2015 Marathon des Sables Photo Gallery

[Editor’s Note: iRunFar correspondent Kirsten Kortebein photographed and reported all week from the 2015 Marathon des Sables. Here she shares photos that characterize the personality of the race and this year’s competitors from the race’s start to finish. Please enjoy!]

Sunset on the first night competitors are at camp, some 36 hours before the start of the 2015 Marathon des Sables. Photo: Kirsten Kortebein


Competitors are provided meals for the first 36 hours at the bivouac before the race starts. Here competitors come and go from their last meal before Stage 1 the next morning, the beginning of their week of self-sufficiency where they only eat the food they carry. Photo: Kirsten Kortebein


On the day before the race start, Sweden’s Sarah Grey sports the clown nose she wore all week as part of her personal fundraising effort. The 2015 MdS was Sarah’s second finish. Photo: Kirsten Kortebein


Competitors await check-in the day before the race start where they turn in medical forms, get their kit checked, and send extra luggage back to civilization. Photo: Kirsten Kortebein


A baggage mountain waiting to be shipped back to civilization, the Moroccan town of Ouarzazate. Photo: Kirsten Kortebein


Jordan’s Mohammad Al Swaiti runs a sand dune during Stage 1. Mohammad would later be forced to drop from the race during the long Stage 4 and require hospitalization for a serious medial condition. He was released a few days later and is recovering well. Photo: Kirsten Kortebein


A line of runners stretches across the flats during the latter part of Stage 2. Ahead of them awaits the course’s most imposing climb, up Jebel El Oftal via the massive sand dune in the center background. Photo: Kirsten Kortebein


China’s Kwok Chung Chiu prepares his dinner after Stage 3. He would finish the race in 947th place overall. Photo: Kirsten Kortebein


The U.S.A.’s Mosi Smith tackles a sand dune during the early part of the long Stage 4. He ran this 91.7-kilometer stage in 14 hours and 32 minutes. Photo: Kirsten Kortebein


Great Britain’s Mark Grenyer is overwhelmed with emotion at the finish of the long Stage 4. Here he’s just finished greeting his watching family via the live webcam. Photo: Kirsten Kortebein


Sweden’s Elisabet Barnes looks happy and relieved after the long Stage 4. She is the 2015 Marathon des Sables women’s champion, and the 20th overall finisher. Photo: Kirsten Kortebein


Foot repair after the long Stage 4. Photo: Kirsten Kortebein


The U.K.’s John Percy cools off at the first water checkpoint of Stage 5. Photo: Kirsten Kortebein


Race director Patrick Bauer show’s the U.S.A.’s Mark Lattanzi what he earned at the 2015 Marathon des Sables finish line. Photo: Kirsten Kortebein


Anys Ghandoura, a Tunisian living in Morocco, is all smiles at the Marathon des Sables finish line. He finished in 19th place. Photo: Kirsten Kortebein


Well-earned sleep at the bivouac after the Marathon des Sables finish. Photo: Kirsten Kortebein

Call for Comments (from Meghan)
  • Did you run the 2015 Marathon des Sables? Can you share a snippet of what the experience was like for you?
  • It is often said that runners leave the Marathon des Sables a different person than when they started. Is this true for you? If so, how did the race change you?
Kirsten Kortebein: is a freelance photojournalist. Along with contributing to iRunFar, she also shoots for Outside Magazine, Runner's World Magazine, and NPR. To see more of her work, visit her website.

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  • Awesome!

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  • Stunning artistry in these photos. Would love to see more from Kirsten in the future!

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  • Great photos and small stories!

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  • Great photos.

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