1250 athletes are due to compete in the gruelling 2016 Marathon Des Sables. Fortunately, they will have one less thing on their mind. Thanks to the agreement with SPOT, they will each receive a SPOT Gen 3 satellite tracker for the duration of the race.
SPOT has a proven track record in this race after 18 athletes were rescued last year thanks to the SPOT Gen 3.
Marathon Des Sables
The extreme race takes place in one of the world’s most inhospitable climates - the Sahara Desert. The competitors can expect to run in temperatures that sour as high as 50 degrees Celsius! Therefore this is one of the most challenging and dangerous races in the world. Hence, the need for the service provided by the SPOT trackers.
SPOT Gen 3 Tracker
The SPOT Gen 3 will track each runners progress in near real-time. Therefore, allowing race organisers and emergency support teams to precisely locate all athletes. An online mapping system is used by organisers and can be viewed by friends and family. If the competitors find themselves in difficulty at any point, help is at a press of a button. Pressing the device’s SOS button, transmits location data to race organisers, ensuring that they can dispatch a nearby responder within minutes.
Patrick Bauer, CEO of the Marathon Des Sables, explains:
“With sand in their eyes and no other athletes nearby, competitors can easily miss the markers and stray off course. Thanks to SPOT Gen3, we can ensure more athletes complete the race. We can quickly spot anyone wandering off route. As well as get immediate assistance to anyone who presses the SOS button."Mark O’Connell, Director of European Sales & Business Operations, Globalstar comments:
“Communications options in the vast expanses of the Sahara are limited and satellite is the only reliable option to stay connected with all of the participants throughout the race. The combination of SPOT Gen3 and WAA Tracking’s software ensures MDS operations run smoothly and enhances the safety of everyone involved in this extraordinary event. We are very proud that our small, affordable tracking device has helped to initiate over 4,100 rescues to date around the world and can be a reliable source of communication for MDS participants again this year.”