water in particular instances (due to lack, loss or leaking bottle), and with the agreement of the race stewards or on the advice of the medical team, will result in a 30 minutes penalty the first time, one hour the second time and disqualification from the race on the third occasion.
Vital medical assistance (i.e. rehydration, plaster cast etc.) will result in a two hours penalty the first time, and elimination from the race on the second occasion.
Water and environment
Any water container found on the race route will incur a penalty (see ART. 28). The throwing away of any food packaging or other items on the race route is strictly forbidden and will be penalized (see ART. 28).
Tents are numbered and attributed by country of residence.
Competitors must, without fail, stay in the tents reserved for them. Failure to adhere to the numbers attributed will incur a penalty (see ART. 28).
All complaints from competitors must be addressed to the Race Director in writing:
ATLANTIDE ORGANISATION INTERNATIONALE reserves all exclusive rights for photo coverage of the 38th MARATHON DES SABLES. Participants must agree that ATLANTIDE ORGANISATION INTERNATIONALE may have exclusive use their identity and individual or collective pictures for anything related directly or indirectly to their participation in the MARATHON DES SABLES. Any still camera, video or movie coverage done during the MARATHON DES SABLES cannot be used by participants, their entourage or trainers for any use other than personal, unless by prior authorization or accreditation from ATLANTIDE ORGANISATION INTERNATIONALE. As a result, any book or film (short, feature) project must obtain ATLANTIDE ORGANISATION INTERNATIONALE 's prior authorization. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
1st Veteran M5
1st Veteran F5
38th EDITION - REGISTRATION OPEN
From 12 to 22 April 2024 ~ 250 km in 6 days