Dawa Dacchiri Sherpa, who has been the emblematic trail figure for more than fifteen years is coming back to run the 2017 UTAT. Needless to say this means we shall undoubtedly share unique moments of laughter, friendship and gaiety. own text
Dawa : I never get tired of going back to UTAT and this for the 3rd time. Landscapes, organization, for whom I have a great friendship, the welcome and sharing are part of my motivations. But this edition is also the occasion to see Rachid with whom I shared a superb race in 2011 despite my retirement. At the time he was a young runner with no experience of the mountain and his performance had impressed everyone, and especially me. I look forward to talking with him and see if he’s fit. He has won 5 times since the Marathon des Sables! I also followed closely its European performances on the UT4M and the OCC in 2016.
Virginie : In your opinion, what are the similarities and differences between the High Atlas and the region of Nepal from which you originate?
Dawa : The landscapes are very different, but they are both mountainous regions at high altitude. When I came to UTAT, I discovered a much warmer and dryer climate than in Nepal. So much for the differences. But what is interesting is the similarities between the Amazigh Berber lifestyle and those of the Sherpas. Throughout my stay, I discovered a population that like me lives in the mountain which is not all the time easy in everyday life. Of course, we are talking about two continents and two different cultures but if I had to choose two common characteristics I would say: traveling miles by walking, running and living simply. Yes, I think that is what brings our two cultures closer together.
Virginie : If you were to describe the atmosphere during this stay what adjectives would you use?
Dawa : Festive, cheerful, an excellent atmosphere in short! All these people gathered in Oukaïmeden for four days form a kind of large family. The atmosphere is different between the discovery of the places before, the concentration during, and the post-race party. But all these moments are tinged with a benevolent spirit that makes one leave memories full head. That’s what I remember about my last passages here. But knowing well the organizers and all the participants in this event I doubt that it has changed!
Virginie : What training advice would you give to people who do not know this terrain?
Dawa : The two big difficulties of the UTAT are for me the technicality of the trails and the difference in altitude. For those who do not know the terrain, and failing not to have rough paths in their training environment, I would advise to train through a lot of significant up and down slopes. It is necessary to know how to take long climbs but also breakable descents of stone for example. I think you also have to be accustomed to running under the heat, and that is that brought me default in 2011 since I dehydrated. The main thing is to train regularly, at your own pace, so you can enjoy the race on D-Day!
Virginie : How to say in Nepalese “See you soon friends on the trails of the Atlas”
Dawa : Chitai batoma betaula sati bai sapai zana Atlas ma !
Thanks Dawa !
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