If you’re interested in ultra-marathons, adventure racing, extreme endurance races or events along those lines you will be interested to hear about Across The Divide’s (ATD) forthcoming Namibian event.
The Namib is the oldest desert in the world, somewhere around 55 million years old, and is the largest and most remote National Park in Africa. It is 31,200 square miles (80,900 square kilometers) – about the size of South Carolina and Rhode Island combined, and is completely devoid of surface water but is disected, in the northern desert, by several dry riverbeds.
A major threat to the Namib Desert is the impact of off-road driving. The impact is the greatest on the gravel plains where depressions left by vehicles remain for more than 40 years because the rainfall is too episodic and sparse to erase them. Across The Divide will take every precaution not to leave their imprint on this fragile eco-system.
Adventure Race Namibia 24-hr Ultra Marathon starts on 24th May. The event, which is fast becoming known as the ultimate test for long distance endurance runners, will be run in the northern Namib, an extremely arid eco-region made up of shifting sand dunes, gravel plains and rugged mountains.
The race is 126 km (78 miles) long – the equivalent of 3 marathons and must be completed in 24 hours. Intense training is required to get you fit enough for this race because, as well as the length and duration, the extreme heat of the Namib and the difficult terrain add to the difficulties that you will encounter.
The route mainly follows gravel plains framed by distant ridges and mountains and passed dramatic upheavals of isolated granite hills. The temperatures are expected to be in the region of min 5ºc / max 36 ºc but could be more extreme. Clear blue skies during the day and brilliant moonlight through the night should be a guaranteed but rainfall in the Namib, although sparse, is completely unpredictable so there could be a pleasant surprise in store.
Thank you to dazzaroberts for this evocative video:
The runners will be completely self reliant from the start of the marathon until the end, and will need to carry their food and equipment on their backs. Water stations and medical tents will be provided at 21km intervals along the route.
This is an extreme race which is held on a yearly basis. Training for it is not an overnight event – you could start now to be ready for next year’s race!
As with other companies that we profile, Across The Divide use their events to raise money for various charities. To date they have raised £43,010,171. The company was inaugurated in 1996 – that’s a very impressive sum I’d say!
If you wish to take part in an Across The Divide event please go directly to their website: ATD
… and good luck to all those intrepid souls about to depart for Windhoek…