This is a portfolio of the Marathon des Sables 2013… Click the “more” to see all the images.
MDS 2013 Roundup
This years MDS was as unique as any. I suppose the only constant is the toughness. There were new faces, returning faces, young faces, and old faces. There were race winners and life winners and those who did not make the end. But without doubt everyone will go home with an experience of a lifetime.
Covering the MDS has always been a real pleasure for me. Not because of the race but more for what the desert throws up at us. It strips us back to the raw. Show us who we really are. It then asks us to live it in a way no other environment I have visited has ever achieved. This bit I still cannot explain but if you ever have the privelege to spend time with bedouin, you will find no truer human beings.
I have travelled to deserts for 30 years now. Made private expeditions, taken children across them, many adults to the Middle East Empty Quarter and I have run the MDS as well as returned for the last 7 years to photograph it. It never disappoints. Read the rest of this entry »
This is now my 7th Marathon des Sables and as usual it was very unique. The format was slightly changed which disturbed a few people but I think this will settle down soon and people will accept it in its new form. But this was just a tiny part of the MDS. What really makes this race is the people and the colour they bring each year. The emotions were running fully from start to end.
Stage 2 was one of the toughest I have seen for a while and the heat really kicked in from stage 3 reach the high forties in the sun. Sometimes fifties. The race provided many faces as usual. Some of sheer pain and some of sheer joy but all full of a human’s most powerful emotions.
As a photographer this year I was extremely busy but no more or less than normal. We could not get out much during the race but over the next few days I will be able to catch up with some specific stories, write my press articles and get back in touch with some of those beautiful times of the last 7 days.
If this is a race that is in your mind to do, dont hold back. Go to http://www.marathondessables.co.uk and sign up. I believe anyone can do this race but there has to be a want.
Here are a few images from the week..
This is now my fourth year in the Yukon since 2009… I first came for the Yukon Arctic Ultra which starts a day behind the Quest and runs the same trail.. Its a very tough event and competitors really put themselves through a lot of pain. A real endurance event. I have run in marathons everywhere and also the Marathon des Sables in 2006… Of everything I have done, the Marathon of 26 miles is still by far the toughest. The MDS which is 250km in the Sahara was different.. Certainly tough but also a great laugh and I had a great time… So the nearest description I can find for that is a “running holiday” However, a marathon of 26 miles is certainly not that and its far more painful with an indescribable intensity in the training and the race…
The Quest finally got underway today and it was warmer than any year I have attended… Out car read 1 degree on the way to Braeburn.
Here are a few photos and I will blog post stories as they emerge.. For today it was just important to get the first images out. We are now at Braeburn editing, posting and creating our first short video for the race….. The first mushers are due in around 11pm so it could be a long night… Posts coming…
Dont miss the Inspiration event – Not long after I get back from Alaska and Yukon so plenty of new material and stories…
To book go here… http://changeyou.eventbrite.co.uk
I did something today that I have not done for a long time… I picked up a newspaper on the tube. I normally read the news on the BBC or Al Jazeera websites and I had forgotten what a pleasure it was to hold paper and read… Now, I know an iPhone is a tangible product but there is something more about paper… Its real. Its organic origins make it more real and different so I will do this more often from now on….. I will add it to my 2013, “Must Do Different” list. And I will start reading my new book this weekend. Its a real book, not on an eBook…