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Typical stage
STAGE N°1 : IRHS / KHERMOU - 29,3 Km
70,5 Km

30/03/2007 STAGE N°5 : OUEST DU KFIROUN/ ERG CHEBBI - 42,2 Km
31/03/2007 STAGE N°6 : ERG CHEBBI / MERZOUGA - 11,7 Km
Press release
Press release n°1
Press release n°2
Press release n°3
Press release n°4
Press release n°5
Press release n°6
Press release n°7
Press release n°8
Media diffusion
All media diffusion
Check-in day
Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3
Stage 4 - day 1
Stage 4 - day 2
Stage 5
Stage 6
All interview
24/03/07 - Géraldine Courdesses
24/03/07 - Lahcen Ahansal
25/03/07 - Jorge Aubeso Martine
25/03/07 - Philippe Remond
26/03/07 - John Wai-shing N°-354/ Ngae Koh Hieng N°-138/ Tan Tahming N°- 103
26/03/07 - Laurence FRICOTTAUX D- 347
27/03/07 - Gérard BOURRAT D23
27/03/07 - Widy GREGO D264
28/03/07 - Orlando MARIANI (IT – D 388)
28/03/07 - Touda DIDI (MOR – D 6)
28/03/07 - Valérie PONS DE VIERS (FR – D 480)
29/03/07 - Sandro MINDER (Switzerland – D 438)
29/03/07 - Mohamed Aboukhalil (F – D 234) Issam El Zein (Sen – D 139)
29/03/07 - Anna SUTTON (GB – D 546)
30/03/07 - Odile HOCHARD (D342, FRA) Gérard DELAVAUD (D 341 FRA)
30/03/07 - Alfred WITTING (AL – D 100)
30/03/07 - Mark CROSS (NWZ – D 503)
31/03/07 - Fabien DEBAUCHERON (F – D 164)
31/03/07 - Veronika TROXLER (POL– D 459)
Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3
Stage 4 - day 1
Stage 4 - day 2
Stage 5
Draw of the day
Competitors’ corner
Time & Tide Challenge 630
FARM Africa
St Helena Hospice
Mercy Ships
Facing Africa
Children's Cancer Foundation (Germany)
Fred Hollows Foundation
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The Chouchous
Having followed the Kayser family last year, our « chouchous » for the 22nd edition are Sylvie Cadierno (N°305) and Guy Giaoui (N°147). Follow their adventures every day.

Sylvie Cadierno

« just for the pleasure »
This is Sylvie’s 9th MDS but for the first time she’s worried due to a health problem that’s seriously handicapped her ability to prepare for the race. For several months she simply couldn’t train either with or without back-pack. This year she’s decided to take most pleasure in « following » who’s out in front. She wants to have a laugh and enjoy running with her darling – the infamous Michel Bach aka the Indian (19 MDS under his belt) plus run for the charity Droit au cœur which has been active in various aid operations during Marathon des Sables (solar water pump, renovation of school buildings, orphanage in Ouarzazate). Droit au cœur is helping finance the orphanage and will equip seven Moroccan schools.
Sylvie is apprehensive about starting the race tomorrow but will still be there “for the pure pleasure »
Stage 5
Sylvie Cadierno: « It’s pancake night »
Sylvie’s had a very busy day. Having helped the organisation distribute water at the finish line, she’s returned to her first role since pulling out of the race: welcoming competitors.
But her mind is really only on her « Mimi » aka Michel Bach. So despite the blisters, she decides to walk back into the race to welcome him back in.
We find them in their tent chatting away and preparing the “special last bivouac” dinner. For these hardened marathon runners, there’s one tradition you just can’t do without and that crepes with Grand Marnier. They divide the equipment between them before the start of the race. One takes the frying pan, the other the pancake mix and the Grand Marnier. There’s enough for around 10 people.
«It’s a tradition to mark the end of MDS. There’s a lot of emotion on the finish line, the struggle’s come an end and so we’ve designed this special evening to stop us getting all melancholy». It’s even got a bit of a reputation on the bivouac.
Sadly Sylvie can’t be at the party because she has to eat with the organisation. Luckily for us it means she can shed light on this special marathon stage (42,2 km).
« We all have our landmarks and know very quickly if we’re on time or not ». Depending on how it goes, the result is either very positive or utterly demoralising.
Hence the emotion at the finish line, although Sylvie never imagined it would be quite so intense, particularly alongside the organisation. It’s proven to be a new experience for Sylvie, and one she’s not ready to forget.

Stage 4
Sylvie Cadierno : The longest day
It’s day 2 of the 70.5km stage and for Sylvie it’s seemed very long indeed. Having been convoyed yesterday by the organisation onto the finish line of the 4th stage, she had to wait til the end of the day to finally welcome in the first competitors.
« The positive side is that for the first time I was able to see the Ahansal brothers come in. It’s incredible, especially Lahcen’s triple jump with a double loop throw in”. The 2-day stage is central to the whole race. A lot of people are nervous on the eve of the long stage and compensate by having even more of a laugh. “I saw a lot of tears shed at the start of the long stage, but it’s also when you see a certain complicity starting up between the competitors. I’ve never had this apprehension because, like a lot of participants, I plan my race preparation around this 2-day stage”.
This year and for the first time, Sylvie has spent the day with other runners that have pulled out. “Lots of discussions, except with the English who just slept their way through it”. Sylvie then waited for the competitors and checked how accurate her tent-mates’ estimated arrival time were. Spot on. Could it be that Guy has found his master!!!!

Stage 3
« loads of pleasure… and a bit of boredom »
When competitors wake up on MARATHON DES SABLES, they each have their own ritual and it’s all timed down to the last minute.
Sylvie’s not what you’d call a morning person and the first thing she does is to air the bedroom. In MDS language this means putting all her stuff outside the tent before gently coming round to the land of the living. Then it’s time for breakfast, very important, and “just like at home”: hot chocolate and “chocky bickies”.
Replete and now wide-awake, Sylvie goes off to the bathroom, in other words walks quarter of an hour to find a quiet spot for her toilette.
Back on the bivouac it’s time for a chat with the team and prepare the back-back, vital to making sure the stage goes off in the best possible conditions. The softest things (clothes, sleeping bag) at the bottom and against the back and the heaviest at the top and also against the back. And the heaviest? Tins of sardines no less.. to compensate for the large amounts of fat burnt during this race.
Once the bag is packed Sylvie heads off calmly to the start line with race mates – the chance for one last gossip.
But not this morning ! Now that Sylvie’s pulled out of the race, she has to get up even earlier and join the organisation for breakfast, and no “chocky bickies” in sight. She then gets bored while waiting for the first of her friends to return to the bivouac. Being reunited with the competitors is still a huge pleasure … even if it wasn’t a planned part of the race itinerary.

Stage 2
Sylvie Cadierno : pulls out but still smiling
Not enough time to prepare, a bout of sciatica and poorly-adapted trainers all got the better of Sylvie.
She had no time to find a pair of new trainers, so took a pair that had already done two MARATHON DES SABLES, freshened them up in the washing-machine but didn’t realise they’d shrunk. Stage 2 of the race reminded her, sadly, of the perils of a quick wash!
« I’d protected most of my toe ails, but the one that had been silent up to now came forward and woke up all the rest ». Result: the skin drops off most of her toes and she’s forced to pull out 10km into the race.
But the pleasure of sharing is never far away where Sylvie is concerned : she soon installs herself at the finish line to encourage competitors as they come in.
« I’ll stay on the bivouac and cheer people up when they’ve got the blues after a difficult stage ». That’s our Sylvie… always in it for the pleasure.

Stage 1
« A beautiful stage with ideal weather »
Sylvie finished with a smile on her face and the satisfaction of having run a good stage. Her health worries did nothing to dampen her enthusiasm in completing this tricky stage, with its fair share of challenges. And yet for her dunes and climbing djebels are part of the pleasure: “it was a real surprise, for the first time we were running in fields of flowers smelling of mint and rosemary”.
It’s true that this desert in bloom has come as a surprise for many participants.
Sylvie preferred not to wait for partner Michel Bach, but was there to motivate him at the finish line. Michel has two good reasons for finishing his 19th MARATHON DES SABLES : the charity he founded - Droit au Cœur – and to be reunited with Sylvie every evening on the bivouac.
Guy Giaoui

the memory of Darbaroud
« For the last ten years I’ve been obsessively copying all the information on the Darbaroud site into notebooks, along with all the competitor’s sites.
Guy, a radiologist, has become a specialist on the Marathon des Sables. From what special food to eat to how to chose your equipment «where every gram counts ». « I’ve spent the last year trying out everything on the market… gels, energy bars, drinks… in every possible flavour”.
Guy shares his knowledge on the Darbaroud site forum everyday. In 1997 he decided to run the Marathon des Sables but an accident 2 months before the start forced him to pull out. “I took my revenge by running 12 marathons in the year”. But he only did his first MDS last year. It proved a revelation and «spending a week without crossing a road, or a town : that’s life for me
Guy will be setting off tomorrow on « the most beautiful desert race that exists » with his team-mates from GRAINDEFOY-XTREM Team.
Stage 5
Guy Giaoui : my new friend
Guy was meant to tell us about decorating his back-pack. « Let’s leave that aside for the moment, I’ve discovered a hero on the bivouac. »
It’s none other than Abderrahmane Maliki (MOR – D25). Third in the general rankings in 2006, Abderrahmane was in third place at the start of stage 4 (70,5 km) and in top form. He consulted Guy before the start of the race.
Guy bumps into him just after CP 1 (10.5kms into the race), he’s limping and in great pain. They do around 20kms together but as Guy wants to get back in as quickly as possibly he abandons Abderrahmane, however reluctantly.
The following day Guy discovers Abderrahmane has slept over at KM52 and got in after 26h and 40 minutes of racing. Last year he did the stage in less than 7 hours!
This morning Abderrahmane helped Guy mend his gaiters and they’ve struck up quite a friendship. « I’m going to take care of his dietary preparation for his upcoming races and for next year ; he deserves to win this race ».
At the start of today’s stage Abderrhamane set off humbly like any ordinary runner whereas at the same time last year he was heading for a place on the podium.
Most « pros » would have pulled out, but not Mr Maliki who was given a raucous round of applause from his fellow competitors for sticking with the race.
«He’s brought us, the runners without the stripes as it were, back to life.

Stage 4
Guy Giaoui : the specialist encounters technical problems
We first join Guy just before the start of this big stage, giving a consultation in his tent. Some competitors, especially those out for a place in the rankings, are here to get advice on how to recuperate best. He just has time to tell us when he expects to go through CP 4 ( KM 42). « It’ll take me 8 hours ».
Now let’s move ahead to the 2nd day of this long stage where Guy is back on the bivouac, in his tent.
He may be reluctant to complain in general but admits to having really suffered on this long stage. And what’s even more unusual for such a specialist on equipment: his back-pack is broken. « I’ve had it since 2000, it’s perhaps a bit old, I should have paid more attention ». Just goes to show that the man who’s so keen to give tips and advice doesn’t always follow his own advice.
« The incessant comings and goings of the organisation’s 4x4… keeping an eye on our health. The locals laid down on the side of the road, whose tv viewing is watching these mad competitors go by with bumps on their backs.»
For this Cartesian keen on analysis, Guy is turning all poetical. Could it be the double effect of the desert?

As for his estimated time, Guy overshot it by 20 minutes…. Hardly significant compared to the 8 hours. He finished the 70.5km in 19 hours 21 minutes and 41 seconds.
Tomorrow Guy wants to tell us about decorating his back-pack !

Stage 3
The Darbaroud hard-disk
We find Guy under canvas at the end of this third stage. He’s just back in and has already been called upon for advice on foot blisters. And while we’re on the subject, Guy has seven, …. considerably fewer than the average in his tent.
This was the hottest day of his life and he was very concerned about other competitors not hydrating properly. As a doctor, he considers all the runners as his patients. For the simple pleasure of being of service.
Guy had worries of his own today and this is saying something from someone who refuses to complain. A 10cm thorn long managed to get through the soles of his trainers and lodge itself deep in his foot. Nothing too serious in the end and a competitor helped him get it out thanks to Guy’s “emergency kit” – as precise and complete as a doctor’s cabinet and a tool workshop rolled into one. For once it wasn’t Guy helping even if it relied on very precise instructions from the specialist himself.
As for his predicted finish times, could it be that Guy’s been out in the sun too long? Yesterday he took more than half an hour than he’d predicted and today he was 45 minutes ahead of time. But there were loads of dunes it’s true and Guy, as you know, is something of an expert in the field. Even the telly filmed him today!
Tomorrow 70 km. Guy’s planning on doing the 42kms to get to CP4 in 7 or 8 hours. Will he or won’t he ? Watch this space.

Stage 2
Guy Giaoui : specialist’s forecasts encounter technical hitch
As you’ll remember yesterday, Guy announced he’d complete today’s stage in 6h45 maxi. It turned out to be 7h22. So what happened ? “A terrible traffic jam in Piccadilly Circus” you might say.
Despite it all he comes in fresh as a daisy; reflecting his belief you have to take the first three stages easy.
Two « rough » first stages but also dream stages for our bivouac consultant. Just one worry, the hygrometry level which he thinks was high according to his own technical barometer.
When Guy runs he likes to empty his head, think of nothing, and yet for the second time he’s landed on a female competitor that sings the whole time, and worse still, the same old song. Could this be a new motivational technique that had so far escaped Guy’s extensive analysis ? No way of knowing since she avoids all contact and that’s rather annoying for Guy who so adores sharing and giving advice throughout the year.
No prognostic for today, Guy is returning to his little hints and tips, so valued by many competitors. And no question of fatigue. The ultra-marathon runner forbids all talk.
One question is bugging him however: how to patent his technique for getting over the dunes, as efficient as ever today, according to our specialist.
Stage 1
Consultant on the bivouac
Need advice ? Head to tent N° 30 ! Our expert on food and above all equipment is handing out ready advice to competitors having problems with shoes or back-packs.
While he forgot the special glue to repair one competitor’s trainers…. Guy can now add handy cobbler to his list of tricks that even extend to accurate estimates of how long the stage will take. He arrived today exactly at the time he’d set himself. For tomorrow he’s banking on doing the 35km in 6h45.
But even on the course itself, he offers advice. Today it was how to cross a dune and get a good grip.
«It’s very simple, on the way up you do toe heel and on the way down heel toe. Last year I overtook everyone on four consecutive dunes”.
We’ll leave Guy to his consulting until tomorrow when we’ll see how accurate he was with his estimated time of arrival : 6h45 ?