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Posted: October 5, 2009  : Add to Mixx! Subscribe to stories like this

Endurance Racing: This Year's Sahara Race Brings Together Some Of The World's Leading Endurance Athletes

(Hong Kong, 02.10.09) The Sahara Race, part of the 4 Deserts Series, has attracted a highly competitive field for the event's fifth edition at the end of this month. Some of the world's leading endurance athletes will come together from 25 to 31 October in Egypt's Sahara Desert for a seven day, six stage race, where competitors must carry all their own equipment and food.

Mary Gadams, Founder and CEO of RacingThePlanet, the organizer of the race says, "The 4 Deserts has established itself as the leading endurance series out there. The 4 Deserts is something that people feel the need to conquer, like the Seven Summits or the Five Oceans."

Joining the professional endurance athletes like Austrian Christian Schiester, 41, and Kenneth 'Tintin' Johansson, 44, from Sweden, will be a number of record setters including Briton Annabelle Bond, 38, who is the fastest woman to ever complete the Seven Summits; helicopter pilot Jennifer Murray, 68, again from the UK who amongst other aviation firsts, has most recently completed a circumnavigation of the globe via both poles; Ron Hackett who was Canada's first blind triathlete and is a two-time World Cup Triathlon Champion; and Jack Denness, a school caretaker from England who is the only 70-year-old to have ever completed the Badwater Ultramarathon.

The man everyone will have to beat at the end of the month though is Mehmet Danis, 34, from Canada. The Canadian Forces officer won the Atacama Crossing earlier this year, and is currently training under the guidance of his celebrated compatriot ultramarathon runner Ray Zahab.

Says Mary, "It's fantastic that we've managed to establish a race series that is attracting such a diverse group of truly inspiring people. Everybody has to deal with the same trials in the 4 Deserts, whether they are a veteran competitor or a complete novice. By limiting the number of participants everyone becomes a source of support for each other and a great camaraderie develops over the 7 days, even amongst the most competitive of athletes."

She continues, "That within this group of 130, we have people who have shown an extraordinary level of grit and determination to achieve their goals will be a huge source of inspiration for anyone finding the going tough...and I guarantee that every competitor at some stage of the race will be feeling that pain."

Competitors must carry all their own equipment and provisions during a 4 Deserts race, and the only "luxuries" they are provided with each day are a place in a tent in which to sleep, a campfire at night and drinking water. RacingThePlanet has partnered with PepsiCo to supply their Aquafina brand of bottled water for the duration of the race, with each competitor allocated 10 litres per day to keep hydrated in the relentless heat.

Once again the Sahara Race will erect a Cybertent at each campsite, with notebooks provided by Intel, so that competitors can update their blogs and inform friends, family and charities of their progress. RacingThePlanet has also established a facility whereby the public can leave email messages for competitors to collect at the end of each stage, and an encouraging word during a competitor's darkest moments has often been the source of inspiration to dig deep and carry on to the next stage.

The media capacity at the 4 Deserts Series continues to grow, as technology advances to make these most remote of locations accessible via satellite with more portable equipment. RacingThePlanet's own media team will be producing hourly video highlights, news releases, stage updates and photographs that are available both to the public through the official website (www.4deserts.com) and to news organizations around the globe. Also following the race this year will two other film crews from Red Bull Media and Japan.

The Sahara Race begins at the Farafra Oasis, seven hours from Cairo on 25 October. The six stage race takes place over seven days, and will see competitors race through a forbidding landscape of sand and rocky terrain whilst camping in some of the most remote oases of the Sahara Desert. The finish line at the Pyramids of Giza on 31 October completes the grueling 250km race.

About the 4 Deserts Series:
The 4 Deserts is a series of seven-day, 250-kilometer (150 mile) self-supported footraces across the largest and most forbidding deserts on Earth including the Gobi in China, the Atacama in Chile, the Sahara in Egypt and Antarctica. Each of the deserts is unique; with the 4 Deserts series taking place in the driest, hottest, coldest and windiest places on earth testing competitors limits both mentally and physically. Individuals and teams from distant corners of the earth from different backgrounds, religions and cultures bond together through a common mindset and a shared experience like no other. The 4 Deserts series is a world class sporting event open to anyone who is ready for the journey of a lifetime. Time Magazine recently ranked the 4 Deserts #2 on its list of the world's top endurance events.

About the Sahara Desert:
The Sahara Desert is the world's largest subtropical desert. Located in North Africa the entire desert, the largest non-polar desert in the world, is almost 1600 kilometers wide (1000 miles) and 5000 kilometers (3125 miles) long. Sahara Race competitors can expect a land of contrasts: rocky mountains giving way to gold, red and white sand dunes, stony expanses, the occasional palm-filled oasis and dried-up river beds where oleanders grow. Two thirds of Egypt lies in the Sahara which 8,000 years ago was a fertile land populated by elephants and giraffes. The heat of the Sahara is fierce and there is almost no relief from one day to another, however very low humidity makes the heat a little more bearable. Temperatures can fall abruptly at night and desert evenings can be cold. Strong winds and sandstorms are not uncommon.

For more information on the Sahara Race 2009, please visit www.4deserts.com/sahararace.


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