The Marathon Des Sables for under £400?

January 30, 2023

/ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – Global ultra-marathon events series, Ultra X launch their latest race, a 2 day, 110km race around Ouarzazate in Morocco, adding to their collection of bucketlist races.

  • Ultra X 110 Morocco is a multi-stage ultra-marathon taking place over two days. There is also an option for competitors to run the second (50km) stage only on the Sunday.
  • The race takes runners on a sensory journey, past Kasbahs, through traditional fortified villages, lush oasises and over rocky desert.
  • During this unforgettable weekend, competitors will experience the place, the people, and the beauty of this iconic country in full.
  • Ultra X 110 Morocco and Ultra X 50 Morocco are UTMB® World Series Indexed Races in the 50K category.
  • The race takes place on the 4th and 5th November 2023 and prices start from £365.

“The beauty of Morocco is not just in its landscape, but in the rich culture and history that it offers. Ultra X Morocco makes the experience of a racing in a real bucket list location truly accessible”

Sam Heward, Ultra X Co-Founder

About this Race

Ultra X Morocco takes place in North Africa, within the Maghreb region. It overlooks the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Morocco is an incredible country, rich in biodiversity and a variety of climates, with an abundance of beaches, mountain ranges and deserts.

With a modest elevation gain of just 1,368 metres over the 110km course. This is a quick course that will appeal to all ultra-runners; novice and experienced.

Day one is a point-to-point route and starts at the famous Taourirt Kasbah in the city of Ouarzazate. It begins by heading south and winding through the narrow streets and into the green countryside, through an ankle deep river, before becoming more arid and rocky desert. From there the route contours, a tall Jebel before dropping down into the Fint Oasis. The route then heads west through the most beautiful part of the course, handrailing a plateau/high feature called ‘thunder’. From here it begins to level out and is good, hard pack terrain with gradually undulating distance until reaching the campsite in between Tabouraht and Tazantoute.

Day 2 is a point-to-point route again that starts at the campsite in between Tabouraht and Tazantoute. It heads out south, over the dried out Iriri River before turning west and heading through the villages of Ait Boumehand and Imzoughene. The course then heads north over good terrain before reaching the village of Tadoula and moving east towards and through the historic village Ait Benhaddou, a great example of Moroccan earthen clay architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The last stretch sees runners turn east/south east to work their way towards Ouarzazate. The final part is kind underfoot, mostly flat and downhill all the way back, with runners going through the Kingdom of Heaven fortress before reaching the finish line at the Atlas film studios

After the final stage on Sunday, Ultra X has partnered with the Berbere Palace hotel where all competitors are invited to a buffet dinner and awards ceremony.

The race takes part in similar part of Morocco to the infamous 6 stage race, The Marathon Des Sables, and although half the distance could this be a way to experience this famous desert without the financial stress?

Further information: 110KM, 50KM

Images available here. Credit Benedict Tufnell.

About Ultra X

Ultra X organise a series of multi-stage ultra marathons in some of the most exotic and exciting places on the planet. Their mission is to put on life-changing, transformative experiences and provide best in class support to participants to allow anyone to take on one of their events. Ultra X believe that the experience of a multi-stage race is one of the best experiences that anyone can have and their aim is to get more people participating.

“These events will totally change life as you know it. From the people you meet, to the miles you cover, there’s something about the days in the Ultra X bubble that make you feel more alive than ever, even when you’re at your most exhausted.”

James Cooke, Ultra X Competitor