Old forum > Lost in the Marathon de Sables

Mauro Prosperi lost his way in the Sahara after a sand storm. After three days of wandering and exhausted he took a knife and slit his wrists. Dehydration had made his blood thick so could not flow. He took this as a sign to stay alive. Eating and drinking the blood of bats, snakes and lizards he carry on. Walking at night and seeking the shade of the dunes by day. Ten days later he came to a nomad settlement. There he was given goats milk by the Berher woman before being passed to Algerian military. Despite all this Mauro stills runs and a year after this took part in his seventh Marathon de Sables.
This was in Wonderpedia magazine and just shows how far a person will go to stay alive and that despite everything he still wants to run and go back to do the same race.

July 31, 2013 at 1:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterTracey Newman

In 2006 we had huge sand-storms for the first 4 days of the MDS (the cause of Mauro becoming lost in 94) that lasted many hours. I remember day 2 (~21 miles) I was leaving the final checkpoint heading for the days stage finish line when the daily sand-storm kicked up and suddenly we were thrown into a cauldron of noise, sand and heat (weirdly the temp went from 42 to 45 degrees in the storm) and I couldn't see more than 20m in front. Options were to sit down and wait for the storm to blow out but knowing that the storms had lasted upto 8 hours in previous days I decided to keep moving by compass bearing when a land mark became temporarily visible.Very quickly I was all alone and focusing on what needed to be done. I came across a french guy who was doing the same as me so we worked together and moved slowly through the desert and storm double-checking each others bearing regularly. After what seemed like an eternity (probably no more than 90 mins) a figure moved left to right in front of us through the sand-storm (the wrong way according to our compass bearing) and due to the noise of the storm they didn't hear us shouting, so we set off after the figure only to find him sat on his haunches about 50m ahead sobbing. Man there was serious hugs and unabated happiness when he saw us. Freshly out of bat blood I resorted to simple (and tastier) fruit pastilles to give him another boost. Soon after we saw flags flying (the daily stage finish line) and so made a bee-line for it screaming and shouting for joy thankful that we'd made it safely. That was the worst day for fatigue for me and it wasn't until I crawled into the tent that it hit me just how much the day had taken out of me. My body vibrated for ages just shaking with fatigue and exhaustion and I couldn't even speak. Thankfully a mate who was always at the front of the race and had finished before me (Phil Adams) helped prepare my recovery drinks and made me drink em. Although I remember not being able to eat that night due to nausea and having to stay awake most of the night in order to be able to drink enough to rehydrate for the next days stage. Around 50 people dropped out that day (usually the MDS loses 50 in a whole week).

What Mauro must have endured for 9 days I can't begin to imagine!

It's true what they say.... what doesn't kill you makes you stronger!

August 1, 2013 at 9:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavey Proud