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Shropshire Three Peaks

I decided for my 42nd Birthday I’d do the whole Shropshire Three Peaks Challenge, a route I had set for an event in June, as well as any anytime challenge. I’m a long time out of running, with a spinal injury, so this would be a hike.  I’d shoot for 14 hours or 3 miles an hour.  In the wet and sodden conditions, I thought that might be optimistic. It was going to a be a cold hike, as I started at Midnight, just to make it that bit more challenging, not to mention cold.

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Yesterday started someday disastrously. What is the one item you don’t want to forget? Yep your shoes. Arrived at the start and realised I’d left my mudclaws in a bag by the door, 40 mins away. I was wearing a pair of 8 year old Paul Smith deck shoes, slicks, nogrip  at all. Sod it I’ll manage. “Don’t be stupid ” said Wendy. But I had to start at midnight at the start of my birthday.

I had not slept since the previous morning, so tiredness affected my judgement. Nevertheless I started. In case no one noticed, it has been raining recently, a lot. 80% of the route was a quagmire. Standing water and mud. I was like Bambi on ice in those shoes. Progress in deck shoes, was slow and nearly took a series of falls. Ruined these.

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Then the first hill, Stiperstones. It is a steep ascent up Perkins Beach was through what had become a river. It was Sub zero, a cold cutting wind on top and everything frozen over with ice. Stiperstones, about 5 miles in, is a 2.5K section of difficult to negotiate cobble-type rocks. It’s slow and hurts your feet, even with the right shoes. Tonight the cobblrs were separated by ice. In those shoes it was lethal. One slip and if I’d cracked my head up on the top I should have got into trouble. I was slow and demoralised.

I was thinking of calling Wendy to pick me up about 5 miles later. I made by way over the summit, pictured badly in the headtorch light and gloom. The trig point is up on a rock, which I decided not to climb, given the shoe situation.

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I picked my down to the car park. Wendy was waiting, with my mudclaws! She’d driven back and picked them up. She eventually got home at 3am.

I made decent progress down to the village of Bridges. The next big ascent was not one of the three peaks  but only about 20m less. It is mostly road which was all frozen over. Even mudclaws were little use. I summited, put on a balaclava and more layers and descended into Church Stretton. 10.5 miles in 3 hrs 40. Slower than I would have liked.

I ate sandwiches as I walked through the deserted town, fuelling for the climb over Ragleth. Again not one of the peaks, but a good workout. Without the grip of the shoes, this mud-climb would have been impossible. The next 10 miles was a little road, but mostly more energy-sapping mud. 20 miles in is Wilderhope manor just after climbing over Wenlock Edge.

After that, 5 more muddy miles to get to the base of the second highest hill in Shropshire, Brown Clee. I was really tired, lack of sleep after now being awake for over 24 hours. I didn’t fancy the climb without a break. Wendy texted, she was on her way. With a wet weather system chasing me, I took shelter at the bottom of the hill in an old red phone box, which doubles as a micro book store for the village of Ditton Priors.

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Wendy arrived just as the rain started.

I stripped off my muddy trousers and shoes and got in the car. I was too tired to eat as we waited out the weather. I reclined the car seat and went spark out for about 2 hours. I ate the food of kings, vegetable samosas and coffee which Wendy had brought. Best wife ever. I dressed in dry trousers, socks and shoes. I’d had almost 3 hours rest when I set off.

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I felt well fuelled for the last 15 miles. The climb up Brown Clee felt easy with a full tank. There was low cloud and it was muddy on top. Some Ice, but not as cold as the earlier summits.

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Even though it’s Shropshire Way for most of the route  it is tough to navigate. I had two GPS so had very few issues. Those without, would surely miss many apparent seeming random turns, up on the desolate moorland of Abdon Burf.

I descended , half slided, down. I lost one shoe to the bog monster briefly. I wish I would have taken a video as the shoe was steaming.

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I then waded along a long muddy track to the foot of the final summit, Titterstone Clee. It’s a long and mean climb; moorland and rocky.

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It rained all the way up. I passed by the big radar station,  in light low cloud.

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I found the summit.
Photo from the top.

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You have to be really careful when descending, as there are lots of old quarries with sheer cliffs off to various sides. Again it helps to have GPS to find the way off and reach the road, 33.5 miles done.

I headed down the long road and really didn’t enjoy the last 5 miles of muddy fields. Even though it’s all Shropshire Way the waymarks are sometimes missing, or just plain wrong. For the County national trail , Shropshire should hang it’s head in shame. I’ve today altered the event route to make the run into Ludlow a little easier, since the Shropshire Way signs are not that great in that section. I had GPS yesterday, so I navigated it all fine. As it was, that section was just muddy. In Summer it will be a different story of course, but I’d picked a tough time to do the route. I arrived in Ludlow, just over 40 miles later. Moving time was 14 hours 20 mins 2.8mph, but I’d had 3hours rest so over 17 hours in total. It was a tough hike and more than twice the distance I had done since 2011, when I ran 250K in Nepal. I can’t run anymore due to spinal injury, but by putting up with fairly considerable discomfort in my back, at least I can still walk an ultra distance.

Happy Birthday to me, that was my birthday treat. To say I was sore the next morning would be an understatement. That’s a tough old route.

See you in June at the http://www.shropshirethreepeaks.co.uk/


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Competitors to embark on 250 kilometre footrace across Atacama Desert

[3 October 2015, San Pedro de Atacama]

Atacama Crossing

Competitors from nearly 40 countries will race across the Atacama Desert during the coming week, carrying their own equipment and food over a gruelling 250-kilometer course. Now in its 11th year, the 4 Deserts Race Series began hosting the Atacama Crossing in 2004. The race returns with an exciting field of 168 competitors, who will set out on the course Sunday, 4 October, and cross the finish line in the historic town of San Pedro de Atacama on Saturday, 10 October.

Competitors will start out at the highest point of the course, an altitude of 3.3 kilometres above sea level, and gradually descend to 2.5 kilometers as they cross the Atacama Desert, known as the driest place on the planet. The race takes runners through an incredible moon-like landscape, including salt lakes and flats, sand dunes, canyons and valleys, and villages dotting the path of Incan roads dating back hundreds of years. The Licancabur Volcano rises in the background for most of the course.

The otherworldly beauty of the desert is perhaps what draws competitors such as Ashkan Mokhtari back to the Atacama Crossing year after year. 2015 marks Mokhtari’s  seventh year in a row to return to Chile, and upon completion, will be his 18th 4Deserts/RacingThePlanet event since he began competing in 2008. Racers represent 37 nations, with four teams included among them. Kam Hung (Camel) Fung of Hong Kong is the first amputee to ever compete in a 4 Deserts/RacingThePlanet event. Part of the team “Five Legs Never Quit,” Fung set a goal to raise HK $3 million for the Hong Kong Amputees Association.

Other notable competitors include Germany’s Mike Kraft, an ultramarathoner and accomplished climber who has reached the summit of the highest mountain on every continent; American Shiri Leventhal, women’s champion of the Gobi March (China) 2013 and top three finisher at the Great Wall Marathon; and New Zealand’s John and Daniel Bonallack, a father-son team who have together conquered endurance races in Greenland, Brazil and Egypt. After crossing the finish line at the Atacama Crossing (Chile) 2015, seven competitors will become members of the prestigious 4 Deserts Club, meaning they have completed the Sahara Race (Egypt), Gobi March (China), Atacama Crossing (Chile) and The Last Desert (Antarctica).

The 4 Deserts Race Series tests competitors physically and mentally, as they must carry their own food and equipment for seven days across inhospitable terrain. Volunteers and staff provide drinking water and tents each night for competitors to rest, and a robust medical team keeps them safe as they cross through dozens of checkpoints during the week.

About the Atacama Crossing 2015 (4-10 October) – www.atacamacrossing.com

The Atacama Crossing is one of the four races that comprise the world renowned 4 Deserts Series of 250-kilometer endurance footraces. The race takes place in Chile’s stunning but brutal Atacama Desert, which is the largest cold coastal desert and the driest place on Earth. The Atacama is a rainless plateau hemmed in between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes and is a unique landscape of salt lakes, volcanoes, lava flows and sand dunes that challenge even the best runners.

Atacama Crossing is grueling not only because of the forbidding terrain, which is rarely flat underfoot, and harsh climate, but also because of the altitude that averages 2,500 meters / 8,000 feet during the race. About the 4 Deserts – http://www.4deserts.com/

The 4 Deserts is the world’s leading endurance footrace series, a unique collection of world-class races that take place over 7 days and 250 kilometers in the largest and most forbidding deserts on the planet. Competitors must go beyond the limits of their physical and mental endurance. Racing self-supported in the most inhospitable climates and formidable landscapes, they must

carry all their own equipment and food, and are only provided with drinking water and a place in a tent each night to rest.

The series, named again by TIME magazine as one of the world’s Top 10 endurance competitions, comprises the Atacama Crossing in Chile, Gobi March in China, Sahara Race in Namibia and The Last Desert in Antarctica.

 


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The Last Desert (Antarctica) 2014

[1 November, 2014, Ushuaia] —The Last Desert (Antarctica) is enjoying its biggest year yet as this weekend a diverse, international cast of competitors look to push against their mental and physical limits in the White Continent.

This celebrated race, which was first staged in Antarctica in 2006 and is now held every two years, has seen its largest ever field of competitors coming from all over the planet. A total of 69 competitors boarded the Dutch expedition ship, M/V Plancius, on Saturday, 1 November in the Argentinean town of Ushuaia to set off on a two-day crossing of the Drake Passage.

When they arrive in the Antarctic Continent on Tuesday, 4 November, they will set off on an endurance footrace through some of the continent’s most astonishing landscapes and islands – pushing up to 250 kilometers through pristine deep snow, following courses up to high points of the land, past penguin colonies and moving through areas of immense historical significance.

 

This is truly a year of records for The Last Desert,” said Samantha Fanshawe, President of the 4 Deserts Race Series. “Not only is it the largest race so far with the largest number of Grand Slammers it will also see many countries represented for the first time in beautiful landscape of Antarctica and the 4 Deserts Club. We also have four teams which is more than ever before in this race – one team is a father and his two sons from Taiwan.”

There are 28 nations represented on the ship, with the majority of competitors coming from Japan, followed by Spain and the United Kingdom— the countries being represented for the first time include Poland, Thailand, Greece, the Philippines and Zimbabwe.

The record number of four teams (nearly 20% of the field) include the Spanish team, Corre 1Km+, who will have completed the Grand Slam as a team; the 3 Amigos representing New Zealand, Australia and the United States who met at 4 Deserts races earlier this year and decided to join forces; the MisFits from Canada, Greece and Denmark; and the family team from Taiwan representing their family company Hop Lion Feather Works.

The race favorite is Spanish athlete Jose Manuel “Chema” Martinez Fernandez, a double Olympian who won gold earlier this year at the Atacama Crossing (Chile) and the Gobi March (China) as well as gaining a silver medal at the Sahara Race (Jordan). If he wins The Last Desert, he will become the 4 Deserts Champion of 2014.

“Chema” Martinez is among a group of 19 competitors who are still on target to complete the 4 Deserts Grand Slam in 2014—a massive effort to complete a total of 1,000 kilometers through the world’s most astonishing deserts through some of the worlds toughest terrain. Considering that only 28 people have completed this feat in history, this is a truly significant number for 2014.

The group includes Isis Breiter, the first female from Mexico to be taking on the 4 Deserts Grand Slam. Canada’s Paul Borlinha, meanwhile, is aiming to be the third person in the world ever to complete all 4 Deserts and the Roving Race in one calendar year. The Grand Slammers are part of a larger group of 44 people who are aiming to join the 4 Deserts Club in Antarctica. To join the 4 Deserts Club competitors must complete all the races in the 4 Deserts Series over any timeframe. On the contrary to Grand Slammers, competitors such as Bruce Walker from the United Kingdom is joining The Last Desert having not completed a 4 Deserts race since 2009.

While pushing their bodies and minds through this endurance event in the White Continent, many competitors are using the race as a fundraising vehicle. South African competitor David Barnard is raising funds for Greenpeace in a bid to pioneer the growth of solar energy in South Africa. Hong Kong’s Sin Shu Fuk is raising money for the Hong Kong Anti-Cancer Society. Ryan Hill, A Brit living in Singapore is supporting the Snow Leopard Trust, while New Zealand’s Megan Stewart has raised funds for charities throughout her journey, from Taranaki Land Search and Rescue and now the L.I.A.M. (Life Saving Initiatives Against Methanol Poisoning) Foundation in memory of her nephew who died from illegal methanol poisoning in Indonesia last year.

 

About The Last Desert 2014 (1-11 November) – www.thelastdesert.com

The Last Desert (Antarctica) is held every two years and forms the final race of the iconic 4 Deserts series. Competitors must complete a minimum of two of the other 4 Deserts events to be invited to participate in the race.

The self-supported footrace is up to 250 kilometers with competitors having to carry a mandatory list of equipment, nutrition and water on each stage. The race uses a polar expedition ship as its base, traveling to the different course locations on the Antarctic Peninsula and offshore islands based on the prevailing sea and weather conditions, with competitors transferred from ship to shore by special zodiacs.

The unique challenges of The Last Desert (Antarctica) include having to cope with the severity of the weather conditions that can include gale-force blizzards and temperatures down to -20 degrees C (4 degrees F). Competitors also have to deal with the unpredictability of daily stage lengths and start-times, as the prevailing environmental conditions dictate where and when stages might begin.

About the 4 Deserts Race Series – www.4deserts.com

The 4 Deserts Race Series is the world’s leading endurance footrace series, a unique collection of world-class races that take place over 7 days and 250 kilometers in the largest and most forbidding deserts on the planet.

Competitors must go beyond the limits of their physical and mental endurance. Racing self-supported in the most inhospitable climates and formidable landscapes, they must carry all their own equipment and food, and are only provided with drinking water and a place in a tent each night to rest.

The series, twice named by TIME magazine as one of the world’s Top 10 endurance competitions, comprises the Atacama Crossing in Chile, Gobi March in China, Sahara Race in Jordan and The Last Desert in Antarctica.

For media and press enquiries including access to photos please email info@4deserts.com.


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A Culturally Diverse Gobi March Kicks Off in Far-Western China

BannerA remarkable race through one of the most culturally-diverse regions of China’s far northwest gets underway on June 1st as the Gobi March takes to the highest plateaus of the Gobi Desert.

The 11th edition of the world-renowned, 250-kilometer rough country footrace will see competitors from 41 countries gathering at the starting line in Bortala region of the Western province of Xinjiang on Sunday, 1 June. With the snow-capped Altai Mountains as their backdrop, they will set out on a varied course through grasslands, over dusty and stony desert, farmlands, riverbeds, and deep into mountain alpine valleys during the six-stage course. Racing at a minimum of 1,000 meters throughout, they will climb up to 2,800 meters on the epic fifth stage and will carry all their belongings and food throughout, only given a place in a tent (or Yurt) to sleep along the way and water to nourish them.

The strongest contender for this year’s race is the double-Olympian Jose Manuel “Chema” Martinez Fernandez of Spain, who came in second place at the Sahara Race (Jordan) earlier this year in his first 4 Deserts race. The 42-year old is a highly-acclaimed athlete who finished ninth in the 10,000 meter distance of the 2004 Athens Olympics and 16th in the marathon at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and has a long list of accolades to his name, including a win at the 2008 Madrid Marathon.

Other notable competitors include Paul Borlinha of Canada who is aiming to be only the third person in the world ever to complete the 4 Deserts Grand Slam (all four races in one calendar year) in addition to the 2015 Roving Race—held in Madagascar at the end of August.

With women representing 20% of the field there are some strong performances expected. Isis Breiter from Mexico comes to her second 4 Deserts Race having finished as the 6th woman in the Sahara Race (Jordan) earlier this year. Mika Kuma, 52, from Japan was 2nd across the line in the Sahara Race 2009 where she competed as a team.

“This year’s race has attracted competitors and volunteers from a great range of countries, some that have rarely been represented before, such as Serbia, Romania, Poland, Kazakhstan, the Cayman Islands and Ethiopia” says President of the 4 Deserts Race Series, Samantha Fanshawe. “They will have the chance to race through the great kaleidoscope of cultures that makes up this intriguing Chinese region that shares its border with Kazakhstan. As they race through Mongolian settlements, along cable bridges and past a memorial to Genghis Khan—they will be able to witness up close the lives of the ethnic Mongol, Kazakh and Uyghur minorities of this storied region. “

Adding to the theme of rich cultural diversity is the benefiting charity of this year’s race, the Esquel-RacingThePlanet Scholarship Programme. The seven-year project was launched at the tenth anniversary of the Gobi March last year and is funding ten female, Uyghur students to complete their final three years of high school and two years of university. One such student is Jupaer Tuhaerbaike, an 18-year old of Kazak-ethnicity who has just finished her second year of high school with funding from the initiative. “As local traditions go, girls don’t have to go to school, their mission is to take care of the whole family,” she explains. “I cherish this chance and am studying hard to realize my dream of studying in university.”

As RacingThePlanet founder, Mary Gadams explains: “The most meaningful part of the Esquel-RacingThePlanet Scholarship Programme is the empowerment that it gives to bright and ambitious young women which could have a major positive impact on Xinjiang and China in the future. We are thrilled to be offering such a long-term commitment to these students. We look forward to meeting some of these students at the 11th edition of the Gobi March, which is one of the most culturally-diverse courses for the race.”

—Ends—

About the Gobi March (China) 2014 (1 – 7 June 2014) – www.4deserts.com/gobimarch

The Gobi March is one of the four races that comprise the world renowned 4 Deserts Race Series of 250 kilometer, rough-country footraces. Apart from the brand new course, the 10th Anniversary Edition of the Gobi March will include cultural highlights and special celebrations.

This Gobi March 2014 will take place on a course in Bortala Mongol and Yili Kazakh Autonomous Prefectures in northwestern Xinjiang Province. The start line is near Bole, the capital city of Bortala, at the foot of the Altai Mountains.

The course has a number of highlights, including the Mysterious Rock Valley (where the largest group of strange rock formations are located in western China), Mongolian settlements, local culture, cable bridges, views of Tian Shan snow peaks, the famous Sayram Lake and a memorial to the founding father of Mongolia, Genghis Khan.

Competitors must plan carefully to maintain the delicate balance between physical exertion, nutrition and hydration in order to successfully complete the race.

About the 4 Deserts Race Series – www.4deserts.com

The 4 Deserts Race Series is the world’s leading endurance footrace series, a unique collection of world-class races that take place over 7 days and 250 kilometers in the largest and most forbidding deserts on the planet.

Competitors must go beyond the limits of their physical and mental endurance. Racing self-supported in the most inhospitable climates and formidable landscapes, they must carry all their own equipment and food, and are only provided with drinking water and a place in a tent each night to rest.

The series, twice named by TIME magazine as one of the world’s Top 10 endurance competitions, comprises the Atacama Crossing in Chile, Gobi March in China, Sahara Race in Jordan and The Last Desert in Antarctica.

For media and press enquiries including access to photos please email info@4deserts.com.


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A Rare Sahara Race in the Ancient Deserts of Jordan

[12 February 2014, Hong Kong] As the ninth edition of the Sahara Race kicks off on 16 February 2014, competitors will find themselves in one of the most fabled desert-scapes on the planet, beneath the towering sandstone mesas of Jordan’s Wadi Rum, also known as Valley of the Moon.

This year’s Sahara Race is moving out of Egypt for the first time in its nine-year history as a result of recent political unrest. The 250-kilometer course takes place instead in the Badia region of nearby Jordan. The stunning course will take 191 competitors from nearly 40 countries through four distinct deserts, finishing on 22 February in the red formations of the ancient city of Petra—one of the Seven Wonders of the World

“While it is sad not to be holding the ninth edition of the Sahara Race in its home of Egypt, I am excited to be returning to Jordan where we held the 2012 Roving Race with one of the most memorable finish lines in front of the Treasury in the world-renowned heritage site of Petra,” says Event President, Samantha Fanshawe. “And what an exciting group of competitors – a double Olympian, a desert running legend on home turf, a blind competitor and four 4 Deserts Club members with two more looking to join the club in Petra. We are also welcoming back two competitors that have completed the most 4 Deserts races in history and 22 people aiming to race 1,000 kilometers in the 4 Deserts Grand Slam in 2014.”

This year’s striking field of competitors includes Jordan’s very own Salameh Al Aqra. The 43-year-old has been running in deserts since the age of 12 and was overall champion of the Marathon des Sables 2012 as well as multi-time winner of the Austria Ultramarathon and a three-time top 10 finisher in the Jordan Desert Cup.

He will be up against Olympian Jose Manuel “Chema” Martinez Fernandez (42) who finished ninth in the 10,000 meters in the 2004 Athens Olympics and 16th in the marathon at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The Spaniard’s long list of accolades includes winning the 2008 Madrid Marathon and a silver medal in the marathon in the 2010 European Championships.

The presence of these powerful individuals is complimented by a wide cast of notable 4 Deserts finishers taking on this unique race, including Italy’s Andrea Girardi who was fourth overall at the Atacama Crossing 2013 and has three Marathon des Sables finishes to his name. They’ll be tackling a diverse course that will move through sand dunes, rock tracks, grassland and riverbeds—as competitors carry all of their supplies with only tents and water supplied to them along the way.

They will also be bringing some extraordinary human stories with them. Vladmi dos Santos is a blind athlete from Brazil who has run marathons in Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre, Curitiba, Florianopolis, Rio de Janeiro, Trieste, Geneva and Amsterdam. A member of the Brazilian Paralympic Committee, he returns to his second 4 Deserts race with his guide, Alex de Lima of Brazil. Spanish competitor Beatriz Garcia Berche, who has Type 1 diabetes, is starting her third 4 Deserts race with the aim of proving that the disease does not have to stop the pursuit of one’s dreams. This is, meanwhile, the 20th race for astonishing South Korean competitor Yoo Ji Sung (Jesse). The CEO of runxrun is the only person ever to have completed the 4 Deserts Race Series twice. Sandy Suckling, another 4 Deserts Club member, is tipped to finish as one of the top women in the race.

There are also those competing with a longer-term view; 22 competitors have the goal of completing the 4 Deserts Grand Slam (all 4 Deserts races in one calendar year) in 2014. This phenomenal group includes the five-person Corre 1km+ team from Spain who take on the team category alongside Team Mukenkabito from Japan and Team Xiamen University from China.

 

It is the rise of Asian competitors in the race that indicates the most interesting global trend to emerge from the race. Chinese, Japanese and South Korean competitors are bringing the highest numbers of competitors to the field and include the likes of Jin Feibo, modern China’s “greatest adventurer.”

“It is so great to see the sport of ultra-running continuing to grow at such a great rate in Asia, which is evident by the number of competitors from Korea (South), Japan, China and Taiwan,” says Samantha Fanshawe. “This is a trend we can expect to see growing even further in coming years.”

About the Sahara Race (Jordan) 2014 (16–22 February 2014) – www.4deserts.com/sahararace

The Sahara Race is one of the four races that comprise the world renowned 4 Deserts Race Series, a series of 250-kilometer rough-country footraces. The race begins in the beautiful and historic desert of Wadi Rum, famously known as the setting for the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia. Over seven days, Sahara Race competitors will cross three more deserts – Kharaza, Humaima and Wadi Araba – before finishing in the ancient city of Petra. The terrain will vary between sand, sand dunes and dirt/rock track and navigate canyons, valleys and local villages in areas seeped in Jordanian culture and history.

About the 4 Deserts Race Series – http://www.4deserts.com

The 4 Deserts Race Series is the world’s leading endurance footrace series, a unique collection of world-class races that take place over 7 days and 250 kilometers in the largest and most forbidding deserts on the planet.

 

Competitors must go beyond the limits of their physical and mental endurance. Racing self-supported in the most inhospitable climates and formidable landscapes, they must carry all their own equipment and food, and are only provided with drinking water and a place in a tent each night to rest.

The series, twice named by TIME magazine as one of the world’s Top 10 endurance competitions, comprises the Atacama Crossing in Chile, Gobi March in China, Sahara Race in Jordan and The Last Desert in Antarctica.

For media and press enquiries including access to photos please email info@4deserts.com.

 


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January Newsletter out now!

News of sponsorship and a 15% discount from RacingThePlanet, plus all the latest news on all of our ultramarathons.

http://beyondmarathon.com/?wysija-page=1&controller=email&action=view&email_id=7&wysijap=subscriptions

 


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Beyond Marathon low cost mobile phone based race timing solution

race timer

Beyond Marathon have created a low cost chip timing solution.  We developed this for small organisations who simply cannot afford the high setup and ongoing costs of existing timing systems.  You can purchase and download the Beyond Marathon Race Timer Pro App from the Google or Play store (£4.99). A demo version with less features is available too.  Using the app is incredibly simple. It takes 2 minutes to learn it’s features.Simply scan the chip by putting the phone close by. The App displays the details stored on the chip (Race number, name and other useful details) and stamps the current time and records the participants position in the event. The App will also allow race numbers to be manually entered via a keypad (in the event a participant loses their race number / chip).

The compelling and unique selling point of this race timing system is that you are not restricted encoding chips only with a race number.  The chip can hold any information that may be useful to the race organisation: race number, name, age category, course details, emergency contact phone number (ICE), and medical conditions are just examples.

Learn more about the system here.


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Beyond Marathon events partner – RacingThePlanet (UK)

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Company Profile RacingThePlanet (UK)

Founded in 2002, RacingThePlanet provide the best outdoor equipmentclothing and nutrition through our worldwide online store with more than 250 brands (such as 2XUCanada GooseGarminThe North FaceInjinjiIcebreakerRaidLight) and over 26,000 products . The RacingThePlanet and 4 Deserts series provide the ultimate testing ground for endurance racing, outdoor, and rugged technology products. The expertise and knowledge gathered by RacingThePlanet and our participants enables us to credibly identify the most reliable, useful, innovative and lightweight outdoor products , footwear  , Gadgets & Electronics ,  energy bars & gelsoutdoor clothing , Bags and backpacks available and ship them worldwide.  With selections made and guidance given by considering activity, terrain and events, RacingThePlanet’s international online store is the top resource for endurance racers and outdoor enthusiasts in the world (products are shipped from warehouses in both Hong Kong and the United Kingdom).

World’s first truly global store: based on the edge of China, we source the best products from around the world whether it’s in Vietnam, the United States, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain or Korea.

World’s leading gear experts: our staff lives and breathes the outdoors – many are champions in their field.

Field tested: our products are constantly tested in the world’s harshest climates and terrain from the Gobi Desert of China to the Atacama of Chile to Antarctica…we carry only clothing and gear that work.

One-stop shopping: save on postage by getting everything you need for any activity, whether it’s competing in an Ironman, running an ultramarathon or climbing one of the Seven Summits.

Expert gear lists: we tell you what you need for any activity saving you the research time and the costs of returning items that don’t work.

Our main categories:

– Men: jacketsshirtsclothingfootwearaccessories

– Women: jacketsshirtsclothingfootwearaccessories

– Bags and backpackstents and sleeping bags

– Foot care and gaiter

– Drinking SystemHydration Backpacks

– Gadgets & Electronics

– Cooking / AccessoriesFreeze-dried foodenergy bars and gelssupplements

Visit us at: http://uk.racingtheplanet.com/store/

 


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RacingThePlanet Store 15% discount

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RACINGTHEPLANET, THE OUTDOOR STORE

As a Beyond Marathon fan, from now until 31 August 2013 you can enjoy a one-time discount of 15%* on everything at both the flagship store  located in Hong Kong and online store of RacingThePlanet. To receive this discount, please present a copy of this post upon check out or enter the discount code supplied to you as a beyond marathon subscriber on the online checkout page.

Key Features of RacingThePlanet, The Outdoor Store

–Approximately 25,000 different products available

–More than 250 top outdoor brands

–Asia’s largest outdoor store

–7 languages available (English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, French, Spanish, Italian and German)

–Flagship Store Address: 22/F, 148 Wing Lok Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong (MTR Sheung Wan Station, Exit A2)

–Online Store: www.racingtheplanet.com

* Terms & Conditions:

The offer is valid until 31 August 2013 on all items except Canada Goose, Garmin, Food and Nutritional products, Event items, Gift Cards, and already discounted items. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount. In case of any dispute, RacingThePlanet Limited reserves the right for any final decision.


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Gobi March 2013 press release

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The world-renowned Gobi March celebrates its 10th anniversary this June with a striking new course through one of China’s most fabled regions. Kicking off on Sunday, 2 June in the northwestern province of Xinjiang, competitors will embark on a 250-kilometer course through lands once ruled by Genghis Khan, an emperor simultaneously revered and feared by populations in Central Asia and China.

With the snow-capped Altai Mountains as their backdrop, 155 competitors will weave through alpine grasslands, dry riverbeds, mountain valleys, high plateaus and local villages in the Bortala Mongol and Yili Kazakh Autonomous Prefectures. They will carry all of their own equipment and sleep in tents along the route. The course, which includes more elevation changes than in years past, starts at an altitude of 500 meters and climbs to 2,800 meters on the fifth day in the seven-day course.

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Of the competitors taking part this year, the greatest numbers hail from Hong Kong and China, with both countries sending 23 participants to the 10th anniversary course. This is the highest number of Chinese competitors to ever participate in the history of 4 Deserts events, a revealing insight into the growing popularity of endurance events in mainland China. Among the Chinese competitors is Jin Feibao (49), called “one of modern China’s greatest adventurers,” a mountain climber who has completed the Explorers Grand Slam (summiting the highest mountain of every continent and reaching both the North and South Poles), and competitor Xing Bo (41) who has competed in three back-to-back 4 Deserts events at the Sahara Race (Egypt) 2012, the Atacama Crossing (Chile) 2013 and the Gobi March (China) 2013 on his way to join the 4 Deserts Club.

Top contenders for this year’s race include Italy’s Stefano Gregoretti (38) who placed second overall at RacingThePlanet: Nepal 2012 and American competitor Joel Meredith (39) who placed seventh overall at the Sahara Race 2012. Also contending for a top spot is 4 Deserts newcomer Davide Ugolini (39) of Italy. In the women’s category, the United Kingdom’s Joanna Eades (44) returns to the field after placing as the fourth female at RacingThePlanet: Australia 2010 and fifth female at RacingThePlanet: Namibia 2009.

Competitors will be setting out from a starting line just north of the city of Bole—on a course through the Mysterious Rock Valley and Mongolian settlements, along cable bridges with views of the nearby Tian Shan snow peaks and a memorial to Genghis Khan. The race also provides opportunities to witness the daily lives of the Mongol, Kazakh and Uyghur minorities of the region.

The anniversary race is also the setting for an inspiring, new charitable program. After many years of partnership with the Esquel-Y.L. Yang Education Foundation and its scholarship fund, RacingThePlanet and Esquel are now launching the Esquel-RacingThePlanet Scholarship Program. The 10-year program will provide much-needed educational costs for local children in the Xinjiang province. The scholarship will support and fund ten Uygur students through their schooling—from the first year of high school all the way through university graduation.

 

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About the Gobi March 2013 (2 – 8 June 2013) www.4deserts.com/gobimarch

The Gobi March (China) is one of the four races that comprise the world renowned 4 Deserts series of 250-kilometer, rough-country footraces. Apart from the brand new course, the 10th anniversary edition of the Gobi March will include cultural highlights and special celebrations.

 

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The Gobi March 2013 will take place on a new course in Bortala Mongol and Yili Kazakh Autonomous Prefectures in northwestern Xinjiang Province. The start line will be near Bole, the capital city of Bortala, at the foot of the Altai Mountains.  The course has a number of highlights, including the Mysterious Rock Valley (where the largest group of strange rock formations are located in western China), Mongolian settlements, local culture, cable bridges, views of Tian Shan snow peaks, the famous Sayram Lake and a memorial to the founding father of Mongolia, Genghis Khan.

About the 4 Deserts – www.4deserts.com

The 4 Deserts is the world’s leading endurance footrace series, a unique collection of world-class races that take place over 7 days and 250 kilometers in the largest and most forbidding deserts on the planet.

Competitors must go beyond the limits of their physical and mental endurance. Racing self-supported in the most inhospitable climates and formidable landscapes, they must carry all their own equipment and food, and are only provided with drinking water and a place in a tent each night to rest.  The series, named again by TIME magazine as one of the world’s Top 10 endurance competitions, comprises the Atacama Crossing in Chile, the Gobi March in China, the Sahara Race in Egypt and The Last Desert in Antarctica.

For media and press enquiries including access to photos please email info@racingtheplanet.com.


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