Marathon des sables





This article contains useful information on travel and logistics for the 38th MDS Legendary. If you're a participant in the 38th MDS Legendary, this information is relevant to you.


Arrival in Morocco



Don't travel with your race gear in checked luggage. Each year, airlines misplace bags, so to avoid issues, carry all your racing essentials in your cabin bag - shoes, backpack, food, outfits, etc. However, poles are generally not allowed in the cabin; it's best to check with the airline.


OPTION 1: If you arrive in Marrakech on April 10, 11 (or earlier), various shuttles are available:

  • April 10 at 7am at the Kenzi Rose Garden hotel
  • April 10 at 10am at Marrakech Airport
  • April 10 at 12pm at Marrakech Airport
  • April 11 at 7am at Kenzi Rose Garden hotel
  • April 11 at 10am at Marrakech Airport
  • April 11 at 12pm at Marrakech Airport

Once you arrive in Ouarzazate, there will be 3 drop-off points in the city so that you can go to the hotel you have booked on your own:

  • KARAM PALACE (also serving the nearby IBIS, AZGOR, COS and FINT)

A map will be sent to you closer to the race to indicate the locations of the different hotels.

OPTION 2: If you arrive in Ouarzazate, you are responsible for making your own way to your hotel. We will meet you the next morning, at 08:00 am, directly at Ouarzazate Airport.

OPTION 3: If you chose the offer with flights, we'll meet you at the airport you were informed about by e-mail. The MDS teams will be there to welcome and guide you.


Friday, April 12 - Travel


  1. Transfer:

a. If you’re concerned by option 1 or 2, you'll have to be at Ouarzazate airport at 08:00 am to meet the organization. If you are concerned by option 3, the bus to the bivouac will be at the airport exit.

b. Before you get on the bus, you'll pick up the roadbook containing all the details of the adventure, as well as a lunch pack and water. Vegetarian and gluten-free lunch packs are available for those who prefer them.

c. Transfer time: 6 hours. A break will be scheduled halfway through the journey.


  1. Arrival at the bivouac:


a. If you have not yet filled in your choice of tent on the MDS website, it is imperative that you do so before Sunday if you want to share your tent with your relatives.

b. You will arrive at the bivouac with your suitcase and will be able to join your tent and your future companions (there will be 8 of you per tent).

c. At the end of the day, if you find yourself in a tent that's not completely full, the organization may reposition you with other people, while respecting the group of people you've indicated on our website.


  1. Arrival at the bivouac: You'll need to be self-sufficient in terms of food. This means you are responsible for your own food supply until the end of the adventure. You'll receive your first 5-liter water bottle at this point, which you can use for drinking and cooking.


  1. Welcome briefing: Once all participants have arrived, a briefing will be held to welcome you and explain life in the bivouac.


  1. Equipment shop: A store with all the mandatory equipment will be available at the bivouac from Friday, in case you've forgotten, lost any gear, or if an item was confiscated at the airport.


Saturday, April 13 - Technical checks


  1. Morning: self-sufficient breakfast. On Saturday, you'll receive another 5-liter bottle of water, which you'll use for the day and to fill your water bottles from the start of the first stage to the first Check Point of the stage (refreshment point).
  2. 09:00 am: Start of technical checks + opening of the equipment shop on Saturday.


You can now download the technical checks form on you online account, which you'll need to fill in before you arrive.


Technical checks schedule:


You don't need to come to the technical checks at 09:00 am. To avoid long queues under the sun, our teams will pick you up directly from under your tent.



Drop off your suitcase (which you'll find in front of your hotel in Ouarzazate after the race). There is no weight limit for your suitcase. It will be labelled for easy identification. Remember not to leave any equipment you might need during the race.


Administrative checks:

  • Presentation of the technical check form.
  • Presentation of passport and mandatory equipment (see regulations, art. 24).
  • Submission of any items missing from your administrative file (if any).
  • Weigh your bag. Bag weight must be between 6.5kg and 15kg.



  • Medical certificate and ECG checked by our medical team. You can download the official medical certificate on your online account, if you haven't already filled it in. They must be dated less than 30 days before the start of the race.
  • Don't forget to remind the medical team of your current treatment(s), if any.



  • You will receive your GPS beacon.


Race bibs:

  • You will give your technical checks form to our teams.
  • In exchange, you will receive 2 race bibs.


  1. Race explanation briefing: A briefing will be organized to explain the logic of the stages and give race tips for the 6 stages.


Sunday, April 14 to Saturday, April 20 - Stages 1 to 6


You'll find a diverse range of topics about the race below.


In the event of stopping during the race


If, unfortunately, you decide to stop your adventure, here's what will happen.

You will spend the end of the day and the night on the bivouac, remaining in food self-sufficiency until breakfast the next morning.

A transfer will be organized to take you back to Ouarzazate, around 06 hours long. You will be dropped off at our partner agency, which will suggest, depending on availability, several hotels in Ouarzazate where you can spend the following nights, at your own expense. You'll pick up your suitcase at this time.

You can then return to your hotel for the nights of April 20-21, which are provided by the organization.


Saturday, April 20 - Back to Ouarzazate


  1. The final stage - making you an 2024 MDS Legendary finisher!


  1. Return transfer:

a. Once you've completed the stage, you can take the transfer for Ouarzazate.

b. The transfer will be about 06 hours, with a break in the middle.

c. You will be given a lunch pack and water for the transfer.


  1. Arrival Ouarzazate - hotel:

a. If you haven't already indicated the person with whom you'd like to share the hotel, please do so now on your MDS account.

b. Your hotel will be communicated to you in the next few days and will also be indicated on the bivouac. Don't worry, all the MDS teams will have this information if you have any doubts on Saturday, April 20.

c. The buses will stop at all the hotels, and you will need to get off at your hotel.

d. You'll be able to pick up your suitcase, which will be waiting for you outside your hotel.

e. You'll check in, go to your room, shower, have dinner and spend the night at the hotel.


  1. Info:

a. As a reminder, you are on half-board for the 2 nights.

b. All hotels have Wi-Fi, but with the large amount of connections, it's not always very powerful.

c. The medical clinic will be open from 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm at the Karam Palace hotel.

d. In case of emergency, the medical team can be reached by telephone at any time, 24 hours a day. Emergency numbers will be posted in hotel reception areas.


Sunday, April 21 - Day in Ouarzazate


  1. Distribution of the finisher T-shirt:

The finisher's T-shirt will be distributed at the MDS boutique, located in the Karam Palace hotel, open from 09:30 am to 3:00 pm.


  1. Medical clinic - Open from 08:30 am to 12:30 pm at the Karam Palace Hotel.


  1. MDS Store:

a. This is a dematerialized shop: you come in, try the products and order them, then they will be delivered to your place within a few days.

b. There are enough products for everyone, so there's no need to rush to the store first thing in the morning, to avoid the wait.


  1. Evening:

a. Dinner will be served in your hotel from 6.00 pm.

b. 7:30 pm: awards ceremony at the Karam Palace Hotel.

c. The ceremony will be followed by the projection of the MDS Legendary 2024 film.

d. Followed by a gala evening to celebrate the end of the adventure.


Monday, April 22 - Return flight


If you’re concerned by option 1 or 2, shuttles will pick you up at your hotel at 06:00 am in the morning to take you to Marrakech, if you have indicated that you would like a shuttle to Marrakech on your account. The shuttles will stop first at the airport, then in the city center.

The journey takes around 6h00.


If you’re concerned by option 3, a shuttle will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the airport, depending on your flight time. The exact time will be indicated at your hotel reception during the 2 days in Ouarzazate.





  1. Stages distances:


Here's a reminder of the distances that await you on the 38th edition of the MDS Legendary :

  • Stage 1
    • 31.1km
    • 282m D+
  • Stage 2
    • 40.8km
    • 550m D+
  • Stage 3
    • 85,3km
    • 1,154m D+
  • Stage 4
    • 43.1km
    • 390m D+
  • Stage 5
    • 31.4km
    • 252m D+
  • Stage 6
    • 21.1km
    • 160m D+



252.8KM and 2,788m+


  1. Stage starts:


The start times for the stages have been moved earlier to allow you to run in cooler temperatures. Therefore, starts will take place between 06:00 am and 07:30 am.


Exception - 2 waves will be organized for stages 3 and 4:

  • Stage 3: the first 50 at scratch will start 1h30 later.
  • Stage 4: the first 150 at scratch will start 1h30 later.


The scratch ranking is independent of gender.


  1. Checkpoints (CP):


On the stages, you will find checkpoints with :

  • Water supplies
  • Shaded areas for rest
  • Medical assistance
  • New: iced water for the neck (poured by medical team). This will allow you to cool down several times during the stages.


Distances between CPs:


In previous editions of the MDS, checkpoints were generally spaced 10 to 13km apart, with a water supply of 1.5 to 3 liters available, with water bottles distributed.


This year, we've decided to increase the amount of CPs, so that you'll have water more frequently, allowing you to carry less weight on the stages. CPs will be spaced on average between 07 and 12km apart.


New: “Water Station”:


Water stations will be present on certain stages. They will be there to shorten the distances between some CPs, allowing you to refill your water bottles more frequently and carry less water.



In an effort to reduce our carbon footprint, we will be using almost no 1.5-liter bottles of water. From now on, we'll be using 5-liter bottles of water on the stages and on the bivouac.

  • Water conditioning: The minimum conditioning required is 1.5 liter. If you'd like to use a larger capacity, that's absolutely possible. For example, 2 x 750 mL bottles + 2 x 500 mL flasks (3 liters in total).
  • Filling water bottles: On the CP, water will be available in 2-liter jugs, which will be filled by our teams. You'll be able to fill all your water bottles on each CP, whether you have a capacity of 1.5 liters or more.


Stage 3:

Stage 3 will be special. On this stage and only on this stage, the CPs will be spaced about 10 to 12km apart.

At CP1, we'll give you a 1.5-liter bottle to increase your water-carrying capacity. You'll need to keep this bottle for the whole stage, and you'll be able to refill it on the following CPs.


If your bottle were to get punctured, another would be distributed to you.


  1. End of stage:


At the end of each stage, you'll receive a 5-liter can of water, which you can use for your food, overnight water rationing, and to fill up your water bottles until the first CP of the next day's stage. Depending on the temperature and the stage, you will have the possibility to fill in your water bottles at the end of the stage.




Toilets at the bivouac will be nomad toilets:

  • A tent
  • A seat with a hole
  • Biodegradable corn grain bags.


There will be plenty of these toilets on the bivouac, with men's and women's toilets. You'll also find them on the stages, at check points.


Toilet bags will be available directly in the toilets, but also at the participant information point on the bivouac, without limit.


You'll need to bring your own toilet paper or wipes, which the organization does not provide.


The 14 stock cubes are part of the mandatory equipment. It's possible to carry them in bulk in your bag.


Here are some examples:

Usage advice:

  • For optimal use, we recommend you to consume at least two stock cubes daily.


You can take them:

  • In the evening, with hot water, to make a soup (with a volume of water corresponding to a large cup for 2 cubes).
  • During the day, in your bottles, with 1 half-liter of water for 2 cubes.


It's best to dilute them in hot water, but they can also be diluted and ingested with cold water.


Why use stock cubes instead of salt tablets?

Diluted stock cubes provide a more balanced salt intake without causing excessive water buildup in the stomach, making absorption during physical effort easier. On the other hand, salt tablets draw water into the stomach until they dissolve, increasing stomach liquid volume and potentially leading to vomiting. Therefore, consuming stock in small sips is recommended for better assimilation.


Salt tablets will no longer be distributed by the organization this year. They remain authorized. So if you want to bring your own salt tablets, you can, but don't forget to test them first.


You won't be able to buy them in the pre-race store.


You can buy fire starter cubes online, by clicking here.


If, during your trip, your cubes are confiscated, the MDS pre-race shop will have some for sale.


It's crucial to be cautious with self-medication, especially during endurance events like the MDS Legendary.


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and ketoprofen should be avoided as they can lead to renal failure in this context. If you need pain relief, opt for safer alternatives like paracetamol or Doliprane.


  • Don't use Compeed as a preventative measure for blisters; there's no miracle solution to avoid them.
  • Avoid shaving or waxing in areas prone to friction.
  • Maximize your equipment efficiency to have the lightest bag possible.

If you have any questions about the adventure, don't hesitate to call us on +33 (0) 3 25 76 57 77. We remain available to answer all your questions.


The MDS team

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A Big Thank you

To our suppliers, partners, supporters, volunteers