Marathon des Sables (MDS) Peru: survival creativity


It could be surprise for many, how creative one must become to manage all the challenges during Marathon Des Sables PERU in order to have a bit more comfortable life. Let’s take the simple plastic water bottle, which is the only thing organizers are providing to us. It can serve as a bowl, as a pot to heat the meal, as a mixer to prepare electrolyte drinks or as simple dust bin to store all the garbage, because penalties for flying trash in the strong desert wind is cruel, but fair ones. More creative runners even managed to use it as toilet substitution as well, since nights in the desert are cold and dark, so navigate back to own tent could be yet another challenge.

#MDS brings a lot of unknowns and figuring out the answers could be crucial part of this adventure. Each day runners are gambling in the desert and usually their health or life is at stake, so trying to get those answers right is vital. It is kind of art, how to find solutions for camp daily life problems or get used to them simply by ignoring. However, do we really know what the future holds for us next day or next hour? Not really, but exactly in that is the beauty of stage racing and exactly what got me addicted to it – mysterious camp life! This is why experience how to survive in the nature matters.

Let’s take the simple tent example. That’s right, each runner has the tent, which must be set up in the evening and put back in the bag early next morning. Sure, it is not the rocket science, but anyway skill, which must be developed in advance, as it definitely makes your life easier and preserves energy, needed for running. So, after one stage, I had run to the finish line first from my cell and thought what a nice idea would be to put all the tents and surprise my herd with the positive vibes after their hard day on the sand. However, our campsite suddenly was ambushed by such a strong gale, that it was impossible to set even my own roof. On their arrival I was still standing with “parachute” in my hands, not being able to move, as needed to secure flying house from disappearance. Just all together, after hard cross fit workout with the stones, we managed to set all the cell tents and conquer unpredictable.

Is it easy to have life like that? Not at all, but adventure and creativity is always here, so every wasted minute in the desert is worth that!

Photo Fredrik Ölmqvist #MDSPeru2017


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