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An incredible human journey: How three French women participated in the an all-women orienteering trek in a spirit of solidarity.

Rose Trip Trek Finish

When corporations talk about guiding and supporting young people in finding their way they often refer to the process of growing talents and preparing them for their professional future. At BENEO we are active here as well because we believe that today’s young professionals are tomorrow’s leaders. We provide support in a variety of ways: financially, in kind, and/or through the participation of our staff in charitable initiatives. Telling you about the incredible human journey three ladies from France took in Morocco it is also about BENEO that literally supported young people finding their way – in the Moroccan desert and for a good cause.

In October 2023, a group of three chiropractors known as the ‘Chiros Trekeuses’ ventured into the Moroccan desert to participate in the Rose Trip Trek, a 100% women’s adventure trekking competition in teams of three. Within this competition participants cover 20km per day through various landscapes for three days, encountering sand dunes, dehydrated lakes with arid vegetation, and rocky mountains — a new adventure unfolded daily. Solidarity is at the heart of the event: the organisation collaborates with two local associations, ‘Enfants du Désert’ (association that helps children in South Morocco and Argentina) and ‘Ruban Rose’ (the French part of Pink Ribbon). Each participant can also decide to support the solidarity actions carried out during the event. The competition featured three categories: beginner, open, and open+. The ‘Chiros Trekeuses’ chose Open+.

Preparation as key for success

Throughout the past year, the ‘Chiros Trekeuses’ prepared themselves in detail for this challenge. Apart from orientation advice, and practical materials they also sought business sponsorships to support the adventure financially. Hearing about the plan, BENEO was happily supporting because as a company we feel inspired by people who push their individual boundaries. The team underwent rigorous physical training to prepare for the desert hike. Additionally, they received orientation training from a helpful couple in Strasbourg, France, who taught them about using a compass, topographic protractor, and map to navigate safely in the desert.

Prepared and geared up, they commenced their journey on 25 October 2023, in Paris to fly to Morocco. The first day involved extensive travel by plane and bus to reach the camp. They were greeted by Moroccan musicians playing drums and other traditional instruments amidst the bustling camp of 800 women, all preparing for the next day’s departure.

Unforeseen challenges in the desert

On the initial day of the competition, the ‘Chiros Trekeuses’ set out early to witness the sunrise amidst the sand dunes – a breathtaking sight. They trekked 19 km, occasionally losing their way, but managed to reach the camp before noon, albeit tired.

Better prepared on the second day, the team chose a more optimal route, spending additional time orienting themselves to finalize the trek before noon. However, they returned to the camp long after sunset.

The third day proved even more challenging. After having covered 10km, one team member struggled, prompting the others to finish the last stretch as a duo. Despite its difficulty, it was also the most stunning leg of the journey.

Upon reaching the final checkpoint near sunset, the ‘Chiros Trekeuses’ hadn’t spotted the camp yet. Joining forces with three other teams, the women formed a line using headlamps to navigate through the night, finally spotting the camp after an hour of collective effort.

On the last day in the desert, all the women ascended the largest dune, Erg Chebbi, in support of the Pink Ribbon association’s fight against breast cancer. They assisted each other, fostering a sense of collective achievement. The youngest aided the oldest, and everyone sang to motivate each other to reach the summit.

This was an incredible human journey – we encountered women with inspiring stories about battling breast cancer. Mutual support was ever-present in the camp and desert. It was a unique experience that will stay with us forever. We engaged with locals, understanding their desert life and needs better to offer support.
All the associations supported by the trek were present in the camp. We learnt about breast cancer with Pink Ribbon, supporting ‘Enfants du Désert’, conversing with disadvantaged desert women, and recycling our waste with the Surfrider Foundation.
We’re immensely grateful for this amazing adventure and want to thank all our partners, especially BENEO, whose financial support made this human and athletic feat possible for our team.
As a side note, although we initially secured the first place on the podium on the second day, we eventually landed 51st out of 70 teams due to penalties incurred for completing the third day with two members instead of three.

Noemie, Clémence, and Justine

If you feel intrigued and would like to follow the adventures of the ‘Chiros Trekeuses’, you can follow them on Instagram: @Leschirostrekeuses.


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