After a successful and exciting 1st edition last year, the Marathon des Sables - the toughest long-distance running race in the world - is back in Peru; even though this year only as a half-marathon, but with a thrilling twist.
The original Marathon des Sables, the Marathon of the Sands, is held every year in the Sahara Desert in southern Morocco and is known to be the toughest high endurance running race in the world. Now this extreme challenge is coming to the Ica Desert in Peru for the second time and additionally includes Cusco and Machu Picchu.
Participants sign up for a multiday, 120 km (75 miles) long, self-sufficient ultramarathon through the Ica desert in southern Peru, one of the driest regions on earth.
While the extreme distance, the scorching heat and the soft sand will stretch high endurance runners to their limit, the beauty of the Ica desert with its enormous dunes and sandy plateaus nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountains in the end will give back more than it takes.
But that’s not all this year: after 4 days in the desert participants await a world premiere: they will conquer Machu Picchu, one of the New World Wonders and the highlight of Peru. The famous Inca citadel is located in the Eastern Cordillera of southern Peru near Cusco, on a mountain ridge 2,430m (7,970 ft) above sea level and runners will not only have to fight the steep ascents, but also the height.