The French ultracoureur goes into cardiac arrest at the Marathon des Sables


A French ultracoureur taking part in the 35th Marathon des Sables, the stage race in the desert that crosses the dunes of Merzouga in Morocco, has died of cardiac arrest, it was announced on Monday. The man, who was in his early 50s, fulfilled all the medical requirements to participate in the race and completed the first stage without incident.

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The man collapsed during the second stage and received the immediate attention of two other competitors, who were medics.

The medical director and event staff arrived at the scene within minutes by helicopter. After 45 minutes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the ultrarunner was pronounced dead. This is the third death in the 35-year history of the Marathon des Sables.

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“Out of respect for the family of this competitor, his anonymity will be preserved,” said the clerk of the course. Patrick bauer said in a press release. He also said the man’s relatives have been informed and the organization has expressed sympathy and condolences to his family.

“In order to respect all the people who prepared for this adventure, the staff decided to continue the race,” said Bauer. “Continuing the adventure is our way of paying homage to this“ brother of the sands ”. There will be a minute’s silence for the rider before the start of the third stage of the six-stage race.

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In previous years, this race was dominated by Moroccans. Currently, the Moroccan brothers Rachid El-Morabity and Mohamed El-Morabity leads the race after the first two stages. Rachid has won the race seven times and is a repeat favorite in the desert. canadian ultra-racer Claire Heslop and UTMB podium Mathieu Blanchard are on the field, both in pursuit of a podium.

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