The eighteenth edition of the Sahara Marathon has a very special meaning for all the supporters of the Saharawi cause, as well as for the international runners who will cross the Algerian desert in this unique event.
The Saharawi people have been exiled from their country for 42 years, abandoned in the midst of the Algerian hamada, awaiting the resolution of a conflict that remains stagnant. Also, 42 kilometers will be covered by the marathon runners to show their support to the Sahrawi families set up at the camps of Tindouf, in a symbolic journey, summed up by the motto of this 2018 edition: “42 kilometers of our effort, for 42 years of your resistance”.
Forty-two of the toughest years, of occupation, of exile, of war, of unfulfilled agreements, of scarce negotiations, of hard life in the desert, but always with the hope of seeing freedom on the horizon for all Saharawi people. The Sahara Marathon’s forty-two kilometers are also tough, with stony ground, with a beaming sun, sometimes with wind, with sand and dunes, but always with that inspiring goal on the horizon, along with the emotions brought by the warmth and affection of the always hospitable Sahrawi people.
The 2018 Sahara Marathon will be held on February the 26th, a day before the great celebration of the Saharawi Republic’s anniversary, and will once again run through the camps of El Aaiún, Auserd and Smara, located in the southwest of Algeria.
A week of coexistence
Runners from more than 20 different countries will make their way there, with the intention of showing their solidarity to the refugees, taking part in one of the world’s most emblematic races and making their personal contribution to the numerous humanitarian aid projects that are carried out every year by the Sahara Marathon organization and the volunteer groups that take part in this initiative.
Those who have already taken part in this program always return with a warm heart from such an unforgettable experience, from the emotional intensity of a week in which they live with the refugees in their own tents, sharing with them an experience so intense, that it carries on into the future with bonds of friendship, and even family.
Participants and companions will travel on a charter flight from Madrid on Saturday, February the 24th and return on Saturday, March the 3rd. The price for the trip is 950 euros, which includes the flight, visa, insurance, travel at destination, accommodation, logistics, solidarity project and of course the registration to the race and everything which it entails (nutritional supplies, t-shirt, race number, medal…)
In addition to the marathon there are races covering 21, 10 or 5 kilometers, so that everyone can choose their appropriate distance. During the rest of the week there are cultural activities, visits and humanitarian projects such as computer and Internet installation in schools, which is one of the projects to be launched with Sahara Marathon funds this year.
The registration period is open until January the 15th or until the plane is complete, further information is available at www.saharamarathon.org