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Marathon Des Sables a gruelling test of strength

The Marathon Des Sables "Marathon of the Sands" is a race full of many stories and hardships.

The Marathon Des Sables “Marathon of the Sands” is a race full of many stories and hardships.


It’s a multi-stage ultra marathon run over seven days through the Sahara Desert. For two people, Daniel Turner and Ryan Dewey, the race has been a life changing experience and one they are very thankful of to be able to complete.


The rules require participants to be self sufficient so they are required to take all their food and sleeping equipment with them for the week.

At any one time they are generally carrying around 12kg of weight in which they must run with to complete the event within the required time frame.

The course legs stretch between 35kms and 92kms per day through sand dunes, rocky mountains and salt plains in approximately 38 to 50 degrees Celsius of heat.

Each year approximately a third of the athletes do not finish due to dehydration, sickness or kidney failure and there have even been several instances of death and cases of people getting lost for days due to sand storms.


The lead up for this race started in 2012 when Daniel’s sister in law became ill and the lads got together to arrange a fundraiser.

Ryan decided that they should try and complete a marathon and so with six weeks’ notice, they in fact went from never running to completing their first event.

Because of the lack of training, this was a painful day and they thought that they would never run again, however it wasn’t long before they were back on the track and had completed several marathons and ultra marathons including a 100km race for charity.

After this was completed, it was Daniel’s turn to pick an event and one night decided to Google what the toughest footrace in the world was and it was this race that came up the hardest as recognised by the Discovery Channel.

They decided they would give it a go, once again for a charity, this time being for the Ronald McDonald House- Adelaide.


The training for the event in their minds was never enough but the boys did get out on a regular basis covering some big distances and it wasn’t long until they were on the start line.

The race was full of many stories and hardships including painful blisters, busted ankles, hallucinations, assisting with rescues, sandstorms and kidney issues just to name a few.

After a week in desert the guys managed to complete the race and now in the coming weeks, will be holding a fundraising event to talk about their story in the Sahara desert and provide advice to people who may one day want to attempt such an event.

Do you know anyone that has participated in The Marathon Des Sables before?