November 2, 2017 2:17 pm

Montrealers win ‘Trophée Roses des Sables’ through Moroccan desert

WATCH ABOVE: Montreal winners of the 'Trophée Roses des Sables' through the Moroccan desert stopped by Global News Morning.


Montrealers Charlie Wagner and Catherine Asselin won the international Trophée Roses des Sables that took place in October.

The duo joined Global’s Laura Casella to share their experience Thursday morning.

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The gruelling 10-day rally is a women’s only event which starts in the French town of Biarritz and ends after its racers navigate seven stages through the Moroccan desert, from Tangier to Marrakech.

READ MORE: Quebec sailor Simon DuBois checks in during race around the world

“It’s really long days. We were in the car for almost 12 hours a day,” Wagner said.

“It’s hard, but at the same time it’s really fun!”

The goal of the race is to use a roadbook and a compass to successfully drive a 4WD Recreational Off-highway Vehicle through checkpoints where speed is not a factor.

Asselin said her interest was piqued when she saw a couple of Quebecers won the race last year.

Asselin, who works for Cirque du Soleil, asked her marketing team co-worker to see if she was interested.

READ MORE: Cirque du Soleil making the leap to Broadway

“I said, ‘Charlie, I think we can do that’ and she said,’Oh yeah, for sure!'” Asselin recounted.

They pitched the idea to the Cirque du Soleil as a personal adventure, the organization was quick to back them up and sponsor the team.

Within a year, they were well trained; from costumes to psychological support, performance coaches right down to nutritionists to help them prepare for the adventure.

“[Cirque du Soleil] offered all the resources that there is to help to get better and get prepared,” Asselin said.

The Trophée Roses des Sables raises money for charities such as Breast Cancer, Let’s Talk! Enfants du Désert, Breakfast Club of Canada and the French Red Cross.


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