The 2013 Marathon des Sables was my fourth time at this race. In 2009, I ran to a surprising second place. In 2010, I turned up not-so-fit and over-raced my abilities. After spending time in a medical tent during the long stage, some medical penalties, and slowing my pace, I finished in about the middle of the pack. In 2012, I ran to fifth place.
And this year, in 2013, I won!
The 2013 Marathon des Sables (MdS) was, for me, a dream turned reality. This might sound sickeningly cliché, but I mean it in its most literal interpretation. Being on the podium of the world’s most famous, formidable, and competitive expedition-length stage race in 2009–but still a step below the top–made me want to win this race more than I wanted many other things in life. Thing is, I didn’t know if I could do it. The MdS requires the most exquisite combination of raw talent, honed fitness, and the skill to work through its unending logistical challenges. Over the years, I’ve thought that this dream might be a bit too much of a reach for me.
I have so many reasons why I wanted to win this race, but my desires stem largely from my love of the Sahara Desert, Morocco, and my friends there. Since 2009, I’ve now spent several months of my life in Morocco. I’ve chased beetles over the wind ripples of sand dunes. I’ve drank gallons of mint tea poured by the fastest runners in the country. My Moroccan friends have shared with me their homes and families. I’ve seen the full moon slingshot itself above the Sahara horizon. I’ve seen pissed-off vipers. I’ve slept with my head on the Sahara’s hard Earth more than 30 times.
“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” -Y.B. Yeats
Every time I visit Morocco, I find there is more to learn, and more to love. My eyes grow wider and my heart bigger for this place, this race, this one, random place. And, of course, my Moroccan friends. This year’s race was overfilled with magic.
I’ve already written many words about the Marathon des Sables, and many media outlets have covered my race. Because of this, this blog post serves as a collection point for that which I and others have captured about the 2013 MdS. Below you’ll find:
- my race reports composed for media outlets,
- interviews I have done about the race,
- what other media outlets have said about this year’s edition,
- video footage from the race,
- a collection of photographs from my race,
- the official race video,
- and a list of all that I’ve previously written about the MdS on my personal website.
This is not an undertaking a person can do without a support network. And, mine is huge. Family, friends, acquaintances, and the perfect strangers of the trail and ultrarunning world who have sent your energies my way over the years, I am grateful for and buoyed by you.
Runner’s World: How I Won the Marathon des Sables
Mountain Bike Radio/Get Outside Radio: Meghan Hicks Wins the 2013 Marathon des Sables
Talk Ultra: Episode 34 – Hollon, Hicks, Davies & Stephenson
Pace Per Mile:
The Park Record: Parkite Meghan Hicks conquers Morocco ultramarathon
Other Media Coverage
UltraRunning Magazine: Meghan Hicks Wins Marathon des Sables
Generation Trail: Marathon des Sables
Revista Trail: El rey y la princesa de Sables: Ahansal y Hicks
AOL: Stage 1
AOL: Stage 2
AOL: Stage 3
AOL: Stage 4
AOL: Stage 5
Official 2013 Race Video
My Previous Writings about the Marathon des Sables