Known simply as the MdS, the race is a gruelling six-day adventure through a formidable landscape in one of the world’s most inhospitable climates – the Sahara desert. The rules require you to be self-sufficient, to carry with you on your back everything except water that you need to survive. You are given a place in a tent to sleep at night, but any other equipment and food must be carried. Why, you may ask? Jon is raising money for Claire House Hospice!
Started in 1986 by Patrick Bauer, the race is now in its 28th consecutive year and continues to grow in popularity every edition. Places are much sought after, but those who do make it to the start line are richly rewarded. Under the scorching Moroccan sun, life-long friendships are fostered through a shared experience of unforgettable days spent running across saltpans, up desert-mountains, through ruined towns and through the occasional sand storm.
The Marathon des Sables is open to individuals and teams of individuals, amateur and elite runners. With runners coming from all over the world, the MdS is a truly international event that has a positive impact on the local environment and in local communities. Through the MdS foundation Solidarite, runners have raised funds to help hundreds of families through education and improve their quality of life.
Jon, with nothing but rolling sand dunes for miles around, raced in temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees centigrade). When he completed the final stage of the Marathon des Sables, he will have ran the equivalent of six marathons in six days, a total distance of 251 km – 156 miles.
Well done Jon!