Monday’s Rundays: Three lessons from Marathon des Sables 33 day one

It’s all kicking off in Morocco right now. Today is day two of the Marathon des Sables 2018, and I’ve been glued to social media following the 977 nutjobs competing in the event. It’s making it hard to concentrate on my training this week (and it’s a big week – see below), knowing that in a year I will be out there trying to run 150 miles through the desert.

Three lessons from Marathon des Sables 33 day one

Three lessons from the Marathon des Sables 33

Watch the heat… and your feet

The blisters are already biting. The first leg was just over 18 miles long, through dunes, up and down hills and along dried river beds. One competitor told the organisers on finishing: “I have blisters under both feet, on the arches. I was forced to walk for 15 km.” And if your feet don’t slow you down, the heat will. “I found myself in a difficult situation, amidst the dunes and the suffocating stretches. I had to slow down more than foreseen,” said another runner.

There are some fast dudes in the desert

I struggle to run 18 miles on the flat in the mild climate of southeast England in under three hours. I don’t have a clue how leg one winner Mohammed El Morabity did 18 miles over sand dunes and in the scorching heat in just over two hours 11 minutes. Look at him go below. Amazing.

It can kick your arse

One competitor has already been put in hospital. And that was before the race even began. The poor chap – from Switzerland, apparently – fell ill at camp on the night before the first leg, which began yesterday morning. Thankfully, he’d recovered sufficiently overnight to compete yesterday. Makes me wonder what it’s going to be like for a type one diabetic…

I’m an idiot diabetic with a daft idea: to take on increasingly long and difficult running events before tackling the Marathon des Sables 2019. I am doing this to try and bring an end to type one diabetes and help the lives of those living with the condition around the world. I am raising funds for charities T1International, JDRF and Diabetes UK. Please visit my Just Giving site: https://www.justgiving.com/teams/diabeticdadruns 

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