Mark Gillett

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Archive for March 2012

MDS 2012 – Next Story of Human Endurance

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Well, if you followed us at the Yukon Quest and loved that then follow us at the Marathon des Sables in April.

This mountain of a race takes part in the Sahara Desert from 7th April. You will need to add me as a friend on Facebook, “Like” the MDS page and “Friend” the UK MDS page It’s best to do all three.

The race is 250 Km through the Sahara and runners carry all their own gear and food for 7 days.. It is run over 6 stages looking a little like this… Day 1 – 28km, day 2 – 35km, day 3 – 38km, day 4/5 – a huge 80km, day 6 – 42km and day 7 – 21km.. So pretty damn tough.

Runners will battle temperatures of up to 50 degrees, blisters and soreness like never before, total exhaustion and inevitably some will drop out… They cover sand dunes that go for ever, mountains and valley salt flats on a daily basis. This years race will be as exciting as ever so go to those FB sites and follow it through here…

We will for the first time be filming it with GoPro and mobile cams and uploading to the social networks as we go along… Images will also be uploaded to the official site on a daily basis…  I will upload blogs for the English-speaking runners and supporters and other reports can be seen on the official site www.darbaroud.com and the Facebook pages mentioned earlier… There is no shortage of information coming out of the desert from the 7th April. No excuse not know what happening deep in the Sahara.

Search this site for older articles from previous years to get a flavour.. It’s the toughest footrace on earth.

A Piece of My Heart

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I have never seen the moon as in I did in Yukon

I left Whitehorse two weeks back after spending three weeks following the Yukon Quest. Now I sit in a cafe working through images, planning for my next adventure, planning for the new business SuitCase Media & Productions. Well, not necessarily new but the growth of my business and who I actually am.

But this part of the world, North America, has really stolen a piece of my heart. The land, the skies and the people.. I fell in love with Alaska and the Yukon.

I have tried to put my finger on what it is as I have travelled to some pretty great places over the last 30 years. I have seen most of the world and many cultures… I have fallen in love with many places but on a different level. It’s almost like I was at home when following the Quest.

I love the way people live. Purchasing things that were necessary not as here in the malls where you can buy a gazillion things you don’t need. Clothes to fill your already full wardrobe, covers for your phone for which some people must have a separate wardrobe too, another pair of shoes for Wednesdays! All rubbish, all fashion but not necessary.

What I noticed in Alaska and Yukon was that everyone had a truck because they needed one. Needed it to carry the wood for the fire. A beautiful fire but a necessary one. Many have a skidoo for the same. They need it for their livelihood to to get about. Shops in the main street sell goods that are necessary and in Whitehorse the exceptions were goods for tourists which provides and income for the residents.

But more than this too there is a cosmopolitan feel to Whitehorse. People from around the world and all ages. A good youth culture and a feeling of modernity without brash flashiness. As I walked the streets during my last days it was beginning to warm up and I wanted to stay behind to witness Spring. To see the rivers break. I imagined getting back to Dawson to see the ice bridge break up and the hills come alive with the sun. And see the carnival atmosphere of the towns when Spring finally takes hold.

I did not stay, though, and am now in UK and off to Paris tomorrow. Then Barcelona on Tuesday. Both beautiful places that many people dream to visit so I am grateful for everything I have and everywhere I have been, and the piece of my heart I left in North America will still be there when I return. I hope that will be soon and I have many people I would like to meet up with again.

A final note is “good luck” to Lance,, Brent, Kristy and Hugh Neff in the Iditarod..  I don’t think I left anyone out.

Written by markgillett

March 4, 2012 at 6:22 pm