The Marathon des Sables (MDS) (Marathon of the Sands) is a six-day, 254 km (156 mile) ultramarathon, which is the equivalent to five and 1/2 regular marathons. The longest single stage is 84 km (52 miles) long.
The event is held every year in the southern Moroccan desert. It is considered the toughest foot race on Earth. The first event of the Marathon started in 1986.
* Competitors must carry all personal belongings and food for the entire event in their backpack. Water and tents are supplied by the organizers.
* During the 1994 race, Italian police officer Mauro Prosperi lost his way during a sand storm and wandered lost for more than 9 days, losing over 13 kg (30 lb) of body weight.
* For the 2008 Marathon des Sables, the registration fee was €2550 before taxes.
* In 2007, the BBC reported the total cost as being about ₤2565 ($5000).
* As of 2008[update], Lahcen Ahansal from Morocco has won 10 titles, and his brother Mohammed Ahansal has won 2 titles.
* As of 2007, two competitors have died during the race.