- The 28th edition of the Marathon des Sables began Sunday
- 1,024 runners will cover more than 220 kilometers in six stages
- The epic race is billed as the toughest footrace on Earth
- It has to be entered several years in advance
(CNN)Would you pay thousands of dollars to spend seven days running under the scorching sun of the Sahara Desert, traversing shifting sand dunes and punishing rocky plateaus for more than 220 kilometers, with all your food and kit affixed to your back?