My name is Sebastien Sasseville. I'm a motivational speaker.
My business is to inspire organizations thereby
enabling them to create an empowered culture of excellence.Keynotes

2012 Sahara Race recap

November 3rd:

Sebastien is happy to report that he is safe, sound and back to the hotel in Cairo. Stage 6 (not timed) was symbolic, a 2km run by the Pyramids of Giza at the end of which competitors wer greeted by local music, drinks and pizza. It was a joyful sight after an extremely grueling race where Sebstien lost 14 lbs in just 7 days.

A few additional notes on 87km stage: As mentioned yesterday, Sebastien ran the first 40km with no major issues. His diabetes was well controlled as his body responded to nutrition an exercise in line with his usual patterns. The day was then unfortunately marked by two costly high blood sugars. The first happened at the worst possible time - the hottest point  in the day with temperatures exceeding 40°C. After getting a full meal at the 50km marker, Sebastien ran his fastest 20km of the week, which is quite impressive considering he already had 220km in his legs ! He was in 16e position and on his way to climb up to 14th. Unfortunately, around 80km he admitted making a few blood glucose management mistakes that led to another high blood sugar ultimately forcing him to considerably slow his pace. Sebastien crossed the finish line in 21st position, a bit disappointed by the end of his race but thrilled to complete the events toughest and longest stage.

A few words from Sebastien: « Even if I wish I could have finished on a stronger note, the experience was incredibly rewarding, I learned so much from other competitors and met tremendous individuals, I could not have asked for a better week. It was an absolute honor to run with some of the finest runners in the world under some of the most difficults conditions poossible. I've learned so much and I can't wait to share the journey with my familiy, friends and clients when I return ! »

November 2nd:

Stage 5 was a day to remember. Despite being extremely demanding mentally and physically, the first four hours went by reasonably quickly. Sebastien's diabetes strategy held up for the first half of the stage. At 50km mark he took a twenty-minute break to eat and refuel for the remaining 37km of the stage. The strategy seemed to have paid off - Sebastien said he simply " flew for about 20 km ". He was running in 16th position and was on pace to get into 15th or 14th position. Unfortunately, isssues with diabetes got the best of him and he was forced to finish Stage 5 in 21th position. Despite this late race disappointment Sebastien said he was extremely happy about his week. All competitors will be leaving the Sahara tormorrow; Sebastien will then post a longer update.

Sebastien finished Stage 5 in 13:04:26 and came in 21th place overall. Stage 5 started with 117 competitors.

October 31st:

Another amazing day and a personal best for Sebastien as he completed Stage 4 in 12th position ! Sebastien was able to run close to the leaders up to the 22km mark. 8km before the finish Sebastien found himself chased by 4 runners about 1km behind him. He and another runner decided to team up and push themselves to the finish line; they were able to keep the challengers behind with their hard efforts ! Despite a great way to end Stage 4, the beginning of the day was very hard, Sebastien started it with very sore legs and once more the Sahara turned into an oven around midday adding to the challenge. As the racing continues from a diabetes perspective it seems to get better, with today being his best day yet ! He reported no low blood sugar but did say the plan has to be adjusted daily. Insulin requirements continue to diminish so considering that Sebastien only has a limited amount of food it is crucial that he gets the plan right. Sebastien remarked earlier today on the amazing field of competitors: It's a real honor to race with such accomplished and strong runners. We alll suffer a lot from the very first meters on every stage and then push extremely hard mentally and physically to get to the finish line. We all learn a lot and get inspired from each other. All competitors seem very nervous about tomorrow's stage: a 87km in the blazing heat of the Sahara, a 15 to 20 hours run (or more) for most competitors.

Sebastien finished today in 4:50:32 and came in 19th place overall. Stage 4 started with 119 competitors.

October 30th:

Phenomenal day for Sebastien finishing in 19th place and posting his best stage so far. Once more he went in with a slightly different strategy and decided to run a little faster in the early miles of the stage to take advanage of the cooler temperatures on the morning. A very hot day again in the desert and the temperature reached 42°C around noon forcing most competitors to walk for the rest of the day. Diabetes wise everything also went reasonably well despite on low blood sugar around the 25 km mark and no carbs left for the last 10 km which forced Sebastien to cut down basal rates to almost zero. Blood glucose was almost perfect at the finish line so once again Sebastien good ability to change the strategy on the pot and stay safe. About 20 competitors already had to drop from the race due to exhaustion or missed cut off times. Sebastien is thrilled about today's  performance and he is very positive about tomorrow's stage. The plan is to repeat today's strategy and try to log as many fast miles early in the stage before the sun and extreme heat comes on.

Sebastien finished today in 6:18:19 and came in 24th place overall.

October 29th:

Another long and hard day in the Sahara with temperature reaching 42 Celsius (107.6 Fahrenheit). The adjustments to the diabetes strategy paid off and blood control was much better today. Slightly different approach from a racing perspective as well, Sebastien told us that he started from the very back of the pack and worked its way toward the front as the day unfolded. His backpack is slowly getting lighter but his legs are getting more fatigued so he's not expecting to speed up remaining 4 stages of the event. Sleep also has been a challenge, Sebastien mentioned that he regretted not having packed a mattress ! The sacrifice in weight sure would have been worth it. Anyhow, the Sahara once more offered breathtaking views today and the adventure continues tomorrow with a 42 km stage.

Stage 2 started with 130 competitors. Sebastien finished today in 6:55:15 and came in 31th place overall. 

October 28th:

Long, hard and humbling day ! The heat was intense today, over 36°C on the course. Everything went reasonably well, but diabetes was a challenge and Sebastien was forced to walk the last 5 km. A few ajustments to his strategy will for sure be made tomorrow. Despite the issues Sebastien is currently sitting in 29th place out of 134. Still many kilometers to go, so the plan for today was to save as much energy as possible. Scenery in the Sahara is breathtaking and most participants seem to have completed the first stage before the cut off time. Everyone is now sitting at camp, recovering and getting ready for the next stage. Atmosphere at camp is joyful and cordial, participants from all over the world ar not short of stories to tell !

October 27th:

Once again a very exciting morning ! All competitors attended a race briefing wich was followed by inspection of madatory gear by race officials. Sebastien checked in a fairly light bag at 8 kg and picked up race bib (102), timing chip and a few more race essentials. There is a heavy media presence and all racers look like the are ready to go !  Many first timers will be on the starting line this year and they all seem to share the same nervousness. Some are here to race, others to run, but all share that desire to challenge themselves and enjoy the experience to the fullest.

At about 1PM Cairo time, we will all go on a 4h bus ride that will take us to camp 1 where we will stay overnight. The race is set to start at 7h30am tomorrow with the first 40 km stage.

October 26th:

Exciting day here at the JM Marriott Cairo where all the competitors have checked in today. Sebastien had the opportunity to meet with fellow competitors from all over the world today and all seem very eager to take on the Sahara desert. Some words from Sebastien: " My plan is to race with humility. I am new to ultra running and I look forward to learn from the more experienced competitors. That being said I plan on spending every ounce of energy I have, and I think I can be a very serious competitor despite my lack of experience. Regardless of the outcome, this journey already has been amazing and I am very grateful for it ".

All competitors will be attending mandatory meetings and gear checks tomorrow morning before travelling to camp 1 in the afternoon.

October 25 th:

Over the last week, temperatures on the course have averaged 35°C during the day and 15°C at night. The weather in Cairo is now clear and warm after heavy rain fall yesterday afternoon.

October 24th:

Sebastien arrived in Cairo late in the day. The trip went well and the first night in Egypt was restful, just he needs to be ready for the race ! In the next few days he'll be organizing his race back pack, meeting with other participants and getting as much rest as possible.

October 17th:

One week before the Sahara Race, Sebastien talks about the challenges, his fears, the things he is most excited about and the message he wants to send to all people living with type 1 diabetes.                     


Press release announcing that Sébastien Sasseville, an insulin-dependent type 1 diabetic, will compete in the Sahara Race, after having climbed Mount Everest and completed four Ironman.

October 10th:

12 days to departure! I am scheduled to arrive in Cairo on November 23. Two more weeks to train before taking some rest. The race takes place from October 28 to November 3.

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