Beth Rainbow is all set to travel to the Sahara desert for the Marathon des Sables, an epic challenge for ultra runners!

Dan Andrade caught up with the island runner ahead of the challenge, with the full interview below!

Tell us a bit more about what event you’re doing! 

I’m doing the Marathon des Sables which is a six day ultra run in the Sahara desert. It’s a self succinct race, carrying everything you need to run 250km over the sand dunes and desert. 

How has training been going for the big race been! Have you missed that feeling? 

It’s been amazing. I very luckily got to go to the Canary Islands for 5 weeks in February to train and build up the mileage. It’s been lots of long, easy miles as well as hill repeats and gym work to get strong. I have missed the racing feeling a lot, I can’t wait to get out there and meet all the other crazy people doing the race. 

You went away for that training – how good was it to train in such hot climate? 

Training in the heat was very beneficial, although no where near as hot as the 55 degree desert… the Canary Islands was about 20 degrees when I was there. It was more to get away and fit all the training in on an almost identical terrain. 

This event has been a long time coming for you – how pleased are you that it’s finally around the corner? 

I was set to do MDS in March 2020, when it was cancelled 3 weeks before – so it’s been a long time coming. I can’t wait to get there and finally get to the desert! 

How do you get into ultra running – what sells it for you? 

I love the challenge of a ultra. The unknown of the distance and conditions in the desert make the race super exciting. I absolutely love running, so being out in the middle of no where to run for 7 days is my idea of fun! 

What are you goals for the race/event? 

Just to enjoy it. It’s hard to go for positions or time goals in a race like this when you don’t know the course/how long it’ll be or who else will turn up. Goal number 1 is to have fun and try be as competitive as my body will allow me in the heat. 

How much would you encourage others to start ultra running, or just running in general! 

If you love running and a challenge, there is nothing better then a ultra to see what your mind and body can achieve! I believe there is a runner in everybody, it’s just trying to find a way to enjoy running for you. 

What’s next for you? Many other races/events coming up?

I’m heading to Las Vegas with local ultra runner Leanne Rive to crew her for Badwater 135 in July and I’m signed up for the Valencia marathon in December. But first, the goal is to try and get some speed back in the legs over summer after a winter of base building! 


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