Ultra-Marathons are on our mind at the moment…

There is nothing more extreme than the ultra-marathon I think. Sure there are some other amazing races – races where an athlete pushes his/her body right to the edge and then over it. I’m thinking of adventure racing here, but ultra-marathons still hold a perverse fascination for me. Why would anyone wish to do one?!

The answer is partially in my article of Monday where I wrote about RacingThePlanet and the completion of their Atacama Crossing event. At the end of the article I proffered a link to a page where some ultra-marathon athletes try to explain why they do  these marathons, and having done one, do another, and then another… follow the link above if you want to see it again.

Across the Divide is a similar organisation. They too have stupendous events around the world and their Namibian Adventure Race  24 hour Ultra Marathon, 126km long, begins 24th May and ends on the 31st.

This ultra-marathon is as extreme as they come. You might be fit enough to think that a 126 km run will be a challenge, but nothing more than than. However, it’s the Namib Desert that is going to be the biggest challenge to you and your body. The 126 km (78 miles) must be completed in 24 hours…

The race will take you through vast expanse of desert, across the endless space of gravel plains framed by distant ridges and mountains, past dramatic upheavals of granite inselbergs and all under the clearest of blue skies during the day and a full moon during the night.

Temperatures are expected to be in the region of min 5ºc / max 36 ºc – but could well be more extreme.

Contestants will be completely self reliant from the start of the race until the end, and will need to carry their food and equipment on their backs. However, water stations and medical tents will be provided at 21km intervals along the route.

Across the Divide has organised an impressive schedule over 8 days. Flight in. Acclimatisation. The Race. Rest and Recuperation. One day of nothing and home. However, I strongly recommend that if you are thinking of doing this race in the future, that you take a bit of time off and visit the other wonderful things to see in this beautiful country… Etosha, for example, a wildlife paradise, is not far from Swakopmund where the event ends,  and it would be a pity to be so close and yet so far …

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