Extreme marathon runners are in Australia for one of the world’s most grueling endurance foot races which starts this weekend. They will face conditions unlike anything they have encountered before.
RacingThePlanet’s challenge down under will start near Doon Doon, outside Kununurra in The Kimberley region of Western Australia on April 25 and is their annual roving event. Racing the Planet also organises the notorious 4 deserts races which includes the Gobi March (China), the Atacama Crossing (Chile), the Sahara Race (Egypt) and The Last Desert (Antarctica).
The inaugural event in Australia has attracted 200 competitors from around the world who will have to scramble over rocks, swim across flooded gorges and traverse vast spinifex plains, covering 250km in seven days, before finishing at the spectacular El Questro Wilderness Park resort.
The race will boast a very competitive field with eight former race champions and 22 top-ten finishers at the start line.Some of those vying for outright honours include Spaniard Salvador Calvo Redondo, 47 and Stephanie Case, 27, of Canada.
Among the competitors representing 35 countries will be 66 Australians, including Peter Jong who is aiming to become the first Australian to complete the 4 Deserts Grand Slam and there are 8 members of one family from Perth competing
Other well known Aussies running include Gabriel Szerda, who represented Australia in wrestling at the Sydney 2000 Olympics and former television presenter Anna Coren.
In the far north of Western Australia Kimberley is typified by hot, humid weather and a landscape of soaring rocky outcrops and mountain ranges broken by plains of spinifex grass, rock pools with stunning waterfalls and salt flats. Competitors will also have to take to the water at times to cross flooded sections. Adding to the degree of difficulty is a late wet season rain that has turned parts of the course to mud.
RacingThePlanet founder and CEO Mary K. Gadams said everyone involved was excited to be bringing the race to Australia for the first time. “The level of interest in the race was phenomenal……… it’s been a great experience planning the race here — the support we have had from the local community has been indispensable”
RacingThePlanet: Australia 2010 will be a true test of physical and mental endurance with competitors carrying all their own supplies and equipment as they tackle the toughest terrain Australia has to offer.
Redondo won the roving event in 2009 which was held in Namibia – and as you can see in the video below from desertrunrdude this is not a race for the faint heated although competitors do have great fun. We wait in anticipation to see whether Redondo can win again. Good luck to all who are involved and ‘bon courage’.
For more information on Racing the Planet’s endurance marathons you can visit their website by clicking on this link http://www.racingtheplanet.com/