In Cha Allah is a phrase you will hear often during the Marathon des Sables. It means ‘God willing’. And regardless of your faith, these words carry more and more significance as you complete the stages of MDS. Your training, your hydration, your nutrition be damned…it is only “God willing” that you will finish this epic race.
So many have finished already…see the results page.
It is amazing for me to watch. I look and see that my friend Simone was second female and her daughter ran the entire race with her...just amazing!!!
Please use the COMMENTS field of this post to offer congratulations to your friends and family as you see that they have finished. We are planning on turning these blog posts into a little book for the Dreamchaser finishers, so they can read how much we cared about them through this race.
It will be great to have your comments so fresh…right as you know they are safe and sound. As one wife posted on a Blog this week about her husband who was competing this week…details are still to come about the race from my husband, but no matter right now…HE LIVES!
Stage 6 (the Final Stage) Press Release
Moroccan competitor Mohamad Ahansal won his second Marathon des Sables, treating himself to a stage victory, and the crowd to a splendidly accrobatic cartwheel on the finish line in Tazzarine. After a long series of MDS coming second after his brother Lahcen, this child of Zagora demonstrated this year a great strategic sense. He took a clear lead on the first stage, gaining 17 minutes over his challengers, and then simply kept control over them. Despite his best efforts, Jordanian runner Salameh Al Aqra’ could never make up for his stage one defeat, although we owe him much of this week’s excitement. Just like last year, Aziz El Akad won a well deserves third rank.
On the women’s side, no surprise: Touda Didi from Morocco won all the stages way ahead of her competitors. It’s her first MDS victory, but most probably not her last, considering her utter domination of the race. After her come Simone Kayser and Lis Kayser, ex aequo – mother and daughter ran together all week long.
On the finish line, competitors expressed their joy, their pride or their relief in various fashion. Many broke in tears in the MDS director Patrick Bauer’s arms. Many also chose to pay homage to their country, holding out brand new flags, from Morocco of course, but also from the UK, Jordania, Colombia, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Luxemburg… Families were there to share the runners’ joy and many competitors held their children’s hand to run the last few yards taking them to the finish line.
Some kissed the ground while others, despite their exhaustion, insisted on a final sprint.
Thus this 23rd Marathon des Sables comes to a close: once again, the human and sportive adventure was completely out of this world. Our 1200 runners and organisers will be going home with stunning images and extremely moving memories. No doubt they’re already thinking about the 34th edition. In Cha Allah.
Last night, competitors were treated to a classical music concert , with singers and musicians from the Paris opera standing right in the middle of their bivouac. AMAZING!!! Grit & culture!!!