This is ultra-sport at its most exciting: an endurance trail of the highest order, across an awe-inspiring array of otherworldly terrains.
The Trans Atlas Marathon – bookable only through Lawrence of Morocco, worldwide – is the hottest new event in the extreme sports arena. Competitors have six days to cross Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains, covering a distance of 285 km. This is split into six stages of 30 – 60 km per day, at times reaching altitudes of over 4,000 metres. Individuals carry all the food and equipment they need for each day, and other luggage is transported at the end of each stage. The event takes place annually (normally in May).
The organisers of this ultra-trail are the legendary Ahansal brothers: Lahcen, ten times winner of the prestigious Marathon Des Sables; and Mohamad, who won the same event four times and holds the Guinness World Record for being the fastest runner across desert. The brothers, motivated by their passion for both long distance running and Berber culture (they were raised as nomads in the Sahara), founded the Trans Atlas Marathon to share the experience of this unique challenge with others.
Highlights of the Trans Atlas Marathon
In the M’Goun Massif - an extremely remote region where few trekkers venture - the mountain scenery, with its rushing rivers and Berber villages, is unforgettable. Mount M’Goun itself reaches 4,068 m and, from here, the fringe of the Sahara desert is visible.
And crossing Mount Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak at 4,167 m - visible even from Marrakech, just 60 km north - the landscape is spectacular: snow-capped peaks contrast with lush valleys cultivated by Berber communities, who have inhabited these areas for thousands of years and will welcome you warmly. This is the magic of the Trans Atlas Marathon: total immersion into local culture.
The Trans Atlas Marathon begins and ends in Marrakech, allowing competitors time to relax by a pool, but also to immerse themselves in the energy of the city. Enjoy the carnival of singers, dancers, sorcerers and story-tellers in the Djemaa el Fna (main square), and wander through the labyrinthine alleyways of the souks, watching jewellers and blacksmiths, apothecaries and wood carvers at work.
To Register: see the details on the Registration tab on this page.
General Enquiries about any aspect of the Trans Atlas Marathon: Enquiries tab on this page, or call us on 01672 500 555.
Official Marathon Site: http://en.atlasmarathon.com - for full details about the marathon and the organisers.
Photos by Mark Gillett - http://markgillett.photoshelter.com
A wonderful time!
Freelance travel writer, Stephen Bayley, travelled to Fes with Lawrence of Morocco in April 2013, writing for the Independent.
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