Oman Desert Marathon, 6 days, the entire 165 km. I carry all my personal belongings, running at 40 degrees under the full temperature

“Crazy place – you can hit crazy people,” says Italians Dino Bonelli, smiling all the time. He is my longtime partner in tents. He refers to “madman” as myself and he and about 75 other contestants. The “crazy place” is located in the hinterland of the Oman Desert. From Bidiyah to the Arabian Sea for a total of 6 days and a total of 165 kilometers (about 102 miles) of race, we have run halfway through all of our personal belongings and traversing the soft desert. Can not deny that this is crazy.
The third Oman Desert Marathon kicked off in early November with villagers in Bidiyah wearing white robe and sword and iPhones in their waits to perform a symbolic dance for us. We then started running, carrying a luggage around the highway ran about 100 meters into the desert. Ten minutes later, they completely left the village of Bidiyah and ran deep into the desert, leaving them completely isolated for the next six days.
I ran fairly stable for the first 10 kilometers. My rucksack is heavy, but they are designed to be pretty delicate, so they have little effect on the road. I tried my best to get to the first service point, where I added water to the kettle.
At this time the sand in the desert has become the kind of sand like a British beach. For weeks, I’ve been telling my associates that the real situation will not be like today. I myself had imagined running on dry and hard roads that had been repeatedly rolled by cars or sunbaked for a long time. I do not think there will be a match on such a soft sand. But after the first service point, we entered the sand dunes, the sand road much harder than before. It’s about the same as crossing a dune in England, but the sand dunes are taller and the sun is more sinister, squeezing itself like a vice, as if turning your spirit and your meat a little bit.

As a veteran who ran six marathon races, I watched my friend take part in extreme sports. With the popularity of marathon racing (now almost normal), the so-called “extreme” race is everywhere. Nowadays, new extreme vacations emerge as the result of the annual extreme events (50 miles long run or even 100 miles long run or bike race and even more horrific Triathlon events) – during vacations Wandering thousands of miles before going to competition. Many races are then using the lottery system to cope with the crowd of competitors. The Oman Desert Marathon was established shortly after the first event was held in 2013, compared to the marathon des sables of nearly 15,000 Moroccan sub-Sahara hellies.
I was deeply attracted by this event, not just because it tested the physical limits, but can spend a week crossing the desert, far away from the earthly noise, enjoy selflessly experience, and they need to always respond to the desert environment instead of dangerous 4 Stroke cars or riding camels comfortably through the desert. Dr Eric Brymer once said: Being able to experience nature rather than looking at nature is one of the most common motivations for getting into extreme sports. “Event finders have a deep understanding of their potential,” he said. “So they have a better understanding of themselves.” Dr. Eric R Bremer is a professor of sports and exercise at Manchester Metropolitan University Science teacher, at the same time is the study of extreme physical and mental health researcher.

I also hope that after completing the extreme events, I will be able to find out more about myself and have a better understanding of myself. But I am still a long way to go.
I keep thinking hard of hard sandy land coming up soon, but turning over an undulating sand dune, I find it softer. On the first day of the 21-kilometer stage approaching the finish line, I almost walked on and off, but even then it was extremely difficult. In spite of this, no one caught up with me during this period, so I decided that the other players should take their own course of action.

After the end of the camp, the camping site has been set up: the large tent of the Berber is wide open. Our daily supper is fixed, in a week, each also slowly established friendship. For many people, this is where the charm of these events lies. I found most roommates are Italians. In addition, my fellow sufferers include the mother of a Premier League player, a Belgian bioengineer, a cheerful South African and a British soldier. I fell asleep in the shade of the tent and fell asleep, deeply delighted to complete my first stage myself and pinned hope that it could be hard sand tomorrow.
However, the next two days, Sha Road, no change, the third day remains the same. In fact, every day the stage is undulating soft dunes. The flags mark the direction, but sometimes they are too far apart from each other and seem to feel like they will never get through. When we ran to the flagpole inserted in the top of the sand dune, we suddenly found the next flag in the distance. We continued to work hard to move the steps, where we could run and where we could not run. The worst thing is that the sand looks hard, so he started to run, but the result was stepped on soft sand, at this time the thigh did not listen to it. This happens one after another.Gradually, I learned how to distinguish the sandy, which is the pile of hard sand. Containing gravel indicates that the sand is harder and camel footprints are also good markers. Camel seems to know how to cross the sand dunes with the best route.
Every day, we consume more and more of freeze-dried food and protein, and the backpack on our body becomes lighter and lighter. Although it is a trick to pack as much caloric food as possible in a small backpack, it’s hard to reconcile with the type of food and taste.

After finishing the fourth day, I seem to adapt to all this. The fifth day of the race is the longest period, up to 26 miles 385 yards (about 42.2 km), exactly the same as the marathon. Before the game, we stood in a circle around the tent, and the organizers read the names of the top 20 players so far. These players will start late two hours, I am also among them.
I am proud to be sitting in the elite player’s camp. After we waved goodbye to other players, we returned to the tent for final preparations: filling the kettle with water, replenishing the electrolyte, treating blisters on the feet, applying sunscreen and wrapping the leggings (to prevent the shoes from entering the sand). The air filled with tension, the real contest began. The leading male runners are Moroccans and Jordanians, who adapted to the desert environment from an early age, although the leading female runner was Swede Elisabet Barnes, who is also the winner of this year’s Sahara Desert hell marathon in Morocco. When I asked her the recipe for her success, she smiled and replied: “There are tips and tricks on running in the sand.” But apparently clutching at this time is no longer viable. The fifth day of the game started!

Living fast group also have negative factors. I soon left behind, form a single film only; This is the night run stage, because I fell to the last, so the police opened a police car all the way to guard.
This is the desert world in my imagination picture book: scorpions, snakes and camels, windy sand dunes and blowing heat waves. But the only “ghost scene” is the ghost soup that the organizers give us every day: the subsequent stages will be easier to run; in fact, the degree of difficulty will be more and more day by day. Before the start of the fifth day of the race, the organizers said that the track after 10 km would be a hard sand road. However, the sand surface is getting softer and softer, just like quicksands swallowing their feet. As night fell, I was still gritting. I can not tell if there’s uphill or downhill in front of me, just using the dim light of the headlights. The slower I run, the more I curse the organizers’ nonsense. At this point I see what gas is not hit one to come – whether it is a scrub thigh shrubs have been very dim or solar stage lights.

But to complete stage, I have to cheer myself. I kept talking to myself and encouraged myself to run, but it did not work. My mind has hit back, has been uninterested. However, this is exactly what the ultimate challenge means – that’s why we are participating in this event. I stopped and looked up at the sky full of stars, boosting my spirits again and listening to my breath.
I only persist now, the time, rankings and even the end are thrown Cloud Nine, in order to move forward step by step. Suddenly, I began to set foot on the journey, concentrate on the headlights shining on the ground, small aperture swinging up and down, shaking water in the kettle is like a rhythmic drum inspired me. Work hard pays off, I finally reached the finish line.
Back to the tent rest, time has passed midnight. Dino and Englishman Rob saw me exhausted, helping me to take off my shoes and fill my kettle before I got into my sleeping bag. I am grateful to this.
A while ago, I was in the heat of summer and spent 3 hours and 17 minutes running a marathon on a 5,500-foot dusty trail in Kenya. But today, the same distance I took as long as 7 hours and 35 minutes.
An Italian player took 10 hours to finish the stage difficult to return to the tent, accidentally stepped on the scorpion again. Fortunately, the scene doctor timely rescue, he can return to the team to participate in the final stage of the early morning of the next day.
What are we going to limit game charts? In the 6-day schedule, this issue continues to linger in my mind. Nick Mead, a veteran of the Extreme Marathon, has said he has participated because he is too comfortable and comfortable in his modern life and he longs for a bigger life challenge.
“Once I ran the marathon within three hours,” he said, “I need a new challenge, and I do not seem to run faster than I did. Limit racing is more of an adventure, running alone in the dark, It is the most thrilling. ”
Ian Corless, the talk-pod creator at Talk Ultra, said he “escalated” from Triathlon to the Extreme Marathon. “When someone asked me why I no longer participated in the Iron Man,” he said, “I replied: ‘I no longer have a sense of fear.’ I know I have the ability to complete the race, I need to constantly exceed the feeling of self-extreme. Challenging uncharted territory and saying “Wow, I really did it!” All done after finishing her first marathon, but full of passion.

Among my companions who joined me in the Oman Desert Marathon, there was a German lady named Gudrun Dautel, 65 years old. After the first day I found out she was Is exhausted, so asked her to join the reason. She replied: “I did not think I had such a happy family.”
At this time, her 68-year-old husband, Hansmartin, also interjected: “Because we have a happy family.”
In fact, everyone I ask has the same reason in my heart: there is a need to go beyond the realm of everyday life, into the inner world, and to take on challenges.
“I still feel good after returning home,” said Meade. “On the first night after I got home, I slept in bed after a hot shower and looked at the neat sheets – feeling super enjoyment. Thankful.”
The finish line for the Oman Marathon is at the beach. After 6 days of trekking in the desert, throwing backpacks and plunging into the gentle countryside of the sea, you know that these events have no chance of being with yourselves anymore. Until one day, you once again started the crazy idea of ​​entering the competition. Back to the tent rest, Dino already had a new plan.
Jad Harnaud Finn is the author of “The Way of the Runner,” book published by Faber & Faber.
Next year’s Oman Desert Marathon is scheduled for November 4-12. For more information, see website. If each player can raise £ 2,500 for Facing Africa (, the organizing committee will refund € 1,200 for the event. Facing Africa is a charitable organization that specializes in the surgical treatment of disfigured African children suffering from stirrup.