The temperature reached 105 degrees in the Sahara Desert Sunday as Liz Byron and more than a 1,000 other runners completed the first stage of the 155-mile Marathon des Sables in Morocco.
The 29-year-old Dallas native and standout athlete at former Bishop Hoban high school finished the 23-mile course in a time of 6 hours, 9 minutes, 10 seconds for a 557th place finish. The stages vary in distance and runners must carry their food and supplies in backpacks throughout the point-to-point race. Water and sleeping arrangement are provided daily.
Byron, a sixth grade special education teacher at Gardner Pilot Academy in Boston, Mass., is running to raise $50,000 to purchase laptops for the school. She’s providing updates online at http://runforlaptops.edublogs.org/.
“On a scale of 1-10, 1 being fresh and rested, 10 being exhausted, I’m a 2. Which is where I want to be right now,” she wrote.
“When I crossed today’s finish line there was hot tea for finishers, hmm it was also over 100F but since it was unexpected free calories, I drank some. In other news everything and everyone is covered in sand. We arrived to sand storms, and the wind has only had a few reprieves.”
To track her progress in the race visit http://www.darbaroud.com/en/ and check “Provisional ranking” under the “Competitors” section. Byron’s number is 1047.