The HALF MARATHON DES SABLES Peru is a 120km race taking place over 4 days (3 days of running including 1 day of rest), and all this in the fabulous Ica desert.
More than 500 runners of 45 different nationalities crossed this desert last week, and all this in food self-sufficiency. The competitors were able to admire the wonderful Peruvian landscapes, whether the sand dunes or the ocean, and share wonderful moments with the different runners.
Several WAA athletes were present on this race: Mélanie Rousset, Amy Winters, Heidi Bye Svartangen, Aline Gobert, Julien Picard, Jérémy Martin, Nicolas Arbib, Eva Llinas, Yolanda Fernandez Del Campo. They had a great race and got the beautiful finisher medal!
Second woman of the first and second stage of the race, Mélanie Rousset regained some energy during the rest day and gave everything during the 22.1km of the third and last stage. Indeed, she finished in first place in the women's category!
Yet, the race didn't start in the best way for her: low morale, body that doesn't follow, she had doubts about being a finisher. But the support and encouragement of runners gave her back her strength: "So, I had a look at what was around me and from then I was fully immersed in the scenery around and carried by this feeling of osmosis with the landscape, I found the pleasure of simply running.”
In the end, UltraBag 20L on her back, she finished second in the HMDS Peru women's overall ranking, a wonderful performance for this last race of the year! However, Mélanie didn’t start with a ranking plan: "I had no ranking plan before leaving, only the objective of finishing as well as possible, without injury and managing food and water rations as well as possible.” The podium is therefore a very welcome addition!
Yolanda Fernandez Del Campo finished fourth in the women's general classification, a great congratulations girls, you did it!
The other WAA athletes also did very well! They are all finishers and have all thoroughly enjoyed this extraordinary experience in the Ica Desert.
Amy Winters, one leg amputee, challenged the sand dunes of the Ica Desert and crossed the famous finish line to win her well-deserved medal. It is an example of strength and courage that everyone can follow. Julien Picard covered these 120km in the sand barefoot, with a pair of sandals in the backpack when the soil was complicated. These two unusual stories show that anything is possible when you want it.
Aline Gobert and Heidi Bye Svartangen participated to the HMDS Fuerteventura two months before, and decided to take the start of the HMDS Peru, to experience this extraordinary adventure again.
For Aline, running through the Ica desert was more difficult: "I had some big moments of difficulty during the long stage where we started directly with several kilometers of climbs, it was quite humid and I had some trouble to run. And at that moment, you need to have a strong mind to persevere and not give up, even if it's very tempting." But fortunately she was with her brother who helped her a lot, running together is easier than alone, and the finish line is better.
Finisher of the HMDS Peru 2018, Heidi decided to take the start of this second edition, because she really like last year edition: "It’s the whole thing, heat, running, cooking food, sleeping in the desert so close to nature and the people, all this make up the best adventure of a lifetime. It was amazing last year and it still was amazing this year." So everything went well for her, even if it was more difficult than last year because of the humidity. With the Ultra Carrier Shirt and Ultra Skirt, this didn’t prevent her from enjoying the scenery, and overcoming the difficulty always brings a sense of pride.
Did you enjoy participating? Following the athletes' adventure made you want to participate? Don't hesitate any longer!
It is now possible to pre-register for the HMDS Peru 2020! This will allow you to receive all the information in exclusivity. Take the plunge and discover the Ica Desert.
Do you prefer the Canary Islands? From 20 to 27 September 2020 will be held the fourth edition of the HMDS Fuerteventura. Come and run in this desert and participate in this incredible experience. Registrations are already open, so take your place, your ticket, and fly to Fuerteventura!
Discover the products that the WAA team wore during the HMDS, right here.
To pre-register for the HMDS Peru 2020, click here.
To register for the HMDS Fuerteventura 2020, follow this link.