Runner who drank urine, bat blood to survive in desert

ALGERIA (TIP): A marathon runner has revealed how he survived in the Sahara desert for over a week by drinking bat blood and his urine. The Marathon des Sables — a six-day, 155-mile race through the Sahara desert — is notoriously tough. So much so that former Olympic pentathlete Mauro Prosperi had to sign a form before he took part telling organizers where he wanted to be buried if he died.

Today , the Marathon des Sables has up 1,300 participants, but when Prosperi signed up he was one of only 80 participants surrounded by desert, and found himself running alone a lot of the time. Prosperi was making good progress at fourth place.But his luck changed when he was confronted with a violent 8-hour sand storm. For the next 10 days, he would have to fight to survive in the unforgiving desert using only a knife, a compass, a sleeping bag and a stash of dehydrated food in his backpack.

Prosperi’s survival instincts kicked in and he remembered that well-hydrated urine is the most drinkable. He was forced to urinate in a spare water bottle, which he didn’t touch until the fourth day he was lost. And to cook his rations, Prosperi urinated on the food in order to save his bottled pee to drink. On the second day , Prosperi’s launched a flare at a passing helicopter, but failed to catch the crew’s eye. After a couple of days, he discovered a marabout, a Muslim shrine where Bedouin nomads stop while crossing the desert, and stayed there for three days.

As he climbed the roof to fix his Italian flag to the roof, he discovered a colony of bats.”I drank their blood. I ate at least 20 of them, raw,” he said. Propser’s second attempt at being spotted by a plane failed, and the runner then decided to take his own life. But his suicide attempt failed and he decided to continue. During this journey , he devoured raw snakes and lizards, and tiny plants on dried riverbeds. Meanwhile, the organizers and his brother and brother-in-law were scouring the desert for him.

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