Will He Make It Through the Sahara? James Marshall Pushes On in the Epic Marathon de Sables

As James embarks on the final days of the Marathon des Sables, his training is put to the test. With temperatures hitting 120 degrees by late morning and the difficult Saharan terrain taking a toll on his body, see if the marathon man makes it to the finish line, or if the toughest foot race on earth proves to be too much.

Released on 8/26/2013

Credits

Starring: James Marshall

Transcript

00:00
(snapping sound)
00:02
Hi, I'm James Marshall.
00:03
With the help of my friends,
00:04
I've been training for the 2013 Marathon des Sables.
00:07
Now that's all done so let's get on with it.
00:10
(light-hearted music)
00:15
(energetic music)
00:25
After day one,
00:26
I was feeling pretty shitty.
00:28
I didn't sleep and had bad diarrhea.
00:31
22 runners have already dropped out.
00:34
No matter how bad it gets I'm not joining them.
00:40
This is not an ordinary mountain today.
00:45
It's very, very steep.
00:47
As you can see we've come,
00:50
we got one mountain down the other,
00:53
half another.
00:55
It is exhausting.
00:57
But
00:58
this is the Marathon des Sables,
01:01
and why we've come to this epic race.
01:04
If it was easy everyone would do it,
01:06
wouldn't they?
01:09
(speaking in foreign language)
01:10
So at the end of day two and
01:13
I've seriously underestimated the Marathon des Sables.
01:17
And now,
01:20
I feel like such a pussy but it's
01:23
it's like overpowering,
01:24
like overwhelming pain.
01:26
I'm actually tired and dizzy.
01:29
(jazzy guitar playing)
01:32
I'm totally buggered today.
01:40
Couldn't keep hydrated.
01:42
Drank about eight liters of water
01:44
and I haven't peed once.
01:46
Not a good sign.
01:47
(jazzy guitar playing)
01:50
This is really beautiful.
01:53
It's a little further of the village
01:56
and a real oasis.
01:58
Look at that.
02:01
They thought that running a marathon is hard enough.
02:03
Running a desert is hard enough.
02:06
Running a desert carrying all your shit is hard enough.
02:09
Don't know why they put mountains
02:09
in the middle of the course.
02:11
But yeah, it was a good day.
02:13
I think we've now done three stages,
02:16
and we have two stages to go.
02:19
I'm terrified about tomorrow.
02:20
Tomorrow's the 80 kilometers or 50 miles,
02:24
and apparently there's 13 columns of
02:26
enormous sand dunes.
02:28
So I've been keeping myself...
02:31
Hopefully, I do tomorrow's stage in 18 hours,
02:35
but I'm absolutely knackers.
02:37
I think I might go to bed in a minute.
02:39
So yeah,
02:42
day three down,
02:43
two more to go.
02:54
Going now for what, nine hours?
02:55
[Cameraman] Nine hours exactly.
02:56
We're going for nine hours.
02:57
Sun's coming down,
02:58
we've got 30 k or 20 miles to go.
03:00
My feet as well as my friend's feet are wrecked.
03:04
So the second we get...
03:05
I don't dare take my shoes off
03:07
because I think there swollen and they're bloodied,
03:10
nails falling off,
03:11
it's just gnarly and disgusting.
03:18
(people applauding)
03:40
[Male Voice] It's probably fluid that's lifted the nail.
03:44
[James] That is gross, dude. Yeah.
03:46
This is what the Marathon des Sables does
03:48
to your feet.
03:51
There's one nail completely off.
03:57
When the scalper cut into my sole
03:59
it was pretty bad.
04:02
But the rotten skin just had to go.
04:05
They took 15% of the skin from my left foot
04:08
and 20% from the right foot,
04:11
and I still have to run a full marathon tomorrow.
04:17
(gusting winds)
04:22
I can walk without shoes on,
04:24
it's just putting my shoes on.
04:26
What I'm actually thinking of doing is taking,
04:28
if it gets really bad in my shoes,
04:29
taking my in soles
04:32
out of my shoes,
04:34
and then just get some tape and taping
04:35
the in soles above my feet.
04:37
(helicopter zooming by)
04:48
(emotional music)
04:52
It was
04:54
I never felt anything like it.
04:56
It's like
04:57
the blood's vanished.
04:59
Blood has disappeared.
05:01
A mile to go.
05:03
(emotional music continues)
05:16
(people applauding)
05:22
Are you James Bond?
05:24
Yes!
05:25
007.
05:30
[James] Ah, okay.
05:33
So the marathon is finally over,
05:36
thank god.
05:37
It's been
05:41
emotional,
05:42
it's been painful,
05:43
it's been
05:46
the most challenging thing I've ever done.
05:48
Someone asked me today would I ever do it again,
05:52
and I really can't say I would.
05:55
Maybe I'll change my mind in a few weeks.
05:58
But we've had
06:00
a guy had a flare blow up his hand yesterday,
06:04
we got people who were heli-vac'ed off the racecourse,
06:08
one of our friend almost died yesterday,
06:09
had nine liters of fluid pumped into him.
06:12
It's been 52 degrees Celsius.
06:15
It's just been
06:19
I just cannot describe what it's like.
06:22
(emotional music)
06:33
(sweeping beep sound) (snapping sound)