The much-anticipated Sand marathon began in Morocco on Sunday attracting more than 1150 runners who will have to show their resilience in the six-day 251 km ultramarathon.
The participants camped in the desert packed their food and medical kits while the medical teams check the fitness certificates of the participants before the race began on Sunday.
"Today, they are checking our bags to see if all the material is OK, and then we give our medical certificate with the electrocardiogram. If it's good, we are fit for the race. Self-sufficiency starts tomorrow morning, so until next Saturday. So, we will only have the water that will be given to us and then, we have our food in our back ad it is up to us to manage our days," said Jérome Martos, a runner.
Moroccan Rachid El Morabity is aiming for a 10th victory to equal the record of Lahcen Ahansal. But this year, a French team, with Mathieu Blanchard, could well upset the Moroccan ambitions.
The Moroccan armada is also the favorite in the women's category, where Aziza El Amrany, 3rd last year, might also show some opposition.
Additional sources • AFP