Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Running Tunisia Day 3: Today We Ran a Marathon!

Although we all woke up feeling exhausted, stiff, sore and needing an ice bath this morning, we left camp around 7:30 am and made our way towards the town of Douz. As we continued forward, our legs began to loosen up and our pace increased. Everyone was starting to feel a little bit better and we were all very excited to reach our goal of completing a full marathon!

Today we made it into the dunes, which were incredible! The sand was lose and textured like flour, but absolutely beautiful! It felt like we stopped for photos every few steps. Our guide, Arida, decided to come with us on our run, in hjs long pants, sweater and cheche (pronounced sheesh). While running, he taught us traditional Arabic songs and games, and showed us a variety of different animal tracks including scorpion, scarab, camel and warthog. It was amazing to hear all his stories and learn more about the nomads of the Sahara!

We had another incredible lunch and after a brief nap, after a recommendation from Mohammed Ixa, who told us it was going to be too hot to run in for the next hour, we continued forward. And sure enough, the next hour was extremely warm and when we woke up, and began running, the temperature had cooled down dramatically and the heat was manageable. Over the next 17km, we came across two beautiful oasis’ filled with palm trees, lush green shrubs and even a well! The scenery here is absolutely incredible! As we got closer and closer to the 42.2km mark, we began feeling better and better. We pushed for the finish and successfully completed a marathon in the desert! We were all very happy and even happier when our support team had oranges waiting for us – Tunisian oranges are by far the best oranges in the world!!

We just finished setting up camp in the sand dunes and will likely sleep very well tonight. Talk around camp is that we might be getting an Arabic flute show later on!

Another amazing day in the Sahara Desert!!

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