Monthly Archives: August 2012

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Sahara Race 2012: Mystical Structures of the Desert

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One of the most extraordinary moments of the Sahara Race, comes at the halfway point, as competitors enter one of the planet’s most mind-boggling landscapes. Set against the vast, silent expanse of a valley buried deep in the desert, are the unlikely skeletons and fossilized remains of whales. If you take a closer look at these ancient, aquatic creatures placed like huge chess pieces across the valley floor, you may see something surprising: hind legs and fins with fingers.

This is Wadi Al-Hitan, the Valley of the Whales, which lies 150 kilometers Southwest of Cairo and was named an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. Once the ocean floor, this phenomenally well-preserved patch of desert has provided essential proof for scientists on the evolution of whales and evidence of their previous lives as land-based mammals. For competitors who travel into this dazzling landscape, it’s a little bit like running into one of the world’s largest history museums.

“The valley is an established tourist attraction and it is a privilege to be able to run the entire length of the valley and see some sights off the beaten track,” marvels Mark Lindsay, Course Director of the Sahara Race 2012. “Before entering the valley, make sure you look around. The area is scattered with seashells and the occasional shark’s tooth!”

The 4 Deserts races are renowned for the way they bring competitors deep into deserts and beyond the frontiers that most tourists witness. Lindsay says he has been careful to include stunning views and compelling routes in this year’s course.  “It’s a combination of breathtaking landscapes from great vantage points and sections of rolling sand dunes that provide that iconic scene of emptiness and adventure,” he explains. “The going underfoot will be surprisingly comfortable with the occasional soft section, but it all contributes to the whole nature of the race.”

Perhaps the greatest moment awaits competitors in the final stage, with a finish line placed tantalizingly amid the Pyramids of Giza.  After pushing one’s body to the max on a seven-day, 250-kilometer odyssey, competitors are able to finish like kings as they weave their way through the colossal Pyramids of Giza. Experiencing the mystical presence of these formations while pumped with the adrenaline of completing such an epic challenge is an experience that is rarely forgotten. “The pyramids are awe-inspiring,” marvels Lindsay. “It’s not until you reach the plateau overlooking the whole pyramid valley that you appreciate the scale and magnificence of this wonder.”

The 8th edition of Sahara Race starts on the 28th of October and along with the Atacama Crossing (Chile), Gobi March (China) and The Last Desert (Antarctica) 4 Deserts Series. To register for the event complete an online application at www.4deserts.com/registration or for more information, email at info@racingtheplanet.com.

Article by Clare Morin


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In 2018, a race where you start anywhere you like, as long as you reach the finish within 24 hours. ...

Convergence - Summer

June 9, 2018, 12:00pm - June 10, 2018, 6:00am

It’s game time. In this game, you will gamble on your own fitness and ability. You know where the finish line is, but you are not following a fixed course; you “make” your own course. You tell no one else where you intend to start from. That way you are blind-betting against everyone as to from how far away you will start, and thus, how high you will eventually rank. Those who travel the furthest, rank highest. However, if you don’t reach the finish line you don’t get a medal, so gamble wisely…. The premise is simple. You can start from anywhere you want, at midday. You then have 24 hours to ‘converge’ on the central finish line in order to claim your award. You make your own route. You can start any distance from the finish line, but the further away you start, the better your award (should you make it to the finish). All distances are measured “as the crow flies” from the finish. For all those challenging this is where it gets even more interesting. The people who rank highest are those who travel from the furthest away. You are under no obligation to tell anyone where you are starting, so you are all blind-betting against each other! You won’t know where anyone starts from until the GPS tracking link goes live at midday. Even then, will those who started far away make the finish line on time? Of course if you start 100 miles away and miss the finish line cut-off, then you don’t get a medal. Oh, the cruelty. The Crow will be watching all of those Converging, using the miracle of Race Drone event tracking technology. The Crow will judge how far the shadows have run, and reward them with the right medal on the line. If you travel from 30 miles away or fewer, we’ll email you a certificate only. Venture from further away (30 to 60 miles) and claim a Silver Convergence, 60 to 90 miles and you’ll take Gold. If you come from 90 miles or more away (As the crow flies), then you’ll claim the Black Convergence medal. There is a little more to tell you. You can Converge only on foot. The Crow knows how fast you travel You can Converge solo for 24 hours, either female or male If you are scared of the dark, you can converge for 24 hours as a pair You will be given no advice on where to run, or hide You make your own route. Use any means you wish to wayfind You obviously can’t use private land or anything illegal (motorways etc). Your route choice is your own choice and risk. We recommend strongly that you stay off A-roads, or roads that have no pavement There are no checkpoints. Use your wit and guile to feed yourself. Call for your mother if you must The World will keep an eye on you from afar using tracking technology Have more questions? The wise old bird has the answers Feel ready to take your first steps into a darker world? Register Here

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