A competitor jumps down a dune on April 5, during the second stage of the 25rd edition of the gruelling 150-mile Marathon des Sables (Marathon of the Sands), nearly 200 miles south of Ouarzazate in Morocco. The race includes a full marathon on one day, a 55-mile stage, as well as others of varying length and terrain during seven days. Competitors must carry all their equipment on their backs. Only a carefully rationed nine liters of water and open-sided local tents are provided daily by the organisers. Over a thousand competitors come from 43 countries, aged 16 to 73. Pierre Verdy/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom
A race contestant drinks while crossing varied terrain in April 2006 on the fourth day of the 21st edition of Marathon des Sables, widely considered the world's toughest foot race. Pierre Verdy/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom/File
A young resident greets one of the 1,013 competitors as he competes during the 25th edition of the Marathon des Sables on April 4. Pierre Verdy/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom
Some of the 812 competitors of the 24th Marathon des Sables cross a valley during the third stage in the Sahara desert, nearly 200 miles south of Ouarzazate, on April 1, 2009. Pierre Verdy/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom/File
Pierre Bildstein of France pours some water on his head at a checkpoint during the fourth and longest stage of the 22nd Marathon des Sables in 2007 between jebel Zireg and west of Kfiroun. Christophe Dupont Elise/Icon SMI/Newscom/File
Moroccans Lahcen Ahansal (l.) and his brother Mohamad Ahansal, arrive respectively first and second in the 20th Marathon des Sables in April 2005 in Tazzarine, Morocco. Pierre Verdy/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom/File
Competitors at the 20th Marathon des Sables walk along the Tarhbalt's oasis, in Aril 2005. Pierre Verdy/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom/File
Some of the 1,013 competitors cross the Rheris Valley during the 25th edition of the Marathon des Sables on April 4. Pierre Verdy/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom
A competitor walks in front of a camel's skeleton on April 5, during the second stage of the 25th edition of the gruelling 150-mile marathon. Pierre Verdy/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom
Competitors start the fourth and last stage, on March 3, 2009. Over 800 participants had to walk the 200 kms during five days. Because of bad weather conditions, the race organisation decided to cancel the first and the last stages and to modify the route. Pierre Verdy/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom/File
Participants of the Marathon des Sables trek through the fouth stage of the 22nd edition of the marathon in March 2007. Pierre Verdy/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom/File
Moroccan Aziz el-Akad is seen some six miles before the finish line on his way to win the 42-km fourth stage on April 3, 2009. Pierre Verdy/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom/File
Runners rest in their tents on their day off after the fourth and longest stage of the 22nd Marathon des Sables. Christophe Dupont Elise/Icon SMI/Newscom/File
The controversial politician has decided not to seek re-election after being hospitalized for a potential tumor. His older brother, Doug Ford, will run in his place.
ByCharmaine Noronha, Associated Press
Ailing Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's dramatic decision to drop his re-election bid opened a new chapter in the saga, as his tough-talking but less magnetic brother runs in his place and brings his own storied past into the scandal-laden campaign.