#25 – Marathon Des Sables – Morocco- Interview with competitor Don Devenney

A 6 stage, 7 day endurance race in South Morocco, Sahara Desert!
Longest Leg – 91 KM – 57 miles
What motivated Don to do the Marathon Des Sables?
1. always likes an adventure
2. always likes to challenge himself
3. always likes to take something up to the next level
4. always looks for extremes

” The experience was not at the race. It was about the whole process…..the training…..so important” – Don

Unique things about the race :
1. supplied water
2. supplied tents
3. medical team

Preparation :
1. heat preparation – heat chamber training
2. minimize the weight….so important

Terrain :
1. big hills
2. passes
3. large sand dunes – some 10 meters high
4. ground was hard packed earth embedded with sharp, small stones (wears away at your feet)

The Challenges:
1. heat, dryness, carrying the weight, the wind
Best Approach?………break the race down to piece, stages…..like how elephants eat, one bite at a time!!

Best Advice :
1. do lots of hill training
2. train with a pack on your back and with weights in the pack
3. train on lose gravel sand at times. Your feet are rubbing around in your shoe and you want to be used to that
4. be fanatical about weight in your pack…aim for sub 20 pounds….above that weight it will wear on you

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