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The Marathon des Sables, a six-stage, 150-mile race through the Moroccan Sahara, will get underway for the 31st time on Sunday.
The classic race draws about 1,000 runners from around the world every year. It’s also brutally hard. The course crosses mountains, salt flats and sand dunes; runners contend with extreme heat, blisters and sand that gets everywhere, while carrying all the food, water and gear they need on their backs. Navigational mishaps and sandstorms (sometimes in combination) are known to occur.
This video, produced in advance of last year’s 30th running, is a montage spanning the event’s entire three-decade history, including archival film from the race’s early days in the 1980s and 90s.