top of page




SOLIDARITY – Obstacle – CONVIVIALITY – Excellence – PERSEVERANCE – Discovery – CHALLENGE – Environment – HUMANITARIAN – Friendship – ENCOUNTER – Success – SOLITUDE – Team spirit - HUMILITY



Each word is an expression of the MDS. Without those values, it would not be neither as fun or adventurous.


The MARATHON DES SABLES is a race broke down in 6 steps (including one of 80 km) Located in the Sahara of south Morocco, each participant must carry his or her own backpack containing food, sleeping gear and other material.


This event is well known, extremely prestigious but is also the most difficult race in the world!


A challenge that requires perseverance, excellence strength and endurance but also a great self-esteem…


Only passionate, ambitious and mentally and physically strong people take on this insane race!





  •  Over  13 000 competitors since 1986

  • 30 % repeat competitors

  • 70 % international

  • 30 % French

  • 14 % women

  • 45 % veterans

  • 30 % in teams of three or more

  • 10 % walkers

  • 90 % alternate walking and running

  • 14 km/hr: average maximum speed

  • 3 km/hr: average minimum speed

  • Age of youngest competitor: 16

  • Age of oldest competitor: 79

ATLANTIDE ORGANISATION   29 years caring for our needs


  • 130 volunteers on the course itself,

  • 450 support staff overall,

  • 120 000 liters of mineral water,

  • 300 berber and saharan tents,

  • 120 all-terrain vehicles,

  • 2 “Ecureuil” helicopter and 1 “Cessna” plane,

  • 8 “MDS special” commercial planes,

  • 25 buses,

  • 4 camels,

  • 1 incinerator lorry for burning waste,

  • 4 quads to ensure environment and safety on race,

  • 57 medical staff,

  • 6.5 kms of Elastoplast, 2 700 Compeed, 19 000 compresses,

  • 6 000 painkillers, 150 liters of disinfectant,

  • 1 editing bus, 5 cameras, 1 satellite image station,

  • 10 satellite telephones, 30 computers, fax and internet,

  • A touch of madness...

Many MDS competitors are more motivated when they run for charity.


The MDS organisation team encourages running for a cause and has always worked on setting up projects in partnership with other associations:

  • Eight solar pumps have been installed,

  • Distribution of school materials in isolated villages,

  • Development of a school in Taright, with a toilet block and solar heated showers, installation of 3 200 meters of water pipes to deliver potable water to 150 person.

  • Construction of an artisanal complex for women in Jdaid, with a workshop, school, kindergarten, meeting room, kitchen, toilet block and dispensary.

MDS has recently created the association SOLIDARITE MARATHON DES SABLES...

Its welcome structure in Ouarzazate was officially inaugurated after the finish of the 25th SULTAN MDS, in the presence of Mr Abdeslem Bikrate, Governor of the Province and Mr M’Jid, President of the M.J.I.D. Foundation (Moroccan Foundation for Young People, Initiative and Development), official sponsor of the project, as well as several partners and financial supporters.

The centre aims to promote the teaching of fundamental and universal values through sport from the youngest age, raise awareness of hygiene and safety among mothers and provide literacy classes.


180 children : from 3 - 5 years EVEIL CORPOREL (BODY AWARENESS)  and from 6 - 11 years INITIATION ATHLETISME (ATHLETICS INITIATION), 900 hours’ sports teaching,  an original programme for each age group, thousands of snacks (fresh fruit, cake, dairy product) served after shower time, 3 summer coach trips into the Dadès Valley, with 50 chidren per trip.


FEMMISSIMA, welcome centre for women


Support classes: child education, hygiene and health :

  • 60 women members,

  • 400 hours of literacy lessons,

  • 95% regular attendance,

  • Basic maths skills (addition, subtraction, etc.),

  • Preparation of micro projects.


And also :


  • 7 supervisor jobs created plus 1 caretaker of the site,

  • Creation of the 1st symposium on Local and Emergency Citizen-based Medical Care for the provinces of Southern Morocco (defibrillator training).

  • 13 people, sponsored by generous donors, ran the last stage of MDS 2011 to raise funds for SMDS.

  • This charity stage raised over 60% of the budget needed to operate the association.


The MARATHON DES SABLES (MDS) is a foot race in steps with food self-sufficiency with a 8 kg backpack (15 kg for each) free style, over a distance of around 260 Km.


It’s a high level sport test, in the south Morocco desertat a time whenthe temperature can approach 50° celsius under the sun (between 0° and 3° celsius the night)

For one week we have to manage its effort, its food and its water requirments in very basic comfort.


The test itinary takes place via alltypes of terrain… Sand dunes reaching 300meters, stony plateau, sand track, dry Wadi, Palm grove, small mountain in 6 steps between 30 to 80 km including a marathon step and a non-stop step with some night hours.


By the terrain conditions crossed the body as a whole shall be made a high participation.

That’s why the arrengement for this « exceptional adventure » should be particularly efficient and rigorous.




bottom of page