This last week, amid many emails between myself, John, Sandblast and various communities online and on facebook the Saharawi authorities have decided the postpone/cancel the marathon
Here is the official statement from the Sahara Marathon organisers:
"The Saharawi Government and the organizing committee of the Sahara Marathon have agreed to postpone the Sahara Marathon 2013 by major causes outside the organization. As is well known, the recent war in Mali and the tragic kidnapping occurred in Algeria, have caused a huge international social alarm that forced us to take this sad decision. Given the instability in the region and threats of further violence from terrorist groups against Western targets, the Saharawi government temporarily paralyzed all the visa processes and have repatriated all the displaced social workers. In these circumstances and knowing the diffusion of the Sahara Marathon in the media should be irresponsible to travel to Algerian territory with a group of nearly 200 runners from over 20 countries. Furthermore, most of these countries have made serious appeals to their citizens not to travel to the area.
Obviously I'm very disappointed as I was really looking forward to going and spending a week with the refugees not to mention leaving me hanging mid-training.
Fortunately, the money we've raised already, and the laptop from Computers 4 Africa, will still go to help the Saharawi though I won't be there to see it being put to use, so thank you very much - your donations have not been wasted :-)
The terrorists have won.
They have stopped people from doing the things they really want to do. They are causing even more anguish for the Saharawi and we are left feeling useless and frustrated :-(
John and I are in the process of planning a marathon of our own and we will be keeping you posted and asking for your support as and when we know what we're doing, where and when. I can promise you though that we'll make it as anti-terrorist as possible :-p