"At the end of the MDS 2016, when the film of the race was being shown in Ouarzazate, Patrick BAUER announced that a HALF MDS was being prepared in Spain. When I heard that, I was really excited about the possibility of enjoying the MDS atmosphere twice a year!" As a matter of fact, since her first participation in the MDS in 2013, Rena MUCCI has been coming back every single year to take part in this mythical event in Morocco. Therefore, as soon as registration for the HALF MDS FUERTEVENTURA opened, she didn't hesitate one second to click on the "Register" button.
Born in Nagasaki, Rena is now living in Kawasaki with her husband, a French citizen. She works as a finance consultant and doesn't see herself as a great sportswoman: "I don't train that much - maybe just 5-10 km twice a week." The only way for her to force herself to run a bit more is by registering in competitions, to give herself a challenge to overcome. At the HALF MDS FUERTEVENTURA, her main goals will be to finish the race and to fine tune her strategy as regards food, equipment, race speed…
In Morocco, Rena has been used to running approximately 20 % of the time and walking the rest of the route. "In Fuerteventura, I think I'll run more, because temperatures will be lower and the stages shorter." But first and foremost, Rena wants to enjoy the event and avoid the problems she faced during her first MDS: "I had blisters, sun burns, stomach problems... I wasn't satisfied with my result, so I decided to participate a second time. Then, my friends got interested in the race, so I registered with them for a third edition... And now, I've made friends with people from within the race - other competitors and staff members. So I come back to see them!"
Rena admits she's fascinated by the desert and would love to do what Patrick BAUER did 34 years ago: explore the desert on her own, in self-sufficiency conditions. "But this requires too many survival skills, like in the French TV programme Koh Lanta," she says jokingly. "For me, participating in the MDS the way I do is like living a 'small adventure' in very safe conditions." Because in the end, this is exactly what is attracting so many people: combining the thrill of adventure, an incredible environment and total safety.
You can bet your bottom dollar that Rena MUCCI will take the start of many more MARATHON DES SABLES events, because, as she puts it, she is "one of the greatest MDS fans in Japan." In that waiting, have a nice HALF MDS FUERTEVENTURA, Rena!
Rena MUCCI's MDS Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sandonnee/