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A dog named Cactus might win the Marathon des Sables

Cactus the MDS Dog is now considered the favourite to win

We’ve seen it beforeโ€“a dog finds its way into a half-marathon and ends up running the whole thing. They give it a finisher’s medal. But this is different. It started near the end of the second stage of the 34th Marathon des Sables, when a couple of runners tweeted that a stray male dog had joined them briefly, and then disappeared. Then he came back. He’s now run two stages of the 251K race through the Moroccan Sahara. The runners figured he would give up and go home at some point, but this dog is no quitter. He’s been named Cactus, and now he’s considered the favourite to win.

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Cactus is clearly accustomed to running in the desert, and by all accounts he is very friendly. There are rumours that some French runners plan to adopt him when the race ends this weekend. At least one racer has generously shared her food with him. In a race whose main characteristic the British ultrarunner Damian Hall says is gnawing hunger (it’s a challenge to fill yourself up when you have to carry all of your food), this sounds to us like a pretty big sacrifice.

In a new development on April 11, Karen Hadfield has claimed to be Cactus’s owner (his real name is Diggedy), as you’ll see in the tweet, below. Also, he has been given his own Twitter account.

Here is the story of Cactus the MDS Dog (so far) in social media posts:

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