100km Del Sahara Marathon
Sahara Desert - Southern Tunisia
7 - 14 March 2010
I have always wanted
to run a desert marathon. I have run a few marathons in hot climates but never
This event is similar
to the Marathon Des Sables. (Cheaper to enter and there is no three year waiting
I will be travelling
with colleague and running mates, Dave Watkinson and Les Green so I am sure the whole event is
going to be an enjoyable experience!
100km Del Sahara
Overall Event Experience
Where do I start -
This was a superbly organised event package that I would well recommend. We flew
to Milan where we met up with the race organisers and the other 175 or so
competitors who were flying from Milan to Tozuer.
From Tozeur airport
we were escorted to a nice hotel for overnight stay before travelling by Jeep to
Kazar Gilane, an oasis in South Tunisia. Here the event started and we went
through the formalities of race registration and briefings and also had our
first glimpse of the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert.
Day 1 - 15 Miles -
A windy start in
cooler temperatures in the 70's. The dunes were difficult to run over but the
sand gaiters worked well and kept my Walsh PB fell shoes totally sand free for
the duration of the race.
In the last half hour
of the race the weather got worse with stronger winds and light rain and a sand
storm emerged! It was still warm and I finished the 15 miles in 2.20. I arrived
in out tented village but found that the sand storm was getting worse and we had
to baton down the hatches in camp to keep our belongings dry and sand free.
My friends Dave and
Les were out longer and crossed the line having experience worse weather on the
road than I had. However, excellent food provided son after the race, mid
afternoon and then again in the evening made up for it.
Day 2 - 9 Miles -
The wind dropped in
the night and we were back in the 80's degrees today. Just a short nine miler
today over rugged terrain and more sand dunes. A fast run though that I enjoyed
placing me in 44th position out of 175 runners.
catering and camp facilities made for a great campfire evening and overnight
stay in our six man Bedouin tents shared with our French and Canadian friends.
Day 3 - 26.2 miles
Full marathon day and
the temperatures were in the 80's again. The competitors went off in waves, the
slower runners first with myself last out at 10am. What a tremendous marathon
course! A mixture of all sorts of desert terrain. From sand dunes to rocky
ground, gravel tracks and dirt roads. I dropped to 36th place in the race today.
Not a bad effort at
4.06 considering the temperatures got into the 90's degrees. Another great
overnight camp with great camaraderie in camp as we built up a good rapport with
our French friends.
Day 4 - 13 miles -
This was the hardest
day under foot. The dunes were big, very big and it was like a fell run on the
flat! It is amazing how the short 20 -30 feet climbs take it out of your legs.
The Oasis town was soon in sight and the 'Gateway to the Sahara' prominent on
Thinking of Running the 100km Del
Registration - Excellent
Start/Finish - Excellent
Course - Excellent
Flights - UK - Milan - £100
Inclusive 7 nights -
Accommodation - Food -
100km Del Sahara