The Marathon des Sables has just ended this Saturday, April 13. Among the riders, a rather particular competitor had made a place for himself. Without an invitation, a stray dog entered the race, covering a hundred kilometers alongside the athletes. Better still, he received a name and was pampered by all the marathon runners.
Has Cactus become the new Gobi ? In June 2016, the marathoner Dion Leonard took the start of the Gobi March Race as part of the “ 4 Deserts Ultramarathon Series ”. The surprise makes its appearance after the hundredth kilometer. A little dog comes out “out of nowhere ” and decides to follow the original Australian to the finish line. Either after 250 km of effort. Three years later, the man has just published a book in which he tells this story. Beginning of a relationship between him and the one who became his dog.
This time, France Inter is sending us to North Africa . Destination the Marathon des Sables which, again, stretches over 250 km across the Sahara . The race has taken a different turn since Tuesday, April 9. The thousand runners were overtaken by a stray dog , crossed from several breeds according to our colleagues.
More than 100 km under 30 ° C
Provisioning , the one who was baptized Cactus receives constantly. Because his two-legged friends pay him special attention . The marathon runners do not hesitate to take turns giving him food and drink . All are, it seems, delighted to have a mascot by their side. One of them would even have found the right path after crossing it, while he was lost …
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The canine crossed the finish line this Saturday, like all the other runners, and after a hundred kilometers in a heat of 30 ° C.
It remains to know its future . Will this nomadic dog return to his desert life or has a runner fallen in love with him to adopt him, like Dion Leonard in the past? The future will tell.