Marathon des Sables Marrakech 2021

Sand Marathon

Marathon Des Sables, also known as the sand marathon is one of the planet’s toughest and unique marathon events, undeniably not for the faint-hearted. Competitors have to cover close to 150 miles of exigent Sahara desert’s sandy terrains, withstand the scorching desert heat, which can get up to 110 degrees Fahrenheit (~44C), brave the sand storms and rely on basic supplies for several days. Despite these challenges, the event still attracts both individuals and teams who not only strive to reach the finish line, but also learn some of the most essential life skills.


Competitors are usually advised to organize, ration and carry their own basic supplies; clothing, medical supplies, sleeping bags, anti-venom pumps (yes, the Sahara is home to over 20 types of very poisonous snakes and scorpions), aluminum survival blanket, among others. The organizers only provide rationed water and some communal open tents. The main challenge starts even before the marathon, where you have to carefully plan your supplies, not too heavy since the luggage will slow you down and not so little as you risk running out of supplies before the end of the challenge. Competitors must reach specific checkpoints within stipulated time or face disqualification.

Despite the glaring abrasion and blisters, the whopping $4,000 entry fee, venomous desert snakes and scorpions, and the super high temperatures, the marathon is always booked to capacity; in fact, there is a 2-year registration wait-list. The marathoners can pick their water rations at checkpoints spread between five and ten miles, where medical staff can decide to pull out those who appear unfit from the race. Despite the challenges, the race attracts both experienced marathoners and average persons ready to brave the challenges.

While in Marrakech, visitors can view the magnificent Marrakech attractions like the Koutobia Minaret, the tallest and most famous landmark in the city, Djemaa El-fna square, the medina, souks or venture into some other great spots just outside the city. Marathon Des Sables Marrakech is a unique and demanding sport activity, are you ready for the challenge?

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