I am off to Namibia for my next race this afternoon, i will be traveling for a couple of days, it will be a bit like the movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
Here is what i know about the race form the press release. You can also follow the race and send emails at this link as well
RacingThePlanet: Namibia 2009 gets underway in less than one 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
(7 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 Lüderitz.
The field of 214 features a record seventeen (17) former champions including 27-year-old Ryan N. Sandes of South Africa, who has won two previous RacingThePlanet events and 60-year-old Marco Olmo of Italy, a recent champion of many top ultramarathons. Seven teams will be competing including a four-person team from Israel, a Spanish team, a father/son/daughter team, a Japanese team, an HSBC bank team, an American/Danish team and an all female team. A record number of women will be competing with 54 on the roster. The largest contingent of competitors hails from the United Kingdom with 58, and a record 63 competitors are coming from Hong Kong.
Many competitors will be raising money for charities including Briton’s Mark and Philipp Mosimann, brothers from the United Kingdom who have already raised more than US$50,000 to support an Operation Smile mission in Namibia; American Norman Waite, a banker with Nomura in Hong Kong, who is hoping to raise US$250,000 to support the Otto Wong Neuro-Oncology Clinic; and Garrett T. Quigley, Zein J. L. Williams, Gordon D. Oldham, Douglas H. Maclagan and Stephen R. Moore, who are supporting the Child Welfare Scheme in Nepal. More than 60 competitors will be raising money for local and international charities.
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.
Competitors in RacingThePlanet: Namibia will have access to a cybertent which will feature fifteen Intel-powered Classmate laptops. RacingThePlanet has utilized these laptops for the past year, testing and validating the devices for use in rural schools. The laptops have become a key resource for the event. Breaking news from the field will be sent utilizing these Intel-powered laptops and BGAN satellites.
Website coverage of RacingThePlanet: Namibia can be found at www.4deserts.com/beyond/namibia featuring hundreds of pictures, breaking news texts, daily journals, video clips, field updates and full results.
RacingThePlanet® 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.
I am feeling fine except for all the blisters on my feet from running in the wet course at St Paul. I will be sending daily updates from the race whenever posibble. I am thrilled to be tenting with some friends at the race so it should be lots of fun as well. I will be gone for close to two weeks and i will miss my kids, of everything the hardest thing will be not seeing or talking to them for so long.