Italian Running Hero Bids for Desert Crown
Marco Olmo: “In my everyday life I’m a loser…I run for revenge, I run for vengeance.”
By Alice Hunter Morrison, Moroccan-based Journalist, winner of Best Africa Blog, RunUltra, and Special Correspondent to Hope So Bright
April 6, 2016
Marco Olmo, the legendary Italian runner and two-time winner of UTMB 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 and Jason Schlarb (USA), Carlos Sa (Portugal), and Ricardo Mejia Hernandez (Mexico), to run the team competition at Marathon Des Sables 2016. Last year he placed 16th at MdS at the age of 66.
The team has 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: I Run 4 Hope.
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.
“In my everyday life, I’m a loser…I run for revenge, I run for vengeance,” says Marco Olmo, who at the age of 66, came in 16th overall in last year’s competition. “But this time I am honored to be part of the team representing the organization, Hope So Bright, and raising awareness about ADHD.”
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