“It’s been a huge privilege to race through Wadi al-Hitan, and we’re very grateful that we’ve been able to route the course through that incredible open-air museum, and also to finish here at the Pyramids, “ said event director Samantha Fanshawe.
Pizza, sodas and beer were waiting for the athletes on the finish line followed by a well-deserved banquet last night. You can just imagine the celebrations that went on applauding all and everyone who had taken part in and those who had helped organise this extreme ultra-marathon. But it was Denmark’s Anders Jensen who stole the limelight.
In a dominant display, Jensen led the race from the very start and won the Sahara Race (Egypt) 2010. He won every stage of the grueling 250km, six-stage, seven-day event.
Jensen, 29, is an experienced desert competitor, and recently placed 4th in this year’s Gobi March in July. The Singapore based Dane, who ran the 250km course in 26 hours 56 minutes and 28 seconds, is still waiting for the win to sink in saying, “I feel that I got stronger and stronger every day. I don’t know what went on but I’m really happy about the result!”
Pushing Jensen the whole way was 28-year-old American Ryan Bennett who put in a remarkable performance in his first rough-country endurance event. He’ll be an athlete to keep your eye on.
The leading woman was Italian Katia Figini who finished in fifth place overall, covering the 250km in a time of 32 hours 3 minutes 29 seconds. “I didn’t think I would win. This was an incredible race,” said the experienced 35 year-old.
Twenty-eight year-old American Hadley Lund was second in the women’s competition, an hour behind Figini, and again a first-timer at a 4 Deserts race.
“It’s great to see Anders win his first race. We’ve seen him get faster and stronger in each of the four RacingThePlanet events he’s taken part in, and I’m thrilled for him that he’s taken the win here. The ladies have shown their mettle again, with the top two women finishing in the top six overall. Katia is a deserving champion and I think Hadley has done brilliantly in her first race,” said Fanshawe.
The Sahara Race 2010 supported Operation Smile, funding a medical mission in the area of the race that identified 16 children and treated them for their cleft palette deformities, as well as funding a dental health program for the oasis community who provide many of the drivers and logistics team involved in staging the race.