Karine and Alexandrine, two Montpellier BS co-workers tell us about the best moments of the Rally des Gazelles

Karine Marcadet and Alexandrine Bernad, two co-workers from Montpellier BS, finished their first Rally Aïcha des Gazelles at the 48th position. They also have the 22nd position in the beginner crew ranking of this rally which promotes consistency and orientation rather than pure speed. The two women who went to Morocco from the 18th of March to the 2nd of April with 134 other 100% female duos, had a goal which was to finish the rally with the fewer kilometres possible. They come back on their experience full of adrenaline and emotions!

« When you participate to this experience, you just feel like you are out of the world, time stops and your 100% in your adventure! », says Karine, Apprenticeship Coordinator, before remembering how good physical conditions were important.  « Despite the adrenaline, our body is under stress and reminds us how exhausted we are! »

When asking for few stories about this eventful week, they have a lot of memories: « The first two nights we assisted to a sandstorm in the desert, the tents were shaking. It was scary », remembers Alexandrine, Development Manager at Montpellier BS. « Fortunetly, we didn’t get lost and didn’t have to sleep in the desert… But the first night we almost had to because we arrived at the camp by nightfall! » For Karine, what was the most striking was the permanent solidarity between the crews. « We helped a crew pull their car out of the sand and they helped us in return couple of days later. We also got a flat tyre and almost got crazy in the dunes, but we will keep wonderful memories and with hindsight, we always got help from someone. There was a lot of fair play and that's what we wanted when participating to this adventure. »

Fortunately, there was a lot of fair play and a good atmosphere because the two women have had little time to rest. « In the morning and evening, we did not have time to take a break: we had to put petrol, take care of the mechanics, get the ranking, do the briefing before the start ... everything was timed. And it's not always easy to control our nerves with the lack of sleep. The Rally des Gazelles is a very strong human adventure that has allowed us to know each other better and to create strong links! Mutual help, solidarity, self-improvement ... that’s the words that come to our minds to describe this wonderful experience. "

« We want to thank all of our loved ones, and all school staff who were a great support with their messages. They have warmed our heart and helped motivate us ... Every evening the messages were printed for us and we could read them, » says Karine. « It was our only link to the outside! A big thank you also to our sponsors and to our partner Volkswagen, who has supported us and took care of repatriating the car, which allowed us to go back home and to work earlier! (laughs). »

Some participants of the Gazelles Rally are accustomed to the rally and were already doing their 10th participation. So when we asked Karine and Alexandrine if they are planning to do it again, they admit that they would like to but probably not next year because « it takes 9 months of preparation! »