Top Colorado Trail Runner to Challenge for Desert Crown
By Alice Hunter Morrison, Moroccan-based Journalist, winner of Best Africa Blog, RunUltra, and Special Correspondent to Hope So Bright
April 5, 2016
Jason Schlarb of Durango, Colorado, the international trail running champion, has united with four other trail stars to take on the legendary Marathon des Sables, the toughest footrace on earth. He joins Harvey Sweetland Lewis (USA), Marco Olmo (Italy), Carlos Sa (Portugal) and Ricardo Mejia Hernandez (Mexico), to run the team competition at Marathon Des Sables 2016.
They have been brought together by USA Ultra Runner, Linda Sanders, to create awareness of the plight of children suffering from ADHD. A staggering one in ten children in the USA is diagnosed with the condition and seven billion dollars a year is spent on drugs. Their team name is called I Run 4 Ultra.
The Marathon des Sables is called the Toughest Footrace on Earth. It is six marathons in six days across the Sahara Desert in Morocco. The middle marathon is a double. Temperatures regularly reach 50 degrees C. The terrain is arduous with endless miles of sand dunes and salt flats, interspersed with rocky trails. Competitors must be self sufficient and carry all their own food and equipment for the week. Water is rationed. Dehydration and bloodied feet are the enemy, but contestants who need to be put on a drip incur time penalties for using extra water.
Schlarb says of his participation in the Marathon des Sables for Team IRun4Ultra, “I am proud to represent Hope So Bright at the Marathon des Sables race. Helping children is certainly one of the most important things anyone can do in life and I am honored, inspired and humbled to represent Hope So Bright and their amazing cause.”
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