A walking town in the middle of nowhere: life on the Titan

Around 700 people. They look aside, and sand. They look at the other, and more sand with a mountain in the background. There is nothing around the Titan Desert campsite: dry, sandy terrain with the sun beating down hard during the day and mild temperatures on nights when there is no excess fleece. A walking people in the desert of Morocco. It is the place where runners, organization, press, mechanics, masseurs … stay after the stages. “Setting up a camp in the middle of nowhere is easy because we have plenty of land”, says, laughing, the general director of the Titan Desert, Felix Dot, to AS. He takes care that nothing is missing.

“We work with plans and we have three camps set up at the same time, because it is physically impossible to move everything from one place to another these days. These plans are assembled by a local team. Already, after 16 years (in 2021 16 editions of the test are celebrated) we have taught them to better shoot the lines, the frames … everything is more balanced “, says Dot, which has to be connected to your walkie for any unforeseen events that arise in the tournament, and they do arise. “For example, we had one of them this Monday. Two trucks broke down, they were stranded and were needed for supplies. We had to improvise with another so that the runners had the necessary water upon arrival “, Explain.

What does move from camp to camp are certain services: toilets, showers, decorations, bicycle parking … “We have to dismantle everything in the morning very quickly (the stages start at 8 am local time, 9 am in Spain). We work in a hostile terrain, and every year we have to make the transfers faster … because the runners run more “, says Dot, one of the fundamental figures of this illustrious test. “Another important issue is electricity. We need powerful generators, and in Morocco there is no state-of-the-art. For this reason, we are negotiating with the local people, crossing our fingers so that everything goes well, but it should be noted that it is fortunate to deal with the people here, because they are very hard-working “, highlights.

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“It can be considered a walking people in the desert. Here you have everything. The minimum, but everything: field hospital, press room, participant service (where they give their mobile phones and GPS to the organization and charge them), physios area, restaurant, rest areas, bar … “, he lists. And, of all the challenges, there is one that is above the rest, being in the middle of nowhere: bring connectivity. “Wifi is key, you have to have a connection to work, communicate, and it is difficult to bring it to a place like this. Thanks to a local company we have it, despite the difficulties “says Dot, who has a small motorcycle to get around the camp.

“It is a mini town with amenities. Of course, few, but we have some”, concludes. And you are already thinking about what will happen in 2022: “Normally, seven months before we see the land and ask for authorizations based on the dimensions, and three months before we have the plans made … although we can make some changes fifteen or twenty days in advance, depending on the circumstances. We already know the departure and arrival of the next edition. Now, after this one (it ends on Friday), we have to start working on the next one “ which will be on the usual spring dates before the pandemic. A town that appears and disappears overnight in the desert sand.

The Titan Desert 2021 camp in numbers

-About 700 people

-27,000 square meters

-250 haimas (to sleep three by three or two by two)

-100 vehicles

-19 heavy trucks

-60,000 liters of water daily (runners are asked to take a maximum of three minutes to shower).

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