James Marshall Takes on Marathon de Sables, a 140 Mile Race Through the Sahara Desert

James Marshall takes on the challenge of running the Marathon des Sables, which is the toughest foot race on earth at 140 miles across the Sahara desert. In this episode, James travels to Morocco where he begins this self-survival race that in total equals six marathons in 5 days.

Released on 7/17/2013

Credits

Starring: James Marshall

Transcript

00:01
[Voiceover] For the last eight months I've been training
00:02
to run six marathons in five days across the Sahara Desert.
00:10
The Marathon Des Sables is
00:11
the toughest foot race in the world.
00:14
I will endure 130 degree heat, massive sand dunes,
00:17
and complete exhaustion.
00:19
Hi, I'm James Marshall.
00:21
With the help of my friends, I've been training for
00:23
the 2013 Marathon Des Sables.
00:24
Now that's all done, so let's get on with it.
00:30
The Marathon Des Sables is a self-survival race,
00:33
I need to carry all of my own food and supplies
00:35
for the full 140 miles.
00:38
I must measure down to the last calorie
00:40
exactly what I need to survive.
00:43
You're from Morocco?
00:44
That's where I'm going now.
00:45
[Driver] Really?
00:46
Yeah I'm going to Morocco, yeah.
00:47
[Driver] Well, fantastic!
00:48
It's going to be good luck.
00:49
[Driver] Yes, absolutely!
00:50
The driver is from Morocco.
00:54
Morocco, here I come.
00:55
(upbeat bass music)
01:12
We've arrived about two miles outside the Bivouac
01:15
after seven or eight hours on the bus.
01:19
We have a sandstorm, already and we're waiting for some more
01:22
Moroccan army vehicles to come pick us up
01:24
because the buses can't get out to where the Bivouac is.
01:27
Which is, somewhere, out there.
01:32
But yeah, here we are, the edge of the Sahara.
01:37
This is a ridiculous race.
01:40
A marathon is 26.2 miles.
01:43
The Marathon Des Sables is 140 to 150 miles
01:47
in the middle of the Sahara Desert.
01:49
There are 1,100 athletes from more than 50 countries.
01:53
So, I'm told the race route is altered each year
01:55
to account for regional wars and political instability.
01:59
Yeah, like that fills me with confidence.
02:05
[Announcer] Six, five, four, three, two, one.
02:11
(Crowd cheers)
02:17
(Drum beat and guitar)
02:25
We've been going for, nine, ten, eleven,
02:29
two and a half hours.
02:42
Yeah, I'm really not sure what I've gotten myself into.
02:48
I feel totally under prepared.
02:52
I've just completed stage one
02:54
it was actually a lot tougher than
02:55
I thought it was going to be.
02:57
You see, my feet have blistered.
03:01
They're not particularly healthy.
03:03
But, it was good, it was a really good day.
03:06
Day one done and I didn't puke
03:08
although I might in a minute.
03:11
Now that you've seen me running the first marathon,
03:14
tune in to episode two to watch things go south.