Marathon des Sables: The Greatest Journey

RW staffer James lays bare his Marathon des Sables experience - and his battered feet

by James Fricker

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The Aftermath

I was elated for about 10 seconds, and then it was over. Seven months of hard work had come to an end. I couldn’t help but feel sad - it was like having a pet, nurturing it, watching it grow up and then having it taken from you. Don’t get me wrong - I was in pain, 24 hours earlier I couldn’t wait to finish but rather unexpectedly, I was sad it was over. Does this mean I’ve been bitten by the ultra-running bug? I bloody hope not - I can’t afford to keep doing these events!

Would I do it again? I’d never say never but perhaps I’ll try another challenge instead. If there is a next step up in adventure racing, I want to take it.

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James, thanks for sharing your story I got a real sense of you in it. Well done for completing it does not come close to how proud I hope you feel for what you have done
Posted: 26/04/2012 at 20:54

That sounds like one hell of a journey you have been on and conquered - respect and well done.  Take a bow.

Posted: 26/04/2012 at 21:02

Well done! It sounds like such an utterly memorable experience. You should be VERY proud of yourself for what you've managed to acheive.
Posted: 27/04/2012 at 08:38

What an amazing journey. I can't fathom the strength of will you must have to keep running on numb feet and mutinous legs, anyone who does MdS and has such a brilliant finish has my utter respect and admiration! Well done to you!
Posted: 27/04/2012 at 10:54

Incredible performance, James. Absolute respect.
Posted: 27/04/2012 at 11:52

Thanks for sharing - a truly brilliant experience!!!!
Posted: 27/04/2012 at 13:35

Some classic lines in there: "Crucially, she didn’t say I couldn’t do it, so I had the all-clear" and "After cleaning myself up, I pushed hard again."

Great writing - even better running! 

Posted: 27/04/2012 at 16:04

Thanks for all your kind words - 4 toe nails now lost in total, but back to feeling normal and more importantly, running again. Hoorah!
Posted: 30/04/2012 at 09:45

Amazing achivement. Just proves to me that when i say I don't want to do this race I am right....

Well done you. 

Posted: 10/05/2012 at 12:16

Did you win????
Posted: 30/06/2012 at 23:03

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