Marathon des sables

THE CONCEPT

MARATHON DES SABLES, The Legendary, is an extraordinary race and adventure, taking place in the southern Moroccan Sahara since 1986.

sublime and mythical crossing of the desert, 11 days of adventure in Morocco, including 9 days in the desert, a course of about 250 km divided into 6 stages, to be done by walking or running.

New!
From 2024, it will be possible for MDS participants to postpone their registration to 2025:
- Free of charge until January 31.
- With a €600 fee until the end of February.

  

DISTANCES                                                                     

The total distance of the MDS is about 250 kilometers, divided into 6 stages - this may depend on the ground and the elevation of each edition.

Here is more or less the breakdown of the stages:

  • Stage 1: 30 to 40 km
  • Stage 2: 35 to 45 km
  • Stage 3: 75 to 90 km (stage 3 lasts 2 days)
  • Stage 4: 35 to 45 km
  • Stage 5: 30 to 40 km
  • Stage 6: 15 to 25 km

The exact route and distances are detailed in the road book which is given to you in Morocco on the way to the bivouac the day before the start of the race.

(For example, in 2017, the distances were as follow - First stage: 30.3 km, Second stage: 39 km, Third stage: 31.6 km, Fourth stage: 86.2 km, Fifth stage: 42.2 km)

PARTICIPANTS

The MARATHON DES SABLES is an adventure open to all.

In 37 editions, more than 25,000 people have joined the adventure.

On average, on each edition there is:

  • 50 nationalities represented
  • More than 30% of walkers
  • An average age of 51 years old
  • 90% of finishers
  • An average pace of 5.2km/h

The cut off times are large enough so you can do the adventure at your own pace and become a finisher. The minimum speed allowed is around 3km/h.

ORGANIZATION OF THE WEEK

Here is how a typical week at the MARATHON DES SABLES is organized:

  • Day 1: Arrival in Morocco, transfer by bus in the desert, installation and night at the bivouac.
  • Day 2: Day of technical, administrative and medical checks, night at the bivouac.
  • Day 3:First stage, night at the bivouac.
  • Day 4:Second stage, night at the bivouac.
  • Days 5 & 6:Third stage - "the long one" - which lasts 2 days. Nights at the bivouac.
  • Day 7: Fourth stage, night at the bivouac.
  • Day 8: Fifth stage, night at the bivouac.
  • Day 9: Sixth stage, award ceremony.Transfer by bus to Ouarzazate, night at the hotel with half board accommodation.
  • Day 10: Free day in Ouarzazate, night at the hotel with half board accommodation.
  • Day 11: End of the adventure, transfer back to the airport.

FOOD & WATER MANAGEMENT                                            

The MARATHON DES SABLES is a self-sufficient adventure. During the whole week in the desert, the competitors must carry all their equipment and food, except the water and the tent, which are provided by the organization. Participants are also self-sufficient in food from their arrival on Day 1 on the bivouac.

On the course, check-points are located every 10 km approximately to ensure the water supply. These check-points are also intended to rest and feed. Participants receive a water ration when arriving to the bivouac, for the evening and the morning.

USEFUL INFORMATION

 

PRICE

The prices for the MARATHON DES SABLES 2024 are as follow:

  1. Offer with flight included from Paris: 3,990€/person for an individual registration and 4,090€ for a team registration (priority to the participants with French, Belgian, Swiss or Japanese residency. Then reservation has to be requested by email for other countries according to the availabilities).
    This offer is limited to 400 people. It includes the round trip flight from Paris to Ouarzazate.
     
  2. Offer without flight: 3,540€/person for an individual registration and 3,640€ for a team registration
    This offer does not include flight. Participants will meet at the airport in Ouarzazate on April 12.

 

The prices for participants living in Great Britain, Ireland and the British Islands are as follows (different service):

  1. Offer with flight included from London: 5,280€/person for an individual registration and 5,380€ for a team registration
    This offer is limited to 200 people. It includes the return flight from London to Ouarzazate.
     
  2. Offer without flight: 4,680€/person for an individual registration and 4,780€ for a team registration
    This offer does not include a flight. Participants will meet at Ouarzazate airport on April 12.

 

INCLUDED IN THE REGISTRATION

  • Bib for the race
  • Race kit
  • Organization and medical support during the race
  • Water supply during the race
  • Repatriation assistance
  • 8 nights in bivouac
  • 2 nights in a double room with half board in Ouarzazate
  • Diploma, medal and finisher's t-shirt
  • Official movie of the edition to download

 

HOW TO GET THERE?

The meeting point is in Ouarzazate.

Depending on the offer you opt for, you have 2 options:

  • 1st Option – Offer including flight:

You will fly with other participants and members of the organization and arrive directly at the airport of Ouarzazate, where you will be welcomed by the rest of the MDS teams.

  • 2nd Option – Offer without flight:

The meeting point will be on Friday, April 12, 2024 in the morning at the airport of Ouarzazate (time to be communicated later).

 

To get there, you can arrive at different airports:

  1. Ouarzazate airport
    Fly directly to Ouarzazate before the race and spend one or more nights in a hotel, then come to the meeting point at the airport on April 12 morning (nights to be booked on your side and at your expense).
     
  2. Marrakech airport
    Fly to Marrakech the days before the race and go by bus to Ouarzazate.

The organization will provide free buses that will go from Marrakech to Ouarzazate, the days before the race (it takes 4 to 5 hours).

You will have to book one or more nights in a hotel in Ouarzazate, depending on the date you arrive.

 

The return trip at the end of the MDS follows the same logic.

  1. If you have opted for a registration with flight included, you will take the plane at the airport of Ouarzazate with the organization.
  2. If you are registered on a package without flight, you can, if you wish, take advantage of the buses provided by the organization to travel from Ouarzazate to Marrakech.

 

More information:

  • The days and schedules of the buses “Marrakech – Ouarzazate” will be communicated soon.
  • A list of hotels in Ouarzazate, where to book your extra nights before April 12, will be communicated soon.
  • You will have to book your place in the buses “Marrakech – Ouarzazate” on your registration account.

 

IN WHICH HOTELS DO THE PARTICIPANTS SLEEP AFTER THE RACE?

For the 2 nights following the race, participants are spread in different hotels in Ouarzazate, all within a 5/10 minute walk of each other.

At the hotel, the participants are divided in double rooms with another person of the same sex and who speaks the same language (as much as possible).

It is possible to indicate the person with whom you wish to share the accommodation before the race, on your registration account.

 

PAYMENT TERMS:

You can pay by:

  • Credit card
    • From 1 to 5 instalments

If you want to use another means of payment, you will need to contact the organization at inscription@marathondessables.com

The number of installments may depend on the registration date. The registration will be 100% validated once the total amount of the registration is paid.

 

WHAT IS THE MATERIAL REQUIRED?

If this is your first MARATHON DES SABLES, you probably have a lot of questions. Once registered, we will send you a complete list of recommended and mandatory materials, but in the meantime, here is the main one to have per person:

For information*:

  • A backpack with a water capacity
  • A running outfit (t-shirt + shorts)
  • Trail shoes + anti-sand gaiters
  • Cap and sunglasses
  • Change for the bivouac: T-shirt + light shorts / leggings
  • Windproof jacket for the evening and morning
  • Sleeping bag + mattress for the night
  • Hygiene products (sun cream, soap, antiseptic...)
  • Toilet paper
  • Food and kitchen utensils (cooking utensils, fire pellets...)
  • Mandatory equipment not mentioned above (compass, lighter, whistle, head torch, metal blade knife, safety pins, venom pump, signal mirror, survival blanket, AOI medical certificate + CGE...)

You will leave your suitcase with your non-racing belongings with the organization during the technical-checks, and you will find it after the adventure for the last days at the hotel.

*As a reminder, this list is not exhaustive - you will receive the exact list once you have done your registration, or by consulting the race regulations (soon be available here).

 

FOOD

You will need to bring your food from April 12 to 20 as follow:

  • April 12 - Day 1: dinner
  • April 13 to 19 - Days 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8: breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • April 20 - Day 9: breakfast, lunch

Each participant must have a minimum of 2,000 k/calories per race day, from April 14 to 20 included. It will be necessary to select the food that seems to be the most adapted to the efforts made, the climatic conditions, the transport and the weight.

More information in the race regulations (soon be available here).

 

SAFETY

During the race, participants are surrounded by the medical and organization teams from the beginning to the end of the stages.
The routes are marked with stakes every 200m, so it is normally impossible to get lost.
The competitors are all equipped with a GPS beacon with an alarm button, allowing the organization to locate them at any time.
A medical tent is present at the bivouac where competitors can go at any time.

 

REGULATIONS

For even more details, including the fees withheld in case of cancellation, the penalties awarded in case of non-compliance with the race rules, etc., we invite you to carefully read the race rules (soon be available here) as well as the terms and conditions of sale (soon be available here).

38th EDITION

 

From 12 to 22 April 2024 ~ 250 km in 6 days

A Big Thank you

To our suppliers, partners, supporters, volunteers

MOROCCAN NATIONAL TOURIST OFFICE
OCP
Volkswagen
SOFAC
TGCC
MUTUAIDE
BODYCROSS
TV5MONDE
TERRES D'AVENTURE