If you're going to run a marathon, it's important to train for a while before so you can make it through. Though if you're going to run the Marathon des Sables -- the annual six-day ultramarathon across the Moroccan desert that covers 140 miles and is considered the "toughest foot race on Earth" -- you'll need months to whip your body into shape. That is, unless you have the physical fortitude of a dog named Cactus, who decided to join this year's mega race and somehow finished in a very respectable 57th place.
Oh, and you better believe he got a medal.
As the long-haul Marathon des Sables 2019 entered its second day on Monday, April 8, an unusual competitor joined the ranks of the nearly 1,000 runners mid-way through the course: a spry and cute stray dog. Once the four-legged course-crasher completed the remaining 15 miles that day, folks began calling him Cactus for some reason, according to Travel & Leisure. Then, when runners got to the temporary camp at the end of the day, he stuck around overnight to rest with the athletes and must have slept pretty well, because the next day he got up and continued on to Stage 3 of the course. That day, he ran the full 23 miles, and proved himself less a race mascot and more a worthy opponent.