Day 7, Saturday 31 March, 11.7km
This is it, it’s over! I would crawl the distance if need be, I didn’t hear a cut off time mentioned!
Spirits are high, and everyone sets off quickly. I feel comfortable with the pace, but quickly wonder what I’m doing? What am I saving myself for, exactly? So, hell for leather it was, for me and everyone else, it seemed, at least until we hit the sand.

And what sand! The Merzouga sand dunes, the biggest in the world apparently. Amazing scenery, certainly breathtaking in the literal sense as we try to get over the damn things! Another finish that is often in sight but never quite there. Sudddenly as I clear a dune, we can see the finish line in sight. 1 hour 50 mins, far from a record, but in position 398 I’ve managed to improve my standing everyday.

The finish is a very surreal time. You cross the line and everything is done, the preparation, the physical exhaustion, the lack of food, the effort and the sheer exhilaration of taking part in the MdS, all stops in the blink of an eye. First euphoria, a hug and a few words from race director Patrick, we get our medal, then you are filtered into a ‘tunnel’, a bus ticket, a lunch bag, local children begging for water bottles and equipment. Within 5 minutes I’m sat on an air conditioned bus eating lunch.

From everything to nothing in an instant, and a 6 ½ hour coach journey to our hotels. The bus drops us off in the centre of Ouarzazate, and quickly dash back to the hotel.

In a lucky twist of fate my room has been taken by another pair of competitors by mistake and we end up in the best suite in the hotel. Gary and myself think we’ve lucked out, a three bedroom apartment to ourselves. Alas, we are soon joined by three others, although I had already installed myself in the master bedroom!

Having not shaved for a week, and only carrying an electric razor, this was the second real pain of the week! It’s funny, having spent 6 ½ hours in the coach in close proximity my own kit and everybody else, I never noticed any smell at all. As soon as I stepped out of the shower, however, I could smell my gear from 30 feet away!

Previous competitors had suggested that while you may want to eat and drink to excess, you can hardly manage a thing. Personally, I had no issues on this front and I consume everything I can lay my hands on and left the bar around 3am. The next night followed the same theme.