© Marta Bacardit photographer
After a stonking 2018 race season where she was crowned Trail World Champion, Skyrunning Ultra Champion and overall winner of the Migu Run Skyrunner World Series, you could have forgiven Dutch athlete Ragna Debats for easing into her 2019 season. But instead she celebrated her first race of 2019 – the multi-stage desert ultra, the Marathon des Sables – with a decisive win, finishing nearly three hours ahead of the next female runner.
It was Ragna’s first experience running in the desert, and despite being sick and becoming dehydrated due to pain in her back (aggravated by a too-big backpack), the Merrell ambassador won the 250km race in 22 hours and 33 minutes. Lucky for me, I had the opportunity to chat to Ragna last week and hear first-hand about her training, preparation and Marathon des Sables (MdS) race experience.