Marathon des sables

Portraits

Kristina KALLUR (SWE)

« Sand, it’s all about sand »

During the MARATHON DES SABLES, each participant is self-sufficient: he carries his equipment and food for the entire week of the race. Thus, over meals and days, the bag gets lighter. A banality? Yes. Except for Kristina KALLUR (SWE): her bag will not lighten at all over the stages. Why ? Because every day, over the stages, it will collect a little sand. But why the devil picking up sand in the middle of the desert? « I‘m a full-on sand-nerd. I love how sand can reflect uniqueness, and beauty of places, nations, and people. How it connects to science, culture and historical events. That greatness can hide in what might appear plain and common. And the beauty of it. I also make jewelry based on the beauty of sand and all the wonders it connects us with. »

At 50 years old, the MARATHON DES SABLES is a real boon for this enthusiast of the grain of sand who has obtained, it should be noted, the approval of the Ministry of Energy, Mines and the Environment of Morocco for this collection. Because crossing immense sandy areas in this way will be a first for the Swede: « Those mythical Saharan dunes both scare and tempt. What better opportunity to really get a feel for it than spending days close to it? »

However, nothing predestined the fiftieth birthday to embark on this adventure, it is rather the coincidence of research on the internet that about it: « I found information about MARATHON DES SABLES when searching random facts connecting Morocco with sandin a quest for sand fact for each nation.  Once found the adventure seemed irresistible. An adventure + sand, lot’s of sand = love. »

So of course for this woman who has never been in a race, other than a 10k 30 years ago and 4 kids, the challenge is a little scary. « What I fear most? Blisters. And perhaps the camel marking the stop time. » But in this adventure, she will be able to count on her father, Gunnar, who also participates for the first time, at 79 years old: « Neither of us are runners but both are at times called stubborn. We call it grit and hope it can makeup for the non-running part. The rest of the family may think it’s a bad idea that I enter, they thinks it’s close to insane that I asked my father to join (and for him to accept). Together we hope to prove to the rest that age is but a number and that it’s OK to be a newbie at any age. »

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