Mélanie Doly in the run-up to the Trek des Gazelles

Mélanie Doly, from Beauregard-Vendon, accompanied by Mélissa Lacoste and Hinde Bouchayeb, from other regions, are three big-hearted ladies with a thirst for adventure and sporting challenges. They met through the Facebook page of “Maïenga Sports Events”, the sports events organization that organizes the Trek des Gazelles. In connection with social and catering work, they decided to join forces and prepare to carry out this fantastic sporting and solidarity challenge, as it is on the 2nd. e editing.

A six-day event in November

This event takes place over 6 days, from November 10 to 15, with 4 stages of around twenty kilometers in the Moroccan desert, following the route of the famous Rallye Aïcha des Gazelles. It is an orientation-based trek, 100% female, which is carried out in teams of three. Each day, from the bivouac set up in the heart of the desert, each of the 100 teams will receive a “road map” showing the geographical coordinates, headings or distances of the daily checkpoints and the finish line. The girls will have a Breton protractor and a “magic rule” created specifically in 2009 by the organization to choose the shortest possible path to go to the cape by pointing at the passage control.

As few kilometers as possible

Analysis of the map and understanding of terrain difficulties (such as relief) will be necessary here. Using a compass, ruler and map, they will then trace their route by determining their route, without GPS or phone. The winning team, which wins the registration fees for the following year’s edition, will be the one that has traveled the fewest kilometers while pointing to the most landmarks.

Incidentally, these hikers will be “cleanwalkers of the desert”, as they will undertake to collect the found plastic to put it in the bivouac’s incinerator and thus fulfill one of the association’s obligations. “Coeur de Gazelles”, recognized as being of general interest since its creation in 2021 and supported by the Moroccan Ministry of Health. In addition, for each lighthouse found, the “Maïenga” organization will donate €5 to a great French national cause, Secours Populaire, and will double the donation at the award ceremony.

Mélanie, Mélissa and Hinde will be number 3 on this adventure, “Les 3 fierce hearts”, in collaboration with the association “Les socks solidaires”, which they joined during this trek. This association raises awareness about reducing textile waste by collecting orphaned or used socks. The sorting of the latter is carried out by women in social reintegration, received at a shelter. It also helps to work with the creativity and concentration of children from disadvantaged neighborhoods.

Trekkers double as “desert scavengers”

All three train at a rate of five sports sessions a week, between cycling, running and back and shoulder strength training to support the backpack, which must be sufficiently filled with water to withstand the heat of the desert. They also worked on navigation, using the compass and calculating geographical coordinates during a compulsory two-day course in Avignon, on 14 and 15 May. Finally, they also had to put together a sponsorship file, participation in this walk cost 8,000 euros.

Leave a Comment