A dog living in the Sahara Desert unexpectedly joined “the toughest footrace on Earth” and won the hearts of the racers. The Marathon des Sable takes place in the Sahara and is a week long race that is actually six marathons combined, one for each day of the week.
The dog, dubbed “Cactus Dog”, appeared on Day Two and kept on running in the 6-day race astounding racers. Sadly, because he joined the race after the first leg, he was ineligible for the overall win.
“A dog followed runners at the end of stage 2 and he keeps following them during this stage. Now more than 10.7 km in the race, and he’s first of his category!” the official race account tweeted.
He charmed competitors and race officials so much that they gave him an official race number (000) and a SPOT GPS device to track him. Cactus was well cared for along the way given water and food. Many racers posted videos of Cactus during the race.
He also got his own dedicated Twitter page @DogMds.
By the time Cactus crossed the finish line on the final leg of the race he had run over 100 miles. He also accomplished the 47-mile third stage in a record 11 hours (Take that humans – humans have up to 31 hours to complete the stage.)
Cactus got a medal for his accomplishments too.
Cactus the finisher 🏅🐕🌵
He made it! He’s the first dog to run the MDS 👏💪
He did great on today’s 42 km stage 😃
Who’s a good boy? 🐶#MDS2019 #MARATHONDESSABLES #CactusTheMdsDog pic.twitter.com/5MmFtyESRN
— MARATHON DES SABLES (@marathonDsables) 12 avril 2019