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Desert Ultra

22-Nov-2019 Brandberg region, Namib Desert, Namibia

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2 REVIEWS
Desert Race Race Terrain
250KM / 155Miles
5 Days - 75 Runners

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Brutal  

Entry From £2500 GBP

This is the Namib Desert, one of the oldest deserts in the world, a vast region of Southern Africa which has been dry for more than 50 million years.  Daytime temperatures at this time of year reach 35 degrees but as night begins to fall, and the sunset turns the landscape into something otherworldly, the temperatures can drop to freezing.

You’re standing in baking heat and dust, surrounded on all sides by sand and scrubland.  The Spitskoppe Mountains loom over you, bare rock rising nearly 2 kilometers from the desert floor. 

You’re a dot on the landscape as you stand on a trail that winds it’s way through the rocky ground around you and off into sand dunes that shimmer in the heat haze on the horizon.

This is the Desert Ultra.

A 250km race split into 5 stages of sand dunes, dry river beds and baking scrubland in the shadow of rocky, martian mountains.

Runners should expect sweltering heat in the long days and freezing nights.  There may be periods running in darkness, following a marked route by head torch, under skies free of light pollution and filled with stars.

As a self-sufficient race you are responsible for carrying your entire kit, including food, safety equipment and a minimum of 2.5 litres of water which can be re-filled at checkpoints along the stages.  You’ll need some specialist gear to take on the world’s oldest desert.

Accommodation each night is provided by way of campsites built by our race team.

Base Camp: Spitzkoppe Mountains
Finish: Save the Rhino Outpost
Daytime Temperature: 30°C - 45°C
Evening Temperature: 5°C - 10°C

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Event Organiser
Kris King

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Beginner

Elevation: Very little change < 500 metres. Benign running terrain, not technical.

Suitable for: First ultra runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running in the last six months.

Intermediate

Elevation: Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed at least one ultra distance race (or similar event) or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

Advanced

Elevation: Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Expert

Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat) and or technical terrain

Suitable for: Experienced runners who have completed at least regular ultra distances in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.

Brutal

Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude) and or technical terrain.

Suitable for: Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Review Desert Ultra

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mich83

09:18 30-11-18

I've just returned back from the 2018 race. This was my first multi-stage event, so I was a little anxious to say the least! However... this was an amazing event, with a small field and everyone became almost a travelling family - running their own races through the day but then cheering each other across the finish line at the end of each day. The banter and camaraderie was second to none among the runners, crew and Exile Medics.

In terms of the course, the distances were roughly 31 mile, 30 mile, 26 mile, 13.5 mile and 57 mile. The terrain varied from soft deep sandy riverbeds to hard packed sand or gravel and rocky trails. The course was undulating at times and was either marked with flags and/or was following well defined 4x4 trails through the desert. Check points were roughly 8km - 12km apart and the race crew/photographers and medics would quite frequently patrol between checkpoints in 4x4s to check on runners, so there was never a point where I felt vulnerable (despite running almost the entire distance on my own).

Temperatures were regularly above 45 degrees centigrade with the hottest day reaching 55 degrees centigrade.

Serious training is needed to do this race justice and enjoy the surroundings and close attention to your hydration, nutrition and foot care is paramount. Make sure you train with your kit and get used to carrying it on long runs.... otherwise be prepared for the shoulder/back pain!

Incredible race organised by an awesome race crew (Beyond the Ultimate) and supported by world class medics (Exile Medics).

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Kitman365

07:47 04-12-17

2017-Amazing race, great organisation by BTU and first class support by Exile Medics. Same distance as MDS, 2 days shorter and the long day is the continuous last day. Prepare well this race takes everything!

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