ring tailed lemur

An exotic holiday and an ultra-marathon

Does that thought appeal to some of you out there?

It would be hard to get more exotic that Madagascar and that is where RacingThePlanet are going to hold their roving event in 2014 – courtesy of popular selection from interested ultramarathon runners. Commenting about the location for its seventh edition of the Roving Race, RacingThePlanet founder Mary Gadams says, “We received many suggestions for the Roving Race’s location in 2014. When Madagascar popped up on the radar screen, it quickly invoked mystique, culture and biodiversity. The Roving Race in 2014 will set new benchmarks for allowing competitors to experience the rarest flora and fauna in the world.”

Previous Roving Races have been held in Vietnam, Namibia, Australia, Nepal and Jordan. The Roving Race in 2013 will be held in Iceland – a record number of registrations have already been received for the event.

90% of the biodiversity of the island is found nowhere else in the world and the Malagasy culture is a fascinating blend of African and Indonesian. Although the island is close to Africa, it wasn’t Africa it broke away from – it was India. So although it is only a few hundred kilometres from Africa, it’s isolation over the past 88 million years has allowed its plants and animals to evolve in almost complete isolation. The first settlers only arrived 2,000 years ago from Borneo (a mere nano-second in the country’s evolvement) and this was followed eventually by the Bantu migrants from Mozambique.

Ring tailed Lemur

Ring tailed lemur of Madagascar

It’s the 4th largest island in the world, and the 47th largest country and it has a surprising range of geographical features. Along the length of the eastern coast runs a narrow and steep escarpment containing much of the island’s remaining tropical rain forest. To the west of this ridge lies a plateau in the center of the island ranging in altitude from 750 to 1,500 m (2,460 to 4,920 ft) above sea level. These central highlands are the most densely populated part of the island and are characterized by terraced, rice-growing valleys lying between grassy, deforested hills. To the west of the highlands, the increasingly arid terrain gradually slopes down to the Mozambique Channel.

It has everything in the way of vegetation, from tropical rainforest to tropical dry forests, thorn forests and deserts. And it is in this fabulous setting that the 2014 race will take place. So popular are RacingThePlanet’s events that pre-registration is already open for this one…

An ultramarathon in the beautifully diverse Madagascar

Not a moment to lose!

But in the meantime, RacingThePlanet is building up to their final event of the year: The Last Desert: Antarctica. Scheduled to be held between the 16th – 26th November, this race is only held every second year because of the fragility of the environment. But in 3 months time their competitors will be boarding the ship at Ushuaia, Argentina, to sail across the unpredictable Drake Passage to Antarctica where expectations are high. Who is going to be crowned 4 Desert Champions in 2012?

Vincente Garcia Beneito of Spain and Anne-Marie Flammersfeld of Germany are definitely hot favourites. However, they are going to have stiff competition. 16 competitors are still in the Grand Slam competition with 5 of those being part of Team JDRF Born to Run who aim to become the first team to complete the feat.

The last frontier – Antarctica

Can you believe that it is already 2 years since Ryan Sandes came and saw and conquered?

The countdown has begun…

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