Thursday, July 14, 2011

Racing the Planet..Namibia



In just a couple of days, I'll be heading off for two once in a lifetime adventures. My wife Chelsea and I will be flying to Rwanda to go on a wild gorilla trek. These magnificent and endangered animals are something we have both wanted to see for a long time. With reports of their poaching and the de-forestation, who knows how long they might still be here. Since I was heading back to Africa for the 5th time for another ultra-distance race, Chelsea decided to join in the adventure, and planned our gorilla hike. After our hike is complete, she will fly home and I will head across the continent to the West African country of Namibia for my 2nd half of the trip.

And I am running a 150 mile, 6 stage, self-supported race in which the competitors must carry ALL of our gear (except water and a tent). My pack will start out weighing a bit over 20lbs, and it will surely be an huge challenge lugging that while climbing the highest sand dunes in the world. The Fish River Canyon is another major landscape feature to note, as it is the 2nd largest canyon in the world and one we will be climbing down and back up it...thousands of feet!! Namibia is a sparsely populated country that has a wide range of amazing landscapes and extremes in temperature. We have just been informed by the race course setters, that they are currently experiencing temps down to 30F degrees at night and up to 104F during the day.

You can follow my progress (or lack there of), check my bio for past races, and even email me encouraging words that will be delivered to our tents...all at: http://www.4deserts.com/beyond/namibia/
And one last note of thanks to my friends Ben Wilson and Tim Hurt for coming through and sponsoring me for this race. Ben runs a investment fund in the UK called Sure Investment and Tim is the head of the US division and they were nice enough to really hook me up!! Thanks guys!!!! I really appreciate it...and will try to not throw up on the nice company logo!!!lol

Below is a description provided by one of the race organizers:

RacingThePlanet: Namibia 2009 gets underway in just two weeks with two hundred and fourteen (214) competitors from 38 countries expected to participate including a record number of past champions who will be vying for top places

(9 May 2009, Hong Kong) -- RacingThePlanet is set to stage its next endurance event in Namibia on 17 May 2009. Traversing some of the most spectacular dunes and stunning landscapes of the oldest desert in the world – the Namib Desert, RacingThePlanet’s six stage, seven day, 250 kilometer self-supported footrace, features a field of 214 from 38 countries. The event kicks off with a steep descent into the Fish River Canyon, the second deepest canyon in the world, an area rich with local wildlife such as Mountain Zebra, Giraffe, Oryx, Steenbok, Springbok and even leopard. Competitors will make their way through the African bush traversing lunar landscapes and over some of the most demanding and challenging sand dunes in the world to finish at the Skeleton Coast in the charming town of L├╝deritz.

Thanks to the unwavering support of the Namibia Tourism Board, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and other government agencies in Namibia, competitors will have access to some of the most remote and pristine areas in the country, and will be the first ever humans to have crossed parts of the landscape.

About RacingThePlanetRacingThePlanet® is a unique category of rough country footraces that take place over seven days and some 250 kilometers in remote and culturally rich locations around the world. Competitors must carry all their own equipment and food; they are only provided with water and a place in a tent each day but are supported by professional medical and operations teams. RacingThePlanet is international; the events typically involve competitors from over 20 different countries who are able to mingle around the campfires and in their geographically mixed tents. Currently the events consist of the 4 Deserts, a series which encompasses the Gobi Desert in China, the Atacama Desert in Chile, the Sahara Desert in Egypt and Antarctica, and a fifth event which roves to a new location each year. Time Magazine recently ranked the 4 Deserts #2 on its list of the world’s top endurance competitions.

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