A dog has become the first canine to cross the finishing line at one of the world’s toughest ultra marathons.
The hound, nicknamed Cactus, wandered onto the course on day two of the Marathon des Sables in Morocco.
He began following competitors in the 251-kilometre, six-day endurance race in the sweltering Sahara Desert.
‘Cactus’ finished the second stage, then the third and fourth. Organisers tweeted on Friday to say he had crossed the finishing line.
Runners welcomed their four-legged competitor and cheered him on as he trudged with them on his self-inflicted jaunt. He also rested with them and ate and drank in their company.
Owner Karen Hadfield took to social media to say that he is a nomad dog and regularly runs 40-km a day in the area.
Pictures emerged on Saturday of organisers and competitors bidding ‘Cactus’ farewell as Karen came to collect him.