Atlas to Sahara – Morocco

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Nov 4-11, 2017

Atlas to Sahara - Morocco

What’s at the other side?

  • The Atlas  is a place where people is still real
    getting to know them is the reason why we run
  • We are going to use are legs not as a mean of transportation
    but as a time travel machine.

16 RUNNERS WANTED! Only

We are going Off-the-grid, no place for hot water showers  or wifi.

16 runners and 3 expedition leaders will become Berebers for a week, running the Bereber trails, eating their food, learning their language and culture. If this excites you, you might be one of us.

We are looking for a very specific type of person and runner in terms of running level, experience and overall attitude.
If you think you are one of us, let’s have a conversation, send us a email to set a date to talk about this.

WHAT IS THIS ABOUT?

For 6 days starting from the Northern side of the Atlas Mountains we’ll cross the Tizi’n'Timit pass towards the remote M’Goun Valley and River, following it south towards the Sahara desert. On Day 5 we will be transferred to a place close to the Merzouga Dunes where we’ll spend the next two days running South through the Sahara Desert towards the Algerian border.

  • RUNNING LEVEL

    ADVANCED 6/9

  • DURATION

    8 days – 8 nights

  • RUNNING DAYS

    6 DAYS

  • TOTAL DISTANCE

    96 miles

  • PRICE

    1.395 USD

  • DATES

    November 4 -11, 2017

  • CUSTOMIZED OFFERS

    NO

  • FAMILY FRIENDLY

    NO

Adventure Itinerary

November 4-11, 2017

Day 2 – 15km
Into the Happy People Valley

* Day 1 – arrival to Marrakesh
We will start the day by driving east during 3h to Abdu Oukioud house in Azilal where his family is going receive us in their house and prepare a typical Berber lunch, then we’ll keep going two hours more to the starting point or our running day. Our destination is the Village of Timit in a place known and  for a very good reason the Happy People Valley.

Day3 – 26k
High into the Atlas
Overcoming the Tizi’n'Timit pass

Hussein our host that night will prepare us the best breakfast (we are going to need it) after visiting the Sidi Moussa Bouguemez Granary and the local market at Tabet Village where once a week all the nomads go to sell their products. Then we will be facing one of the biggest challenges of this adventure, the ascension to the Tizi’n’Timit  pass 2901 m high. After this we will descend towards the Valley of the N’Goun river .

Day 4 – 31 km
Through the Berber Villages

When we start running in the morning by this extremely remote valley you’ll ask yourself.,  what is all this people doing here? well they’ve been living this way for hundreds  and hundreds of year, free, independent from the outside world, getting to know them, running their paths and accepting their hospitality is the highlight of this whole thing. In the middle of the day we’ll be going into river running, the N’Goun and it’s canyon We’ll be spending the night in the middle of high cliffs by the river.

Day 5- 22km
Out of the Canyon to Bou Tharar

Our day will take us out from the canyon and back to fields and bigger villages, close to the end we’ll be climbing to the top of a mountain just to see the views of the beautiful Bou Tharar Village. We’ll have plenty of cultural activities to do in the after noon and a fantastic accommodation to at Hussein place, be ready for the dinner.

Day 6 – 16miles
Meeting the Sahara

In the previous 4 days we’ve cross the  whole Atlas mountain from North to South, you’ll notice every thing is starting to look desertic this is because we’ll be getting close to the our two desert run days. A 5 hours drive will take us to place that will look like the middle of nowhere and we’ll have to find our way running to our camp in the middle of the Merzouga Dunes.

Day 7 – 20 km
We go full Sahara mode.

You’ll find yourself surrounded by 200m height dunes, and we’ll ask you to follow us running South towards the Algerian border, we’ll be crossing the whole Merzouga Dunes area getting to see stuff that is unreachable for most people that visit the area.
After finishing our run we’ll start our way back to Marrakesh sleeping that night at Aït Benhaddou, if you’ve seen Gladiator or Ben-Hur movies that place will look familiar.

Day 8
Back Marrakesh

We’ll drive back to the city, but adventures won’t finish yet, Abdu is going to take us to see the hidden areas of Marrakesh.

The Staff

Morocco trip is big in terms of logistics

To make this event possible we will have three extremely experienced running guides including Pablo Rodríguez and Abdu Oukioud  and two people supporting us driving a 4 wheel drive car or a mule depending in how difficult the access is and setting up assistant points through the route.

  • Pablo Rodriguez
    Pablo RodriguezRunning Guide

    Also know as the mountain goat, is former professional triathlete who has turned his passion for running into his job, in 2011 we founded Running Costa Brava and later Run The World Adventures in an effort to take running back to it’s origins, as he would say turn it back into a mean of transportation.

  • Abdu Oukioud
    Abdu OukioudRunning Guide

    Abdu got he’s entry in Mountain Guides school by winning the Toubkal Marathon years ago, since then he’s been leading expeditions in every corner of Morocco, a former professional athlete himself is by far the most qualified person to follow in our Moroccan adventures.

  • Ali Ait Hakkou
    Ali Ait HakkouSupport Specialits and guide

    Ali in not only a Mountain Guide but also an expert in the N’Goun Valley where he was born. He’ll be supporting us during are adventures in Morocco.

    FAQ

    More questions?

     

    What’s Included in the price?

    The cost includes all accommodation, all transfers (not from airport to hotel or hotel airport), two meals per day in Marrakesh (the first and last day) and three the rest of the days. Experienced leaders along the route with local support crew and a driver.

    What’s Excluded?

    It does not include personal travel insurance, tips for the guides  (which are optional). It also does not include any entrance fees to any optional sites or attractions.

    We strongly recommend you carry a credit card in case of personal emergency.

    What kind of food will I get?

    Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we will be in remote areas and among people of different culture who may not understand your requirements, however, they are willing to help. If you know there are plenty of food you cannot eat, you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply.

    Moroccan food is delicious, with a big variety of vegetables and meat.

    We can not provide vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free food. We can neither provide and special dietary.

    We encourage you to bring your own energetic bars If you are used to them while running or feel you would need them.

    Traveling to others countries with completely different type of food may give you some lingering GI (tummy) symptoms, be prepared for that.

    Can I bring as much luggage as I want?

    No. Luggage is limitated to 1 soft rucksack per person.

    Unfortunately, we can not allow any trolley or hard suitcase (please, don’t ask us to make an exception). Space is very limited for each of us.

    You should also bring a very small backpack to carry your items for one day, because that particular day the car won’t be able to acces the place where we will overnight but a donkey will!

    We will not ask you to carry your rucksack while running.

    Whats the accommodation like?

    Be aware some days we will be pretty isolated, so we don’t really have an option to choose which accommodation we prefer because there’s only one. A hotel in Marrakesh yes, but from then on, a kind of hostels / houses where they have a room prepared to welcome guests. As they are so little, we don’t have the option for single rooms, we will be sharing up to 5 or 6 sometimes. Everybody in his / her own bed.

    I’m a single runner, is there an up-charge since I’m alone and don’t want to be sharing room?

    Unfortunately, as said before, we can not offer single rooms. All rooms are shared and in consequence we do not have any extra charge for singles.

     

    The adventure

     

     What type of terrain can I expect?


    The first two days we will be running mainly by mule trails, which are not very technical if you are used to running in trails, there are some areas also were will be running cross country without any trail to follow but the terrain is open, on the third day we’ll be getting into the N’Goun Canyon, which means, yes,  river crossings a hundred times, the good news is the river is somehow pretty runnable, for those who had run with us in Costa Rica, my friends the N’Goun river is a piece of cake, and for those that haven’t, check the video. The last two days are desert time, trust me there is no way you can get hurt in the dunes.

    Which kind of clothing & equipment do I need?

    You should bring both warm and fresh clothes, we’ll be starting from 2.000 m elevation, getting at one point to almost 3.000 meters and descending to 730 m the last two days, during each day you’ll experience moments where you are going to feel hot or cold, technical clothing easy to put on and take of will be useful.

    There are going to be some sections on day 3 and 4 where we are going to be running in wet shoes. Your favorite trainers might not be your favorite WET trainers.Have a waterproof case for your phone and other water sensitive things.

     

    Bodycare

    Everyone should take lots of blister plasters and a first aid kit with antiseptic cream, scissors, dressings for your own cures at the “hotels”.

    Nappy cream is very important or Sudocrem as it’s known in the UK for chafing/skin irritation

    Energetic food and others

    Everyone should be responsible of its own energetic food.

    Bring as much energetic food as energy barS. Pack electrolyte tablets which are very good and easy to use. Don’t forget salt tablets at all.

    Protein recovery powder to have at the end of each day help a lot with recovery.

    Whats the weather like?

    The temperature will variate a lot, hot in the desert, cold in the mountains.

    Is there a minimum fitness level required in order to join the adventure?

    Training for the challenge is all part of the preparation and require commitment. We expect all participants to train hard in advance.

    Again and again we remind you this is not a race.

    Three guides will be running with you, but for safety reasons, we all should try to be in the same group. If not, then sometimes we will need to re-group, so the front-runners will find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that will let you discover a beautiful country as very, very, very! few people has.

    Do we start the adventure on day 1?

    No, on day 1 participants arrive in Marrakesh and check in in the hotel. We have scheduled a briefing  about 6pm where you will get to know Pablo and the rest of the guides. After it we will have dinner all together. Next morning we will depart super early in the morning to the starting point (5 hours drive, stopping for lunch in Abdu’s family house on the way). Once arrive we will start our running adventure.

    If I decide to arrive before and stay longer after the adventure, can you book the hotel for me in Marrakesh?

    Yes, no problem for that.

     

    Tipping

    We encourage you to tip your guides if you feel you have received excellent service and have had an enjoyable trip. A typical gratuity usually around 2% of your trip price per guide, depending on your level of satisfaction. e.g. $1500 trip = $30 per guide.

    The Country

    The currency

    The official currency in Morocco is Dirham.

    We recommend you to have cash in dirhams for your little shopping in the villages. Try to exchange them in the airport, that’s the easiest way.

    Dollars are not accepted.

    Passport & Visa

    A valid passport is essential; it should be a valid for at least six months after return to avoid any problem.

    Some countries require a visa to enter Marrakesh. Please check it out!

    Vaccinations

    We only need you to have had a Tetanus injection in the last ten years. Other protections, against Polio, Hepatitis A and Typhoid and Malaria are not prevalent in the region, it’s your decision if you want to take any other vaccine.

    Videos

    A small bit of what this is

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