It’s about 4pm. You’ve been running for almost eight hours, large parts of that struggle have meant plodding either into a battering headwind, across soft sand or simply in the rising temperatures of the oven that is the Sahara desert.
Your Suunto Ambit Sapphire Peak GPS watch has given up the ghost after six days without a re-juice so to add to the frustration and general confusion, you’ve now got no idea whether you’re fifty or sixty kilometres into the 91km long day of the Marathon des Sables.
Meanwhile the slow baking of the Saharan sun has taken your body from sun blushed to sun dried tomato.
What you do know is that your legs are burning from the incessant forward motion. In the eight hours since you set out from the bivouac you’ve barely stopped moving. Meanwhile the slow baking of the Saharan sun has taken your body from sun blushed to sun dried tomato and is threatening to go one stage further. Whatever that it is. Somewhere beyond ripe and shrivelled.
All around you, as far as the eye can see, there are rolling sand dunes. The same rolling sand dunes that you’ve been trudging through for what seems like hours. At this point you take out your iPod Touch to try and sum up what it feels like…