UNDER THE PATRONAGE OF HIS MAJESTY KING MOHAMMED VI
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THE ORIGINAL
UNDER THE PATRONAGE OF HIS MAJESTY KING MOHAMMED VI
09 Étape 52019-03-25T06:06:50+02:00

LEG 5 MDJS – MARATHON

MECH IRDANE – OULAD DRISS

LEG 5 MDJS – MARATHON

MECH IRDANE – OULAD DRISS

CHECKPOINTS 12

KM IDEAL 270km

ESTIMATED TIME 17h

TERRAIN precise navigation, night under the stars, sand and majestic landscapes

5 days into the competition, it is a good bet that fatigue is starting to set in.

This leg is 270 kilometres long on paper—and more like 320 km in reality—in complete autonomy, with no mechanical assistance in the evening, no refuelling, a makeshift camp and 12 CPs to reach over the course of two days.

The difficulties begin on the first day. The Gazelles will need to navigate with precision, avoid rushing ahead blindly and choose their route wisely. In fact, the start of the leg takes them through “Gazelle Hell”. And the area lives up to its name: every year during the terrain reconnaissance we ask ourselves how the Gazelles find their way through without going crazy!

Things get easier after CP4. Plains stretch out as far as the eye can see and there are greater distances to cover between checkpoints. Let’s hope that the wind doesn’t rise, masking the features that serve to guide the Gazelles in a haze of dust…

This will be their first night away from the brouhaha of the bivouac, shared in good company with other Gazelles. A night under the Stars.On Day 2 of the marathon, the Gazelles will have to face the sandy plains of Hassi Bou Haiara. Sand and more sand for all the competitors, not as majestic as Erg Chebbi, but not necessarily any less treacherous…

Teamwork and confidence between navigator and driver will be essential for overcoming the challenging navigation and difficult terrain. But what spectacular scenery: black, brown, yellow, pink, grey… an entire palette of desert colours spread across the landscape! And vast empty plains, devoid of all sign of life apart from the occasional Nomad collecting water at a distant well.

Teams will continue to reach the new bivouac well into the night. While it may appear that the podium is taking shape, it is important to remember that things can change very quickly and unexpectedly. Only the last leg will tell what the final outcome will be, and there is another marathon leg in store for the Gazelles tomorrow!

CHECKPOINTS 12

KM IDEAL 270km

ESTIMATED TIME 17h

TERRAIN precise navigation, night under the stars, sand and majestic landscapes

The last teams have just arrived: the Gazelles will all sleep in the comfort of the bivouac tonight.
Teams 20, 127, 194, 220 are on their way to the bivouac. All Gazelles will sleep at the bivouac tonight in preparation for Leg 6.
At 8 p.m., 80 teams were back at the bivouac. It's going to be a long night for some...
Despite the imminent nightfall, teams are attempting to reach CP10 before it closes at 8 p.m. Don't give up!
47 teams have reached the bivouac!
Team 135 (Karine DUBOEUF / Prescillia FAGUNDES - ottobock) has just reached CP9, which closes at 7 p.m. Good job!
Team 211 (Virginie BIESSE / Camille Duchaussoy-Legiret - La ville de SERRIS 77700) is veering off. The Gazelles are clearly not following the right heading.
Team 148 (Elodie BOUET-BAGUET / Nathalie HARDOIN - APVL ingénierie) are taking the road via Zagora. They have a 2.5-hour drive ahead of them, but at least they know where they're going!
Many teams are heading to the bivouac by trail rather than by road...
One third of the teams are between CP9 and CP10.
Team 148 (Elodie BOUET-BAGUET / Nathalie HARDOIN - APVL ingénierie) is stuck in the dunes in the middle of the Tafraoute plain. The assistance team is on its way.
Desert windstorms can be impressive but sometimes only last a matter of minutes. The wind has died down: let's hope it lasts. Otherwise it will time to get the ski masks out!
Teams 200 (Jeanette JAMES / Murielle TARRAZI - Bumper Off Road) and 238 (Hélène GRAND'EURY / Charlotte ZUCCONI - AFFI MOBILE), who led the pack all morning, appear to have taken a long break for lunch. And a good idea too, on this hot sunny day! Now they are heading for CP10 in a perfect straight line.
50 km/h winds are gusting at the bivouac!
Team 154 (Géraldine VIGIER / Sylvie GODEAU-GELLIE - LA CABANE DU ROUTIOUTIOU) have reached the bivouac with their broken universal joint.
Team 139 (Béatrice FOURNIER / Chloé FOURNIER - FEBRE) had an overheating transmission. The weather is hot and heavy today. But they were able to continue without assistance.
Team 162 (Tania MOUMILOFF / Elvire BONDON-BOINET - HEC) has left their route along with Team 601 (Charlène LESTIENNE / Barbara BARBIER - ASSURANCES LESTIENNE). Are they on their way to the bivouac? That might be a good idea...
Team 154 (Géraldine VIGIER / Sylvie GODEAU-GELLIE - LA CABANE DU ROUTIOUTIOU) is on its way to the bivouac. The Gazelles have been driving in 2WD since breaking their universal joint yesterday.
Team 103 (Sandrine SAVEL / Florence CARLE - APPEL - Association Philanthropique de Parents d'Enfants atteints de Leucémie et autres cancers) is looking for CP10. It is just to their west, but the Gazelles are on the wrong track. Will they find their way?
Team 161 (Audrey LEPINE / Kattel CORCUFF - VW FINANCIAL SERVICES) found their way out, but unfortunately, just too late. They reached CP6 at 12:02 but the checkpoint had closed at noon.
SUMMARY - COMPETITION

The top teams confirm their positions

GAZELLES TV

Leg 5 MDJS | Marathon Day 2

RANKINGS

Rankings Leg 5 MDJS

PHOTOS

Best photos of Leg 5 MDJS

SUMMARY - ADVENTURE

The Gazelles holding course despite fatigue

SUMMARY - ADVENTURE

A difficult first marathon day crowned with a festive evening

GAZELLES TV

Leg 5 MDJS | Marathon Day 1

REPORT

Change of routine this morning

SUMMARY, BRIEFING

An energized briefing

PARTNERS

#FreeNasrin

Dominique Serra has dedicated this 29th edition to Nasrin Sotoudeh – prominent Iranian lawyer and human rights advocate – who has been sentenced to 38 years in prison and 148 lashes for “inciting corruption and prostitution” by defending women who took off their headscarves in public.

I encourage everyone to sign the petition for her release.