Monday, September 7, 2009

Madonna running the MDS?

So this has been going around in the press:

Numerous news outlets and gossip sites are reporting this morning that Madonna has plans to run the Marathon des Sables, a grueling 151-mile ultramarathon held in Morocco. The marathon starts next April, and it is raced over the Sahara Desert.

Well, apparently the story is not true. Her publicist, Liz Rosenberg, told contact music several days ago that the rumors were false, saying bluntly: "It's not true." Even if Madonna had decided to run the race in April, she may have had a hard time getting a spot. Entries are selected by lottery well in advance, and organizers are currently conducting a lottery for the 2011 race.

So what is the Marathon des Sables? The organizers bill it as the "toughest footrace on earth," and the British Rep jokingly claims it's perfect for "lunatics and masochists." The 151-mile race is held over six days, so participants run nearly the equivalent of a marathon each day. Not only that, but the runners have to carry all of their equipment with them -- think backpacks, clothing, shoes and food. Tents and water are provided by the organizers. The athletes have to deal not only with the distance, but the heat, sun and sand as well.

While Madonna is certainly in good shape, the demands of an ultramarathon -- especially one that takes place in the Sahara Desert -- are not to be taken lightly. Participants train for months or even years, building up to lengthy long runs and training to run with a backpack. The actual distance may vary -- the British representative claims the race is 151 miles, while the American representative states the race is 145 miles. Once you get to that distance, what's a few extra miles? If all this sounds like a good time to you, the entrys only $3,950.

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