The Ultimate Desert Stage Race: Marathon des Sables

Marathon des Sables, French for Marathon of Sands (or MdS for short), is known as the “Toughest Footrace on Earth.” Why? Because it is roughly a 250-kilometer journey in seven days run in the hot sands of the Saharan desert. It is fully self-supported meaning there are no race crews, and you have to carry … Read more

Marathon Des Sables – An Honest Account From An Under-Prepared Runner

The Marathon Des Sables is a 250km self-supported race across the Sahara desert. Now with over 1200 entrants each year, the event is the biggest of it’s kind on the planet. Participants usually train for months to condition their bodies and prepare for the race – but often other commitments and time limitations mean many runners turn … Read more

The Marathon Monks of Japan: The World’s Toughest Ultramarathon

The Marathon Monks (gyoja) of Mt. Hiei, Japan take on kaihōgyō, a spiritual challenge of endurance in pursuit of enlightenment.  The journey lasts over seven years and the stakes are high.  If they fail, the monk must perform Hara-kiri – ‘honourable suicide’.  If they survive, they become a living saint. They wear white, the Buddhist … Read more

The Stage Race Handbook

Details: Over 200 pages of detailed stage race advice
Last Updated: 
January 2019
Return policy: 
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Stage races are amongst the toughest endurance events in the world.  

They are epic foot races spread over several days and hundreds of kilometres, often with the runners carrying all of their food and equipment on their back.

This comprehensive guide covers all aspects of preparing, training and completing stage races.

It includes extensive expert advice on equipment choices, preparation and packing, food and hydration, planning, how to train, practical advice for the trails and lessons learned from many stage race veterans.

Thomas Watson is a serial stage race runner who also runs

The book includes a foreword by Dean Karnazes, as well as insights from stage race veterans such as Rory Coleman, Ryan Sandes and many other Marathon des Sables finishers and 4 Deserts series Grand Slammers.

The World’s 10 Toughest Races

As if running a marathon wasn’t tough enough, humans decided to make it tougher—running distances of 100 or 200 or more miles! And, if that wasn’t tough enough—humans began running ultramarathons in extreme conditions, on impossible terrain, with the threat of dangerous wildlife looming. What are these ultramarathons? We round up the top ten toughest … Read more

Summer Running Guide: How To Train When The Sun Arrives

In the northern hemisphere, summer is in full force. This has come as a reminder that summer running is a whole different ball game to running throughout the winter months.  In 2021 so far, Western North America experienced an extreme heatwave, resulting in some of the hottest temperatures ever recorded in the region.  Europe has … Read more

Stage Race Training Plan

This Stage Race Training Plan is a key part of the Stage Race Handbook – my complete guide to preparing, training, and running races like Marathon des Sables, or the 4 Deserts series . . . multi-stage races over several days and hundreds of kilometers! Who Is It For?: Anyone preparing for a Stage Race! How Long?:  Six months … Read more

Nick Butter Is Running The World

Nick Butter is a 28-year-old from Bristol, England who is currently in the middle of a World Record attempt to be the first person to run a marathon in every country in the world. That’s 196 marathons in total. One in every single country. Two years in the planning, Nick set off in January 2018 … Read more

Meet Dion Leonard – Extreme Runner and Gobi’s Master

Dion Leonard is an extreme runner and stage race veteran. He has tackled the Marathon des Sables several times, along with 3 x KAEM (Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon – which he won in 2017), MdS Peru, Gobi March 250km and Global Limits Cambodia (where I first met Dion) to name a few – regularly bagging podium … Read more

Filippo Rossi: the Globetrotting Ultrarunner

Filippo Rossi is a globetrotting journalist originally from the Swiss-Italian town of Lugano. In the last few years, Filippo has thrown himself around the world, running some of the most prestigious and challenging ultras and stage races in far-flung locales. His medal collection includes Marathon des Sables, Transgrancanaria, Endurance Life Dorset, Ultrabericus, Vulcano Trail and every … Read more

Runner Profile – Sarah Sawyer, Stage Race Extraordinaire

Sarah Sawyer makes no secret of the fact that she loves multi-day races, primarily because they combine two of her favourite pastimes – running and travel. She has completed a number of multi-day stage races around the world, including the Racing the Planet 250km Patagonia in 2017 (1st female), Racing the Planet 250km Ecuador (1st female) … Read more

Dean Karnazes on Stage Races and Running Far

Hey guys, I recently published the Stage Race Handbook – a full-on, 200-page guide to every part of preparation, training and running multi-day stage races such as the 4 Deserts series and Marathon des Sables. I was lucky enough to convince several well-known stage race runners and ultra-running legends to contribute to the book in … Read more