Counting Down – 22 Days to the Start of the Last Desert Race in Antarctica

Four Deserts – Two Done, Two to Go

Friday, 10 October 2014

The start of the 2014 Last Desert Race in Antarctica is fast approaching, and with only three weeks to go, there is not much time left for final training and preparations.

I am often asked to explain the link between the Last Desert Race and the other multi-stage desert races which I have completed in recent years in different parts of the world.

The one thing these races have in common is that they are all tough and challenging given the unique and remote locations where they are held. But It is definitely a growing sport given the number of new desert races being added to the running calendar and increased numbers of road and trail runners attracted by the unique physical challenges associated with these races.

The Last Desert Race forms part of the 4 Deserts Race Series, organised by RacingThePlanet. It comprises the annual Gobi March in China (first held in 2003), Atacama Crossing in Chile (first held in 2004) and Sahara Race in Egypt (first held in 2005), and bi-annual Last Desert Race in Antarctica (first held in 2006). These four deserts represent the driest, windiest, hottest and coldest places on Earth.

Antarctica Logo Desert 4

A fifth race, called the Roving Race, was added in 2008 and is held in a different location each year. Since inception, races have been held in Vietnam, Namibia, Australia, Nepal, Jordan and Iceland. The 2014 race was held in Madagascar.

Each race requires competitors to complete 250 kilometers during six stages over seven days. Other than a place in a tent and water provided each day, competitors must race completely self-supported, carrying all their food, supplies and equipment for the week. Like myself, most competitors enter these races for the personal challenge and to raise money and support for good causes.

TIME magazine ranked the 4 Deserts Series as one of the Top Ten Endurance Events in the world for two consecutive years (2009 and 2010).

Competitors can enter any of the individual races in the 4 Deserts Series, but in order to participate in the Last Desert Race, you must complete a minimum of two of the other races (excluding the Roving Race) and receive an invitation to participate.

Photo 1 Photo 11

I have completed the Sahara Race in 2011 and Gobi March in 2012, and was due to participate in the 2012 edition of the Last Desert Race. Unfortunately, I had to withdraw due to injury and therefore can’t wait to participate in the 2014 race.

The ultimate objective is to complete all four races in the 4 Deserts Series and join the “4 Deserts Club”.

So, if I survive the challenge of the Last Desert Race in Antarctica and complete the third leg of the series, the 2015 Atacama Crossing will the next and final challenge…

The countdown to Antarctica continues…

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I’m excited about the race in Antarctica and the challenge of raising R250 000 for a Greenpeace Africa solar energy project, and encourage you to support my efforts and the work of Greenpeace Africa!

Please make a donation and encourage others to do the same.

“Together we can make a difference!”

Follow updates about my preparations for The Last Desert Race, and work with Greenpeace Africa, on Facebook and Twitter, my daily blog, and via Greenpeace Africa’s  various online platforms.

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About David Barnard

This blog site covers my runs through the deserts of the world in support of social causes and campaigns dedicated to development issues in Africa. My next run is the 250km Big Red Run in Australia from 24-29 June 2017 in support of the Hippo Water Roller.
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