How to run 240 km in the desert. Presentation. CC “Meteora”

Where can you get the strength to run 250 km across the Sahara, why do you have to save even on bags, and how can a simple pin take away an hour?

What is the Marathon des sables? Considered by some sources one of the toughest ultramarathons in the world, takes place in the Sahara desert, consists of six stages, six days. The total length of the distance of 240-250 km.Stages vary from 30 km to 90 on different days in different ways.  It takes place in Morocco, near the city of Arazat, on the border with Algeria and the race is held this year for the 32nd time. The first time it held Patrick Bauer, ran with friends for 18 days without water, without food, all pulled on their own and since then the race is becoming more and more popular, almost a cult, here’s a comrade who invented the race, he still meets everyone at the finish line, gives medals, cheering at checkpoints, in short, fully involved in the process, now opens their franchise in Peru they do, there is a half marathon, begin to actively develop. What interested in the race is that three years ago an Italian man got lost accidentally, he was one of the first to run, he did not understand where to turn, a sandstorm began, he turned the wrong way and instead of staying motionless and wait for him to get out, he decided to find the way from memory and got lost.  So he walked for a long time in the desert and people were looking for him. On the third day they stopped looking, in fact he survived, found some monastery, old, abandoned.  There he ate bats, drank their blood, then went further, and after 9 days he was found in the Algerian village, half dead, but after just six months, he was as good as new, kidneys restored. That story inspired me very much, I wanted to run there too, to know what the desert, the real sugar and because I love different adventures and believe that life begins behind the comfort zone, where comfort ends, there begins real life. Therefore I do periodically such Shakes to myself and here one of them, about which I dreamed last 3 years, has made this April, literally a month ago. Preparation. It is not difficult enough to be prepared. That is, it’s about volumes, you just need to run a lot, no special training, interval fartleks, special technique too, just a long slow run, in particular a good help for me was the Rubicon, which we organized in February, it was an ultramarathon through the whole Moldova, you could run any distance from 10 to 400 km, whichever way you wanted. it was very cool, lots of people ran through the country, I felt terrific mood at the finish, I felt it too with the end of the Rubicon. Well this is the state that this community, this big family, which finished the race is very difficult to describe in words. Outfit. So in connection with the fact that the marathon is quite complicated, the organizers have the following conditions, we give you only water, nothing else is given, that is, if you want to eat during the week, you have to take with you, there is a certain list of necessary things that everyone has to have in his backpack. I’m going to try to remember now.  First of all it’s a backpack. Backpack should be at each person, without these things in the race is basically not allowed, checked before the start and check the availability of all necessary things, this backpack, it is pokochen very strongly, because it matters weight, should be no less than 7 kg, not more than 15 in my opinion. So everyone is trying to minimize the weight of the backpack and in particular when I bought it, it is very comfortable, but had to cut a lot of straps, all this nonsense, pockets unnecessary, in a minimal configuration is now. further, here’s a great mat on which to sleep. I noticed that when I arrived, I saw that most people do not take with them a mat, and relied on that sleeping bag will be enough. They were bitterly disappointed as the sleeping bag is thin and you have to sleep on the rocks, not on the sand as they thought and as you can imagine the Sahara Desert is a huge sea of sand. 

No way, it’s 25% just sand, and 75% is stones and a flat surface of brown with stones. So such a thing helped me very well, I slept very well. The only thing I cut off again, not full, in order to lie only the most necessary part of the body, and his feet… By the way, from them cut such a thing when I realized that I arrived without slippers.  Okay, you run in sneakers, you come to camp, you want to walk like a white man, take off sneakers, and on the rocks to walk is not cool at all, especially if you have corns, bruised nails and all right took in hotels slippers know white, and I as a decent person, there will sort it out. That’s had to be creative, took the laces found someone snatched, cut slippers, very cool and sneakers themselves, this is a separate epic, I have not washed, not washed, because they threw them in the landfill, that’s what happened to them. This is a special professional sneakers for running on rough terrain and sand, they have a wide sole, great cushioning, they are quite heavy.  The main thing is that they, sneakers look like this, but this thing is sold separately, shoe gaiters, are made to keep the sand inside. here are sewn velcro, on the contour here, you pull them on and put on. Here you put the zipper. You can’t get sand in here, because if you get sand in here, friction, moisture plus sand, you won’t have any legs, just two stubs. They’ll just wipe off into the blood. That’s why it’s very important, all run in gaiters, who has it accidentally torn or something happens, all is over. Next, penknife, of course, a flashlight for a long stage, because we run at night, poison control is great, I do not know what you need, I have not seen any animals, except for beetles, scorpions and snakes, so in such cases are recommended.  Socks, called “fyffinger’s” – these gloves are needed to protect your fingers from rubbing against each other. The skin will not rub against each other but will rub through your socks, so there will be less rubbing. This is what is mandatory, and another 200 euros to give the same bugs, I do not understand, but 200 euros you have to have the whole race.  If something happens I had to give it to someone. Food – is the most important, because no one will feed you there, you will have to feed yourself, the only type of food – it’s a type of food, when you cook borscht usual for example with meat, and then a special technology evaporate all the water absolutely, dehydrate and get as dry powder, which if you add water, you get the same borscht, which was in the pot. This is called freeze-dried food, different flavors from pasta with truffles, to ice cream. The whole thing is made, I don’t know how they do it, but it does taste similar. It’s warm, but it tastes like ice cream.That’s the kind of stuff we picked up. What’s amazing, the organizers said to take no less than 2000 calories a day, I have a coach who was preparing for this event, which is already running MDS, said more than 2000 should not take. I said that when I lived in Chisinau, I ate 2.5 thousand calories, and I will have to run for 5-6 hours every day, I won’t have enough. He said, “Take these and see for yourself. I went crazy, took 2,000 calories, that’s not much, for a week I got 3.5 kg of food, now the girls will show yes, it is possible previous where my family helps me to scatter it all in bags because I did the experiment. Yes this is my beloved spouse. This bag, it weighs 20g, it is empty and I cut and poured it all into plastic bags, which weigh 3g, in order to save 20g from each bag, 20 bags is already 400g, 400g is a huge weight. You think it is strange what I am saying. In fact it is a struggle for every gram, because the heavy backpack – is death on the MDS. Here I have distributed by day. And what does it look like, what will eat on what day. 1 goes a protein, protein powder usual, there as the jocks who eat to be proteins, then go two sublimated meals and nuts and dried fruits.And then gels, while running, to eat and a bag of tea, as yesterday read on one Jewish forum one girl asks, got a long discussion. Said, I have a question, guys, I read that the tea bag enough for 4 brewings, my question is, what to do with the bag after 2 brewings? I made two cups, where better to put, in the refrigerator to store it, cover with a damp cloth and a napkin and discussion on three pages, what to do with the bag after 2 brews, not throw it away, it’s stupid but then laughed. But then I made two brews, enough for me, poured boiling water. This is how other people pack, it’s not my backpack, just really people came with huge backpacks of 13 -14 kg and took with them on 4000 calories a day. It turned out that 2000 is enough, I do not know why, but a lot of energy gives the desert and do not want to eat, 2000 enough to have the strength to run the next day. Let’s keep going. That’s a great flag. Yes, I decided to make myself a Moldovan flag to support me and stick it in my backpack back and run with it, if you’ve seen the video. I broke it, I’ll tell this story later. it’s a cardiogram, by the way also mandatory thing, a cardiogram, that is, you can not participate in the race if you do not bring a printed out cardiogram from the doctor and that he wrote that everything is normal.  There you go. pins, and I said, I’ll tell you Vlad’s story later. So in short I packed it all and flew to Morocco. I flew in a week to acclimatize, to begin to train, to rest a little, to stress, work, vanity out of my mind, so that I could focus on preparing for the event.  There I met some friends of my drinking buddies who were also preparing for the MDS. Here we had a team of Russian-speaking 2017, there were 10 Russians, was one Ukrainian, one Estonian, and there was a girl. And we all spoke Russian and hung out in neighboring tents. Here is our group. And in Morocco we spent 5-6 days in different hotels, swimming, drinking beer, resting, sunbathing, getting ready. I recommend if someone gets mad and decides to go, too, not to go straight away, as part of the team immediately arrived in Paris and immediately into the desert, and in Moscow at this time they had -5, incomprehensible weather.  I had a lot of work to get here, get acclimatized, get a tan, and I missed the workload, and I had to change something in this lazy life. And on the 6th day of rest finally started MDS, we were taken to the desert by buses and on the way gave out these books, it’s like the main book of the desert runner there is written what you can and what you can not, there is a rule of procedure, on what day what the distance, route maps, all the check points. This thing, too, must be present. It can not be thrown out, because at any time can stop, at any moment, gut your backpack and see what it was. Wonderful dance, you probably saw on video, you arrive, they begin to dance, happy to meet us, this group of Marakans, which served us, collected bivouacs, took away our power banks, did not give us tea, in short, our friends. Wonderful. This is roughly what the camp looks like from a bird’s eye view, Moroccan birds fly low, incomprehensible. It’s a bivouac, what is the name of the tent that accommodates 8 people, the organizers provide, it blows through and here’s like your home, if you want to sleep on the rocks, as you want to live. is our Estonian friend, he speaks with such an accent. I thought they talk like that only in the movies… This little plastic thing is given to everybody at the registration, there is a mark for each day and each person is given 12 liters of water a day and not a drop more. In the morning we get 1.5 liters in the morning, during the race we get 5, 6 liters, I cannot count now and 4 and a half liters when you finish that is 3.5 liters you have to carry.You can’t take more. If you take more, you say I need more. You’re told you’re out. I don’t care, I’m dying, okay. You’re fined right now.  You will have one hour more time than you ran, you’ll have one hour more, you’ll move down in the standings, you’ll get unbelievable fines, you’ll lose the cap from the bottle, you’ll get a huge fine for not bringing the cardiogram, you’ll get a fine for asking a doctor, they gave you a glucose shot, you’ll get a disqualification the first time. You can’t ask for water many times either, but only once or twice. And even here’s this here is a trifle seemingly 4 pins, from such a thing my friend Vlad Tislenko from Ukraine, here it turned out got a penalty for this crap, because when he came on the second day to finish, he finished and it just turned aside and let’s see if you have everything okay in your backpack. He’s very fit, not like me, he had everything clearly laid out, every pin to pin, every calorie to calorie, everything is accurate because they checked calories too, should be 2000 calories a day. He was checked all right, they say where are the pins? Here are the pins, here’s the number I attached, on the front, they say there should be 4 spare. here, started looking, no. That’s it, an hour’s fine. And the man by the way is in the top 50, oh, and came killed by grief, what he was upset, began to search, found in his backpack, ran there, they said it is clear that you’re a Khohol, went probably a lot of friends.  Korochey so upset, unmotivated was, a couple of days did not want to run, but then pulled himself together and ran, he threw 120 place from 50. And he was 66 or 65, he was almost at the 50, well done. It’s chocolate bags called brauberg for the toilet, they have a very interesting toilet, hung with banners stall, there is a chair, you take brauberg stretch, sit down, read the newspaper, throw it there and throw it in the trash, all environmentally friendly and no pits there although every day closer to the camp when they piss, if you previously entered far, out of the tent, and there piss. It’s good that they didn’t poop close by. Camp. I have so much material, I have so many thoughts, I do not know if any of you read the reports, I’ve been writing them for a month, they are endless, I have already written 70 – 80, I have a book, with pictures of pages 200. I’m finishing now, I’m writing the last chapter, maybe later it can be compiled into a book. So these are all stories, there’s a lot of them. So let’s run through it. So it’s a bonfire. How to make a fire. some people took these things to light a fire with them. It’s rubbish full of alcohol.It takes one kg of alcohol to warm a pot, so this is how you gather, gather firewood, who ran first starts frantically running around the camp and collect firewood, because the desert, there is little wood, many runners, about 1200 hungry people come and all need firewood . We make a fire here, then we make a small pot, a couple of boulders and we do not need to do anything. Because it’s impractical to carry paper with us, no one gives us any. We asked our close family friends to write letters so we could light it on fire. When they brought them to me, the letter carrier handed out a piece of paper, I was reading about the culture of the middle renaissance, something to do with the theater, some bullshit, just started reading, it was impossible to read, and we burned it all, although there were great letters, there were very funny I saved them. Some wrote one letter, one line.- Hi, how are you doing? I know you need a piece of paper. Organizers see shit, but you have to type, 2 words per page.There were normal letters, in the evening before bed it was great to read, we would gather, everyone would shut up and only you could hear those laughs or someone smirking, smiling.What did we have on that list – campfire, food, shower…shower…what is shower? I didn’t shower, I was glad I didn’t have to shower, brush my teeth, wash my face.It was so great, everything fell off by itself. Some people were very steamed about it, they had special toothbrushes that they put on their finger, ultralight. I do not know how it happens and I was totally high that you came and fell, and that’s all your hygiene. This internet cafe local, the organizers allow you to send one e-mail free of charge per day, because there is no connection there, the phone does not work and so people are able to send only one message. In this regard, I was lucky, I took with me a satellite messenger, I will not call what company to make advertising, but the meaning is that you can write a message to the phone number and it can respond. talk to you can not, and you can write, only the satellite. here he went on his hands, many people sent messages to each other. This is the clinic, the place, by the way, the organizers are very cool, they have a lot of people to serve the event 70 doctors hang out with us. There is a clinic where they deal mostly with leg problems of course, there are also serious problems, people do saline drips , pumped out in different ways . Mostly it’s feet.  You fall on the mat, put your feet up, and they do magic. It’s all absolutely free, no fines.That’s why there are a lot of people there.Everyone has his own first-aid kit, plasters of all kinds, iodine, needles. Everyone knows that if you have a blister, you need to pierce it with a needle, no one knew, I found out. On the other hand, how else could they do it, they came out and looked who was in what place and who was disqualified, about 1200 people fell off, about 200 people fell off and 150-200 did not come in 6 days, 20-30 people did not come in one day.  Who is such a number of people is not much, due to the fact that the organizers have given very good conditions in order to pass the MDS, must move at a speed of 3 km per hour. That is, in fact, you can walk to get the coveted medal.  If there was a speed of 6 kilometers per hour, about half did not come. People do stretching, I feel for them. And these are the slippers. Testing is fine. The toilet is great. I got acquainted with a friend there, his name is Paphnutiy, Pashka from Russia. He was 37, very fast. When we went to the desert, it was a 6-hour drive, I had nothing to do, I taught him a game, take it and remember it’s called. The thing is, who hasn’t heard anything, who has a better memory is called. All crammed, start playing, the task of giving the man something in his hands or pass something, well, you salt, he must say take it and remember. If you suddenly forgot, he said take and remember and you win.Everything is very simple.An hour or two, rolled. forgot about the conversation, pass me the remote, pass it to me, put it back, he takes and says take and remember. I told him about it, at first he did not understand what a stupid game, I caught him a couple of times in the car, left him on something, he got angry and began to slowly, he was already thinking, I already forgot yes ok. And in short I fought with him for two days, and then I got tired.And he did not, on the second, third day, he did not care whether I die at the finish line, whether I need help, he always take and remember. And so to the end of the race he drove me to hysteria, I said everything, we are not playing, he played all the same to the end. At the finish line, when they were giving me the medal, I told him to take it and remember. I associate his image with it now. Moldovan flag, dragged it everywhere, showing, waving. I had a case when it broke, when I climbed over the ribbon before the start, it cracked, I went the next day, found a local and they helped me fix the flag, found a nail and some tape, we are sitting together with them and repair the flag. Thank you very much, it was very cool, I dragged it later, it did not break like that. It is hot in Morocco. In the Sahara too, at first my phone refused to show the temperature, how hot it was in the desert. That’s what I said, my phone left on the table, and then I started to measure the temperature, it turned out that the average temperature in the tent was 60 degrees written in the sun, in the tent 42. Well 60 is probably not the real 60, but the desert is not so hard to bear the heat as in Chisinau for example, due to the relative humidity, the humidity in the desert is very low and the air has almost no water, as soon as you have a sweat, it evaporates immediately, taking with them particles of heat and you cool down. In Chisinau even today in the morning, I was running, it’s something crazy, it’s not hot, but you’re all wet and you don’t sweat, and all the heat is accumulated in you. The first day we got there. We did a great party, we had a great dance, Pashka was obsessed with the idea to film the ice melting between us, we did it everywhere, we did not like it, he made us film it, it should be mounted and shown him. The day before the start we did a disco, we had a blast. 2 Pikachu this husband and wife, they have an anniversary today and they decided one day to come and celebrate the anniversary in sugar, cool. That’s the first starting day, finally gathered the economy, which will be dragging a satellite phone and a sleeping bag and a cap and woks different, flags on everything as usual before a marathon photograph there underpants, T-shirts put. And here a bunch of everything.Me backpack turned out 7.1 kg.This is practically a record for our room, the least of all. In general, you can come there without food, most people come and bring food in 2-3 times more than he needs and begin to feed everyone around.After the first phase they come, there is no desire and a lot of food, they give out, Snickers, different flavors, meat things, candy, buckwheat, you can take modestly, you will be full forever. When they check everything, they give you a number, they hang a satellite phone on your shoulder, so you can understand where a runner is, at what point, so you don’t get lost. They started doing it for 2-3 years, earlier they gave out flares. That’s how they usually take a photo before, the company comes, and then such a photo afterwards. There’s blood on the nails. This is an arch, which I as the organizer of the marathon showed how to install. Then it really blew up at them, fell on the fourth stage, I stood on the sidelines and pretended I had nothing to do with it. Every year they do this kind of photo, they line up the runners in the number of what year of the event, in my post you can see where I stand with the Moldovan flag, you can see well there, here it’s difficult, but here. The song is playing, the speakers are tearing up, people are going crazy, the air is congested, everyone has been waiting for this moment. Many waited for years this minute, finally, I’ve arrived, now I’m ready, now run. And all burst, and all at full speed, what you can not do in any case. To me the coach forbade to run in the first three days generally fast and barely move, and as slowly as possible, and naturally I overtook all and all were breaking.The first day I pressed 196 in my opinion out of 1200, because I ran at a low speed, so that everyone runs at full speed. That’s why we run in the dunes, it’s a rare phenomenon in the desert, a quarter of it consists of sand. The sand is dry and your feet sink in it very hard. And to run in it is a certain specificity, to run in the sand, you need to put your foot absolutely parallel to the surface, as well as to lift.  I don’t like these variants, I don’t like these variants because my foot fails immediately. This is the only option – to lean on it, well in fact when the sand appears, 95% of runners don’t run, they go, because it’s ineffective to spend strength to run on the sand, just more energy is spent. It’s a checkpoint, I call it a watering hole. They meet every 15 km, about 10-15 km is such a thing, where you are given 1.5-2 water or 3, but if you choose 3, be kind to carry to the next watering place, God forbid you throw away before the next watering place. I took 1.5 and I almost always had enough, I once did not have enough, about this wrote 2 pages, what I thought about, I realized what water is, its taste, what I had visions, but nothing, I have not learned life, I also took a half the next day.  When you run for the last 6 or 7 km and you have the last sip, you hang it in your mouth for a few minutes, you twist it in your mouth and when you swallow it, it’s warm and smelly and stale. But it’s fucking water, you understand that in the next 30 minutes there will be no water and you’ll be dreaming how you’ll run to the finish line and take a sip of tea. I have a special attitude right now, I put two bottles for myself. Let me put a microphone here, I want you to ask me questions. Let’s ask questions and then I’ll go on from there.

 – Do you run by compass or are there landmarks?

– Thank you, good question. The thing is, as a person who is not a super fast runner, I ran there in the first 10%, there were always people in front of me that I ran behind, I always saw people’s backs on the short stages. There were moments when no one saw, but those first to whom there is no one to navigate, there are marks on the surface, special paint, they are all stones, every 50-100 m there put a sign some sign, put a cross, an arrow or in the sand, or on a rock, they leave to be seen better. This is good. And they run on these things. At night you have a flashlight, reflective paint, you can see these points from afar.

– How are the results calculated, is there a chip in the number?

– Yes, yes, all these numbers are with chips, they are flat and they have these systems at every checkpoint in the desert, they synchronize somehow and at the finish, they also mark that you arrived. Because only to not get up, you have to walk another 500 meters, another 500 back, so you can get nikol that came with the results.  Amazing scenery, in the desert in general I found a very interesting place, because for some unknown, I do not know everyone seems that the desert is sand, everyone so suggest, in fact there are high mountains, there are dried up river valleys, salt crusts, there are black surfaces, there are sand dunes and there are several kinds of sand, there is loose sand where your feet fall through, there is sand with a crust, very precious, very favorite, because if you give way to it you can get on it, but when you run in front of you, you fall through, crust, no even some make a hook to run on the crust. There are little sandstorms, there are little oases, bushes grow.She really has a thousand faces of sugar.That is, these are different pictures, I think separately collected and the dunes are small there are two meters and many, many, many, sometimes huge 10-15 meters, you go in on foot, then run down.and so up, down for kilometers. I’ve already told you that. Tea, this is a hint at the fact that we do pause and drink tea. Actually there is a very interesting story connected with tea, I probably after this I don’t like Moroccans, I don’t know why they did it, I’ll tell you what’s the matter.It seems to be a good right idea, at the finish of each stage to treat people with tea, a delicious Moroccan black tea with what flavor, straight goes in the sand water, but I don’t know what marketer it was invented, the girls will give you now, it’s Moroccan tea with sugar.  It is very sweet and tasty, I`ll check it, wait. The thing is that they pour about 20 ml. And there’s a tray with glasses and you run up and you know when you didn’t have enough water and your throat feels like a dried up crust in the desert, I had the horizon in front of me when I finished, I run up and say give me a drink. He holds it out to me, I look, give me more. He says that’s it, just one. I say, I’m in the supermarket trying tea, give me a drink. He says no. I thought it was a joke, in fact they have a dialogue with everyone at the finish line on this subject.This is not what I drank, this is the norm of tea.  It’s not the first year, it’s a local joke. They probably count on me to try it, check it out and buy 2-3 kilos from them. We didn’t like them all, and we had a case, one day of rest, we went there with Pasha, we robbed them of it, while they turned away, we drank and proudly left. Now we’ll give you tea, try it. Don’t spoil the audience, look at the picture, we do it as it is. Next, while you drink tea, I’ll tell you what happened next, if someone can press the space bar, it will be very nice. I’ll explain very quickly, this is the very word that messenger learned, people wrote messages to their own, this is the most common that offers. What’s next. The longest stage.It is on day 4 in the desert 86 km this year was, that is 1 day 30, 2-39, 3-35, and 4 long 86, 2 marathons. All this stage is very afraid, people throw away everything unnecessary, they throw away their clothes, people throw away small pots, spoons are all, every 10 grams turns into 10 pounds when you run a 100 km. People throw away cans or dead batteries, go pro, which are no longer needed, take out SIM cards, then there is a picture of what people get rid of and this day is considered a national holiday. They proudly walk around and collect, and I look at the dol 200 lying in front of me and no one wants to take it, but Berbers do take it and find a use for it. It started as a long day because it was my neighbor on the right, Vlad’s birthday. It was the hardest day, and I was taking him a cake, Snickers, when you do not expect such a trick, you have a buckwheat every day and then there is a Snickers, of course the man is glad, now everyone is different, you know the value is something 270g, I have sacrificed there may be something more important. It was very nice , it was a few times melted and frozen, in the desert some interesting moment, during the day there is 45 and at night 7 and here I want to create such a thing that saved me. For some reason I did not think about it, I just took one jar and my sleeping bag is warm enough for 30 gr more, yes I was given the thing, it’s weightless practically it’s ultra technological thing. It does not let in air, does not let in the wind and it is warmer than without it, weighs 15 – 20 grams. It protects you from the wind, but most of all when it’s warm so that you get a layer of air that doesn’t change, you get warmer, so it’s warm enough. Here we celebrated, sang, got ready and went to the start. And at the start of such a thing happened, it’s arch still fell.It deflated and fell right on the runners.I took the opportunity, crawled ahead and took a picture and decided to run first. I really ran a couple of minutes, then I realized that it’s over, if I continue to run so, and will not run 3 km. For this photo was worth the trouble, then I got overtaken and we decided to run with Anton, a guy from Russia, we have about the same show. I want to note that by that time it was already 4 day, I dropped to 136 from 196, because every day I ran the plan slowly.If you decide to run.This picture.not in a hurry. I had my gopro camera with me. I took pictures of everybody, everybody around, and at the end of the race I told everybody, “Take pictures of me running”. And here stood a volunteer lady who helped everyone to go up, and there was a line, we were climbing up the mountain, at this stage there is a hill and climb it, it’s sandy, it’s a huge mountain.It’s impossible to climb it with your feet, we stretched a rope, crawling on a rope. I gave this woman my camera, and I said, “Just point it at me and shoot.” I crawled and crawled, and then I realized that there were five people behind me. I say sore sore sore, give me the camera, hide it quickly quickly from there. Some of the shots were hard to get. We were running with Antoshka and this guy, we had about the same speed with him and we got through the first half easy enough, we had a plan for the first half before it got too hot, we were fast there till about 1 am, 6 minutes per mile is fast for the MRS, then we had a break at 2 am and we were eating, where we could sit down and have a snack, is there a picture of where we were eating? I took a salt with me, does anybody know what this is? It’s like the Americans made up some kind of human fodder, this powder which has all the necessary nutrients and fat and carbohydrates and minerals, sodium and potassium and everything and everything and everything. So you drink a glass of that stuff in there.

It’s a complete meal by the way, you can actually live on it and you don’t need anything. I took 500 grams with me specifically for that day when we were eating lunch, I just diluted it with water and drank it. It actually helped me, it was easy enough to run it quickly digested, here it is. Antoshka was sitting on gels, gels I couldn’t eat anymore, after 8 hours I was already sick of them and ate my raisins. Raisins were like a holiday, like a cake. I squeezed out the gel and ran, and we agreed to eat raisins when we overtook somebody. We were running 60-70 at the time, it was really great. At each checkpoint, we were told let’s go faster faster, we tried to overtake someone, when we overtake someone, we reward ourselves. And we get overtaken, we’re so sad. That’s why I ran myself on the last day?  Well after that, there’s no slide now, I’ll tell you without. After a long run, we ran to his 57th and picked up on the way one more Russian guy, they have a tradition to finish the race by the hand. We ran up, they said, what finish as usual? I say, let’s not use the hands. They get offended. Ok, let’s hold hands, but I’m on the edge. Actually it was hard to run the last 20km, it got dark, we turned on the lights and the desert had changed, it got dark, these signs began to appear rarely, and for long distances all the runners dispersed and it was not that I was someone running.  I had to orientate myself by the signs. Once we made a detour of 300 meters, we lost our way. Went back and got out. It was interesting, I wrote in today’s post, wrote about the instincts that kick in when you run a race. I came to Sahara just to run, I had no goal to hit 100-200. I had the task to just pass this distance.Well, how it turned out that I again got into this whirlwind of places, minutes of seconds. I do not understand, I have an instinct of a predator, he turned on me like this, when I realized that we are running on the finish, an awesome result and that almost fifty went and that you can not give up now and need to catch up, not chew, see here catch up, eat and we like crazy burst and behind, and the back of which pressed you, you see.  And in short we could not kayfana, that is, we ran very cool, but when the marathon, on the next stage at the last stage came up to me Anton, said all Dimon, we are such a team, we are so cool to run, we still dragged each other. Super, let’s do it again. I say, no Anton sorry, I came here, I wanted to be alone, I imagined that I will run a long stage in the dark desert alone, to communicate with her, we can talk to myself. Maybe I would understand something, but when this excitement does not allow me to concentrate on some important moments, so I asked to run alone in the marathon. He’s a smart guy, he understood me, and one day I ran by myself, and in my head was spinning a lot of important things, which I then wrote a post, about the bug I will tell, remind me. So why did I run by myself? Explained.I wanted to be alone with the desert and the last stage was, wrong. Now let me tell you what happened after the long stage. We finished, we were robbed of our tea again, we drank one more anyway, there were scary Berbers. No one knows why there’s not much. The next day is a day of rest. The distance is long, 86 km and the fastest one runs in 10 hours, people run out early in the morning, run all day, come running in the evening, then run at night, come running at night. Finish in the morning the next day, afternoon, lunch, afternoon and until 7 pm, everyone finishes. Those who came running at 9 pm, they go to bed and wake up and wait for everyone else. You walk around the camp, sunbathe, do a lot of important things and wait for everyone to finish. And the start of the next 42 km in a day. We were pulling the Berbers car out of the sand, they took a jeep and got stuck there 200 meters from the camp. We started digging, it didn’t help, they got stuck. Then we started tearing the barbs under the wheels, to pull the car out. But the driver was kind of weird, he went even deeper into the sand. We spit on him and got out of there. And on the fifth day, I was washing things, there were pictures, I don’t know, because everyone was trying to wash them every day. I got kind of frustrated, everyone does their laundry, I do not wash. I realized it was time to do the laundry. When I put the socks, they were standing.Not bend, standing were.I stuck all the things in this brown run and washed. Now a new story that happened after the long run. For some reason I forgot to put a slide here, when we came running we were not given Moroccan tea. I came to the tent, the camp was empty, no one, I went to bed, but my legs are not iron, they hurt, it is hard to sleep, I was restless and 4:04 am I woke up in the bathroom, all our guys came, all in place, began to look for this paper, found no paper, stood up and went to see who had to shoot a paper. And I look through the five or six tents, the light is on. I walk up to them and look, and there’s a Spanish flag hanging there.  I say, do you have any paper? And he sits there and rolls up a cigarette in front of me. With tobacco? Of course, they offered me a joint, we sat down with them and 4 a.m., we were looking at the moon, so cool, I remember that moment, we were sitting in the desert, there were real stars above us, so many of them. We’re all thinking about our own things, how we’re gonna spend the next day. I didn’t feel like going to the bathroom, so I went to bed.  And the next day, that was a day of rest.  And the most important event of the fifth day, it’s an event that all runners are waiting for, it’s the most important thing is an amazing day, when they give coca-cola. Coca-cola organizers pay 3,500 euros for participation and they give you a can of coke, everyone applauds.  People gather in the center an hour before, get in line, then a truck comes, we yell holiday comes to us, it brings fun and refreshing taste. The truck arrives, opens the doors and all the queue on the card here is a mark that there is a cola and they really get in these colas with cases of ice and there’s such a misty. And it’s 60 degrees outside.And you haven’t eaten anything cold for a week or drank at all, you forgot what cold is in principle, you take the jar, and I decided to drink. Well, since you have already hit the last time we have a challange, so let’s challange and short gave the girl who braided my braid once, I did not do anything good, so I decided to give it to her. She was totally happy. It gave me a lot more energy than 300 clucks of sweet water. Another person’s happiness. What else was there that day. You see how confusing it is, in the presentation a little bit, I’m jumping from one thing to another. Me, does anyone know what vipassana is? It’s a kind of meditative practice, when a person goes to some camp, I was in Yekaterinburg, where for 10 days you don’t talk to anybody, they take away your phone, pen, paper, books, no information fund, you just meditate with yourself and spend 11:00 a day somewhere. Meditation, it’s just a big room, a big area where people sit on mats and be quiet, always close their eyes and breathe. There are 3 small meals a day without meat and sweets, some porridge, cookies, half a banana, and 4:00 a.m. Wake up, at 8 a.m. I’m not allowed to take photos, so there are no photos, I can’t draw from memory, there are artists I know, asked to draw an illustration for an individual. I will write sometime, it is necessary to gather separately, because there was such serious such insights, it was a year and a half ago. Here and very much forces it gives something actually. I last day was day nine, I slept only 2:00 hours and ate a handful of nuts and half a banana all day and I didn’t want to eat, it was something amazing. And when you could already talk, I didn’t want to talk to anyone else. It’s much harder to sit in the lotus position, the joints are dying. That’s why I said this, because this thing gives a lot of energy, a lot of power and before the race, I got out on the dune, also 20 minutes to sit out, breathed, charged with the energy of the desert and I also did it helped run well. So that’s where we left off so summarily.This early in the morning at 5 a.m. I got up, meditated, then ran. The last day here is the last marathon, this is the last stage, where people will be 42km last all are laid out to the full. All want to maximize the result, dump everything unnecessary and run like saigas, and I also decided to enter a hundred I was there about a hundred left to make a small effort. I was afraid that everyone will be breaking, I too was breaking in short here and then it turned out that I do not count calories a little gel and somewhere around 15 kilometers to the finish line MDS I ran out of energy, gels, energy dropped, I reread and realized that I had energy gone. I first ran, then walked, then I started spinning and then I sat on the dune to come to his senses. A little backstory. When I was in the hotel, I have a weakness I can eat a bug, it’s not a problem those who don’t know me are shocked. Usually there are I ate a beetle in the hotel, the guys were a little shocked with me. and then I sit and see the same beetle, he runs past me, looks and says, why are you sitting there? I said, “I don’t feel well. You know why you feel bad? You have a guilty conscience. For what? You ate my grandfather, remember?  I’m his grandson, I’ve been following you all this time, I want to tell you not to eat Beetlejuice, never eat it again in your life. I understand. Go on. I’m going. Go.  I stood up, I was walking to the finish line, it took me 15 minutes to understand that he was not talking, and all these 15 minutes I believed how he found me, how he could run at such a speed, run after me, when I realized that it seemed to me, I realized that I was letting go. And when I came to the last watering hole, I took the last gel, my secret weapon, which held me to the very end, I let go and finished. All I hung a medal, I said that I take and remember. That day, it so happened that on April 15, my mother’s birthday was actually and I this day my finish line naturally with the fact that I came into the hundred devoted to her, hugged her virtually kissed via messenger, she was very worried, no matter the place, you just come back alive, healthy, I made her such a gift. She was very happy. Here and they have fun on the MDS when the last race ends, the race is over until the last participant finishes and everyone is waiting for the last one.  There is already a stage, already all relaxed, the music, already all with a can of beer and sound of such music. It is dark, 8-9 pm and people are coming less and less often and everyone is waiting for the last participant. Can you imagine 1,200 runners coming up to the finish line and this woman in her age, I can’t imagine what she sees, walking exhausted for 12:00 hours through the desert. She sees thousands of people applauding her, music blaring. She stops at the finish line, drops the sticks and starts sobbing just, you know, it was like that, they come up to her, hug her and give her a water treat, she cries. It was a wow and every year there is such a meeting with the person who was the hardest, let’s clap and then starts disco, here’s what I told how he was after the Rubicon. The guys who organized it are great, they know that there was almost an orgy, how people hugged each other, kissed. Here was the same, the music, people hugging each other strangers, kissing, hugging, changing shirts, climbing on stage, singing, all sober. In the air there is such an atmosphere that you can cut with a knife what it is very lively and emotional, such as one big family. I remember this dance, where the strength really comes from, I felt how much strength I had in the desert, when I came to Chisinau, I went to work the first day, I came home with twisted legs, and I fell down, leave me alone, what a dance. The desert gives energy, the city takes it away. I do not know what this is about and why, as vipassana for me, the desert turned out to be such a meditation and a long 10 days, I highly recommend that you try and as Pashka says, I took and remembered. Now, questions from you.

– Is there a picture of your feet on the first day? And the last?

– I do not understand, but I guess it is necessary to look at the video. And you can wait then the last chapter I will write on Monday, there will be legs. To be honest, my feet are fine, two toenails came off, one blister appeared. Antoshka the other end walked, waddled, he takes off, there looking, each toe wrapped in duct tape, he looks, full house.  Here you can look again without sound, here’s the camp, here’s what it looks like, camels, Berbers are wonderful. That’s where everybody lives, I put the flag right away, that’s the Moldovan tent. This is the campfire before the start. That’s a beautiful beetle. There’s a flag hanging, they’re singing the Moldovan anthem. Pasha was a guest, he liked it so much, he said, I want to be a Moldovan. And at the Rubicon they told him that the boys were coming, they were getting ready.  You have food in general, you don’t think about anything, it gives you strength, you don’t have to think about what to eat today, what to do, you don’t solve any problems, you don’t have to make any decisions. You run in, you drop in, it’s easy, open your food, pour water. Many in general come without a pot.Very simple, put this half-cup in the sun, it heats up, they pour, dilute such lukewarm and eat, okay.

– Those who go off the course, they are sent home?

– No, they hang out with everyone else until the end. Helicopters are flying a lot, I do not know why they do it, maybe to show off, but very impressive when a bunch of helicopters over you.

– Were there drones?

– No, they shoot everything from a helicopter.

– Were there any injuries besides the legs?

– Yes, Pashka was a hero like me, he took one tank of water and almost never made it to the checkpoint, they picked him up, dragged him to the checkpoint, he lay down, came to his senses, they poured water on him. Barely recovered, but he was not fined, so just lay recovered and ran on. We simply ran out of water earlier and we were fine with energy. I saw a guy in a panda suit. There was a French team, which dragged the child with him, such a wheelchair, maybe you saw the video, 6 people dragged a child with Down syndrome through 240 km, this I wrote at what kilometer, what will be the checkpoint, to calculate how much water should be enough for 50 km – lunch, about 60 – gels, then eat nuts, raisins, and so on. Watering is the most important, because you can rely on them, between which you can build a strategy.  The book, the book… You see, it’s good that you noticed… And here is a medal, a medal brought. I didn’t bring the book. The medal is so-so, come to the Kishinev marathon, I’ll show you the real medal. I 2- 3 -4 I want to run in all the deserts, in fact, I really liked the run, I had races that killed much harder, it was not easy, but in the end, the final received satisfaction, I really liked it, and the cold I will go next year, I will not tell yet where, you know, it will be very cold. Here in the desert unfortunately there were no sandstorms, such cataclysms.  I was expecting it to be tough. They are dragging the boy.  I’m surprised too, the mountains there are tough, they came running somewhere at the end, probably dragging. This dude runs with a guitar, ukulele. The last day, they have a finish line, and also the last day is the seventh day, there’s 7 kilometers only, they don’t run them, they just walk, they dress everybody up in T-shirts and everybody just walk and enjoy the 7 kilometers, such a solidarity run.  Piece of the Sahara, I would like to speculate once again that I was in sugar, and you weren’t, so I want to offer to contribute money to help Elvira, not for nothing, but for this souvenir, this sand from the desert, I brought with me a box of sand and scattered in small tubes, this is real sand on which we ran and want them as a reward to give those people who can donate 200 lei to Elvira. So come over and exchange the sand for money. We will gladly help her. But that’s after we’re done, I’m ready to answer again.

-What seemed like the hardest part?

– But seriously, if you’d asked me what was the hardest thing to do on Baikal, when I ran, I’d have told you, there was just so much. It’s difficult to meet all the rules, organization, all the nuances in order not to get in a misunderstanding, not to get fined because they fined every other person, to be allowed to participate in the race, to be prepared for it. The only thing I can not say that I suffered a lot, I suffered a lot, I was dying, I went well, that is, constant suffering, the level of suffering was stable, such that, was the only time I covered with a bug talked, but it does not count. I didn’t end up in the hospital there, thank God. It was really difficult to prepare for it, to get ready for it was more difficult than to run, because you have to run every day, every day you have to run a lot, it’s nailing it. By the time I finished training, everything then MDS was already done. And the preparation process itself is a cakewalk. In Ironman is the same, when you stand at the start, you are already Ironman, because you went that way in 2 years of training and now you are ready to do it. It’s like 12 or 13 hours to go and you have a medal. It’s the same here. 

Every time the camp is in a new place. It is unclear how it was dragged, it is huge, there are a carload of tents and a small cart, we run away and run straight ahead, we come running, there is a camp. They were running and Berbers were picking up the tents, they were doing it in such a smart way, maybe they saw a video, they were picking up 3 people and putting it together that way. I thought they had two camps to be honest, while we were hanging out in one, that is already standing and while we ran there, this is transferred even further and so they change, because one day there is unreal to drag, stands, toilets stand, administration, as if all their life stood. Each bivouac had a number, we had 27. There’s nothing there, just a rug and this thing and the number 27. There you have to know the place and stay on the edge, so there was no neighbor on both places. You can wrap up, especially on the first night, there was a terrible pounding, people were crazy, and the edge can snuggle, cover.

-How many women participated?

– This year the number of women was 250 and the girls showed themselves very well.  We had one girl, her feet were bleeding, but she was in the first 300.  In general the average on the girls is very good, this year they otzhigly.Generally, I want to tell you not to be afraid of those who are thinking of running, not as scary as it looks from the outside actually.  Due to the fact that you can not run fast, and walk, here finished characters such you know over 60, with a bellyful. They just quietly walk themselves with sticks and girls and old ladies. So girls, if you are ready, this is literally a year you run, not so hard and go, you will pass this marathon. It’s no secret, you can look on the site, 3500 is the registration fee, plus equipment, flight, 5 thousand somewhere will turn out, it’s not a cheap pleasure.

– Is there a limit for each country?

– Yes. But you can’t choose your own quota – there are far fewer people willing to compete. And our country has 5 people per country – 50 for Russia, for example. There is still a wagon and a little wagon. The problem is with the French and the English.  They have, there 70% are the French and the English, every second is French. They have a torment, they wait five years to get in line. They get in line and wait for a place to be available. If there was no limit, they would all be French. You can’t worry about Moldova, there will be an opportunity to come for 50 years. They’ve put our flag there, the flags of all the participating countries, ours is there… No need to be afraid, you have to work for a couple of years, earn money, train and go ahead.

– You said that you were running slowly the first three days. At what pace?

– About 7 minutes per kilometer. I ran by heart rate, I recommend everyone who does sports, running, do not run by feeling, run by heart rate. To train in competitions, too, because subjective feelings they often deceive, and the pulse is something scientific and objective, it can be relied on.  So I set a goal, I ran at a heart rate of 152, and already when I ran the last marathon, there I was already breaking, I had about 160. 


-Tapes, yeah. I wore them prophylactically because they help me save my knees, because you can make your knees fall off. I changed them once, and suddenly my team in Russia thought that I was the guru of tapes, that I was an expert, I was taught by Botezatu to glue knees and a queue lined up, everyone has tapes, it’s a trendy topic. I glued one, the second, the rest are sick of it. I glue, show, you go to your club and do it yourself. Nothing complicated. From that point on you were gluing yourself.

– Did you grease the blisters with something?

– They have red greenery, water it down… Some of the procedures people do themselves. If you go to the clinic, there are huge lines and you can spend a couple of hours waiting for a doctor. Simple surgeries to pierce a blister and drain the fluid from it, do themselves. Everyone has green, needles, threads, plasters, alcohol, everyone brings it with them. MDS is the first to have feet and food. That’s why everyone has it all. And everyone runs in gaiters. We were given the dunes at the last stage, there was just sand, sand. It was great there.  Solidarity is just us walking, taking pictures, demonstrative filming. 

– The youngest participant?

– Well, from the age of 16 it is allowed.  The maximum age is not limited by anything. The main thing is to have a normal cardiogram. You can come here to the table, see what kind of gear you have, hats, socks. I had my shorts with me, I had a set of clothes, I have a running kit – these are shorts and a T-shirt. I have a tank top and shorts, to walk around the camp in them. And this T-shirt. So you wear it, you hang out in it. At least as long as it’s cold in the evening or in the morning, then you take it off and walk around with a bare belly. I made a pillow that way. A lot of people took a pillow separately so it was comfortable to sleep on. I didn’t and had absolutely no regrets. I took, pulled out my sleeping bag, stuffed my running clothes in here, slept in shorts and a tank top, stuffed my running clothes like a pillow, and a buffer on top. Here’s a pillow for you. I didn’t have to carry any extra weight. So we laughed until the first night. It’s no coincidence he weighs more. This one is 5 grams heavier, but it’s not serious. It’s impossible to sleep in them, they agonized and tossed and turned.  When we climbed the Mont Blanc, the sleeping bags didn’t look like that. You can’t put it in there, the sleeping bag weighs 1.5 kg. The temperatures there are a little bit different. But I want to say I liked it better in the desert than on Mont Blanc, the cold is not my thing, the heat is fine. I was not fined. They don’t check everyone’s food, they can stop you at any time and check you every time, because I always had less calories than I needed according to the regulations. It so happened that I calculated that I would not eat on the last day, if the last day they put us on the bus and take to the hotel, in the hotel I will eat normally. Riding on the bus short killed after the race, going to the hotel, to sleep and take a shower. On the way to the hotel they decided to feed us some decent food, two old buns and a weird colored chicken chop. Disgusting, now I would not eat that. But what happened there, amazing things, when we were given these boxes and kicked off the bus to eat, I remember a scene, sitting dude, concentrated, I look shiny something, it’s a Rolex watch. I remember this scene. I remember a guy sitting in the bus, he was concentrating, and I looked at the shiny thing, and it was a Rolex watch. The man has millions, he sits there and eats this half-damaged steak with such enthusiasm, he doesn’t give a damn, he doesn’t care. Indeed, values change, when I was sleeping overnight, when I was given these 2 square meters, I realized that I didn’t need anything else to be happy. These two square meters and peace of mind. Thank you friends, thank you for this evening.

Mentioned projects:
MDS. Chapter 4, intensive

MDS. Chapter 4, intensive

What does an illegal beetle look like? What for do people need an ushanka-hat in desert? What is the taste of the last sip of water? How to create special effects using a gel? Why wrinkles are good?

MDS. Chapter 5. Final

MDS. Chapter 5. Final

How can bugs motivate? Can socks stand up? Why does a cow walk on two legs in desert? What did my mother do in desert? What kind of stitches to use to sew a corn?