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Breaking News 4
Sat, 25 July 2015 at 19:00
Cotopaxi showed itself in spectacular fashion above the first campsite before a breathtaking sunset over Camp 1. The competitors were greeted by a local band and treated to hot potato soup with avocado. It was a perfect way to warm up from the chillier temperatures at the higher altitude has brought. It is 19:00 now and is complete nightfall. Many competitors have retired to their tents with 47.7kms to prepare for tomorrow for Stage 1 of RacingThePlanet: Ecuador 2015.
Breaking News 3
Sat, 25 July 2015 at 10:30
RacingThePlanet: Ecuador 2015 competitor briefing was held early this morning at the Swisshotel Quito. Mary Gadams, founder of RacingThePlanet, kicked of the briefing by welcoming everyone to the 46th edition of the 4 Deserts Racing Series, since the inaugural race of Gobi March 2003. Samantha Fanshawe, President of Events, introduced the event management team, volunteers, and medical team led by Dr. Avinash Patil. Samantha also made special mention of some competitors participating in this race, including: 4 Deserts Grand Slam Plus members; Canadians Paul Borlinha, and Stan Lee; the oldest competitor, Yoshiaki Ishihara of Japan, and the youngest competitor, Elizabeth Shin of the US. The competitor check room is a frenzied hive of activity, with the gear check area appearing as organized chaos. Everyone seems to be keen on getting started with this race, titled, Route of the Volcanoes.
Breaking News 2
Thu, 23 July 2015 at 14:00
The build up to RacingThePlanet: Ecuador 2015 is well underway. This is the first breaking news being sent - they will be sent daily until the race starts on Sun, 26 July. <p> Many competitors have arrived in Quito to explore the area and acclimatise to the altitude they will experience during the race (Quito is already at 2,800m). <p> So far Andrew Espin, Paul Taylor, Jacquie Magdalena, Paul Borlinha, Ashley Burke, Ben Davies, Des Cowie and Hiroaki Ozuru, Ash Mohktari (without his luggage) and Christopher Lewis have been spotted at the airport, around the hotels, exploring the old town and in the Cotopaxi National Park. <p> Don't forget to keep an eye on the website for full blogs, results, stage updates, photos and more. www.4deserts.com/beyond/ecuador
Breaking News 1
Thu, 19 December 2013 at 13:00
Sign up to receive RacingThePlanet: Ecuador 2015 Breaking News by email. During the event, Breaking News will be sent multiple times each day and include results, quotes and general course updates.
Stage 1: Breaking News 4
Sun, 26 July 2015 at 22:00
Stage 1 results and photos are now up.
Stage 1: Breaking News 3
Sun, 26 July 2015 at 20:30
All the competitors finished today with smiles. The last competitor of the day arrived at Camp 2 at 18:05. The general feeling about today's course was very positive, because the weather was dry and mostly sunny, and unaffected by the altitude. The temperature today reached a high of 18 degrees Celsius. Ake Fagereng of Norway, looked very energetic still as he crossed the finish line and said, "The last 13 kilometers were horrible! It just felt very, very long, but the first 3 sections were okay." Many competitors were eager to check their emails hoping to receive some encouraging words from home. Paul Hewtson of New Zealand was grateful see that there was an email from his daughter. It gave him some motivation he wasn't expecting. Its another night of competitors turning in early after traveling 47.7 kms on foot today. They feel satisfactorily tired and expecting a restful sleep.
Stage 1: Breaking News 2
Sun, 26 July 2015 at 15:30
Racing The Planet: Ecuador 2015 Stage 1 started with 135 competitors. In first place was Ake Fagereng of Norway who arrived at 12:10, followed closely by Chris Walker of the UK at 12:19 and Ralph Crowley of the United States at 12:27. Charlie Engle of the United States rounded out the top 5 at 12:34. It has been a beautiful sunny day throughout and competitors loving the old charming catholic Tilipulo Monastery where camp 2 is located. Its been a tough day for most of the field as they are feeling the altitude and are taking it slower. Matt Lefevre of Canada said: 'It's a whole different ball game in this altitude. I arrived in Quito a week earlier, practised in a chamber and am still feeling it'. Check point 3 has just closed and check point 4 at camp has received 69 competitors with the latest arrivals Peter Swinney of the UK at 15:23 and Alessandro Carrara of Italy at 15:24. Competitors finish tired but happy.
Stage 1: Breaking News 1
Sun, 26 July 2015 at 08:45
The weather this morning at Camp 1 is cold and foggy with temperatures overnight between 5-8 degrees Celsius. In the centre of camp, water was boiling in large kettles ready for anyone wanting a hot breakfast to begin their day. The 135 starting competitors had their timing chips set with the Sweepers as they made their way to the start line of Stage 1 at the Foothills of Cotopaxi. The course today will consist of quinoa farms, small villages, and a river crossing, which the competitors were thankful to hear, will be crossed over via a wooden bridge. Carlos Dias and Paola Corredor from Brazil kept each other company in RacingThePlanet: Iceland 2013, and RacingThePlanet: Madagascar 2014. When asked if they plan to do the same for this race they replied sarcastically that they would never do that again. Riitta Hanninen, Director of Events, announced the 10 second countdown to the 7:30 start to Stage 1. Right out of the gates were Ralph Crowley of the US and Dongchae Shin of South Korea.
Stage 2: Breaking News 4
Mon, 27 July 2015 at 18:00
Here at Camp 3, at the end of Stage 2, spirits are high. At 1800 hours almost 100 competitors have made it to camp. The most recent arrival is Andrea Andrews of Chile, resident in Australia who came in at 1801. Sarah Sawyer from the UK, leading female, came through at 1455 with her husband Tom. The first team through was Team Quebec at 1530. They were closely followed by The Inconceivables at 1531. It was a day with many hills, many of them uphill. Ashley Burke, who came in 17th overall, said: "Everyone was saying how tough the hills were, but this is my thing. I loved it." The weather has been pretty good today but the temperature is dropping fast and competitors are preparing for a chilly night ahead.
Stage 2: Breaking News 3
Mon, 27 July 2015 at 13:00
The first 50 competitors reached checkpoint 1 by 0930. It was a straightforward, relatively flat first 11km to checkpoint 1 before a 600 meter climb during the second section. Checkpoint 3 is situated in the picturesque town of Cochapamba and the checkpoint has been set up in the main square. Volunteers were playing football with the local kids once they'd set up the checkpoint. The first two competitors went through checkpoint 3 at around 1145, Ake Fagereng of Norway and Paul Hewitson of New Zealand. This is Paul's first race, he is a roofer in Wellington, NZ so the wind that has appeared is nothing new to him. The first person to cross the finish line and complete Stage 2 of the race is Ake Fagereng, coming in at 1307. He was followed by Mark Hewitson, Charlie Engle of the USA and Ralph Crowley also from the USA in 4th. We will be sleeping in Camp of the Condors and if the cloud clears, we will be able to see the Illinizas volcano. Despite the wind, a pickup truck turned up to camp at about the same time as the winner of Stage 2 playing loud music. It was the local Mister Softie truck, selling ice-cream!
Stage 2: Breaking News 2
Mon, 27 July 2015 at 10:27
First through checkpoint 1 is Paul Hewtson of New Zealand, followed by Ake Fagereng of Norway, Mark Walton of New Zealand is 3rd and said "I want you to know that I have 20 years and 2kg on this guy" talking about Ake. Ralph Crowley of the U.S. &#8203;arrived in 4th.&#8203; &#8203;Checkpoint 1 has closed with everyone through, Stuart Berry of South Africa was the last competitor to leave checkpoint 1
Stage 2: Breaking News 1
Mon, 27 July 2015 at 08:00
RacingThePlanet Ecuador 2015 Stage 2 started with 130 competitors. Its was a slow waking process to the morning since the weather was overcast and foggy. Sleep was much more rejuvenating last night because the overnight temperatures were not as low as the night before. The camp atmosphere was very calm and relaxed. The weather is expected to be cloudy with some rain and a few sunny spells. During the 7:30 course briefing leader bibs were handed out to the top male and female, Ake Fagereng from Norway and Sarah Sawyer of the UK, respectively. The Stage 2 course will lead the competitors from the monastery through rose farms, and a shortcut up a gravel ridge. The course heads up a continuous climb for 11km to CP2 and bit beyond before moving onto a single track with views into the valley. The total distance of the course today is 42.7kms
Stage 3: Breaking News 4
Tue, 28 July 2015 at 20:00
All competitors are now back at camp, with 6 Chinese competitors all arriving at 1838 hours: Sheng Chen, Aihui Li, Songrong Tang, Jiao Yang, Jingjing Lin and Tiffany Wong. They found the Chinese flag and a lovely photo opportunity took place at Camp 4, beside the Toachi river. Carlos Dias of Brazil arrived shortly afterwards, smiling as always, crossing the line with Bruno and Marisol, two local children who had adopted him for the last 500 metres. Dorothy Lam was the last competitor to cross the line at 2010 hours, in good spirit.
Stage 3: Breaking News 3
Tue, 28 July 2015 at 15:00
Last through checkpoint 2 was Dorothy Lam of Hong Kong- going slowly but strong. Everyone has loved the views and trail to checkpoint 2. Uwe Paschke of Germany said "this is the hardest thing I've done, but was glad to see the hill in front to slow him down. Paschke's partner Magdalena Dompek told him "just wait until tomorrow." 101 competitors now arrived camp. First ones in were Ake Fagereng of Norway at 12:58, Paul Hewtson of New Zealand at 13:01 and Ralph Crowley of the U.S. at 15:00. First women are Sarah Sawyer of the U.K. 14:09 and Magdalena Dompek of Germany 14:33. First team The Inconceivables 14:56. Competitors are enjoying their dinner and chatting at Camp 4 surrounded by steep hills. It's much warmer and many have a good tan from the day that turned to be sunny. Paul Taylor and Sarah and Tom Sawyer were among competitors who enjoyed a foot bath in a river next to the camp. Checkpoint 3 has closed and checkpoint 4 is waiting for the last competitors.
Stage 3: Breaking News 2
Tue, 28 July 2015 at 13:00
It took a while for the fog to clear but as competitors started to descend after Checkpoint 2, the fog disappeared to reveal a beautiful sunny day. Ralph Crowley was officially the first through Checkpoint 1 at 0858 but six competitors had all gone through by 0906. Checkpoint 1 closed at 10:45, with 123 competitors going through. Checkpoint 3 is situated halfway down a stunning, grassy track, at 2856 metres above sea level. The surrounding hills are lush and green. Ake Fagereng of Norway was first through Checkpoint 3 at 1135, very closely followed by Paul Hewitson of New Zealand and Mark Walton, also from New Zealand - go the kiwis! Chris Walker from the UK, a massage therapist came through 20 seconds after Stuart Berry of South Africa. He said as he stopped for water that he wanted to invoke the rules of the Tour de France because Stuart overtook him as he was having a comfort break! Sarah Sawyer of the UK is still the leading lady, coming in at 1220, 12th place overall. First team through at 1301, The Inconceivables, the Hogan family, all looking strong in fluorescent yellow
Stage 3: Breaking News 1
Tue, 28 July 2015 at 08:00
It was another cold night for competitors at Camp 3. Waking up in the fog, rain and 10 degrees Celsius, made it less motivating for everyone to leave their tents before today's course briefing. The fog began to lift as were spirits when the 124 starting competitors gathered at the start line for an 8:00 start to Stage 3. Competitors will cover 41kms today. They will have the chance to follow 18kms of historical footsteps along the Old Inca Trail, approach the Illinzas volcano, encounter a river crossing and more farmland. Farms stretch as far as the eye can see and cover the entire range of mountains that surround the course. Ben Davies of the UK and Desiree Cowie of South Africa said, "We are hoping for some sunshine and looking forward to hot coffee at the end of today. And once we reach the halfway mark we'll be happy."
Stage 4: Breaking News 6
Wed, 29 July 2015 at 20:00
All competitors are now in camp. 117 competitors will start the long day tomorrow. Paul Hewitson loved the hills and was the first competitor in, closely followed by Ralph Crowley and Ake Fagereng. Sarah Sawyer is still leading lady and arrived in great spirits with Magdalena Dombek, the second in the lead. Sarah's husband Tom came in soon afterwards. The first team The Inconceivables arrived in good spirits with all members of the Hogan family looking great. It was a difficult day, with many saying it was as tough as a long day. We are camped in a village with the local dogs, children and a donkey accompanying us as we get ready for the Long March tomorrow, which will end much lower down in a semi-tropical spot.
Stage 4: Breaking News 5
Wed, 29 July 2015 at 18:00
All competitors passed through Checkpoint 3 by 1630 so everyone will now have had a glimpse of the spectacular Quilotoa crater lake, with turquoise waters. It reminded Fergus Hogan-Edwards of Dr No's spaceship in the James Bond film You Only Live Once. 89 competitors have completed Stage 4 and are now at camp 5. David Grosse from the UK, Caroline Kirkendoll from the USA and Paola Correra from Colombia are the latest competitors to cross the finish line after 1800 hours. Competitors are relaxing in the grounds of the village, playing basketball, relaxing in their room or sitting by one of the fires in the main square. Competitors are checking emails and replies to their blogs in the cyber-church.
Stage 4: Breaking News 4
Wed, 29 July 2015 at 15:00
By 1430, 50 competitors had passed Checkpoint 3, which is fantastic news! 14 competitors have crossed the finish line of Stage 4. Paul Hewitson of New Zealand was the first to get to camp 5 at 1306, followed by Ralph Crowley of USA coming in second at 1309. Third was Ake at 1320. JJ Van der Hoeven arrived in 6th place at 1405. He said of his lodgings: "that room is awesome." The competitors are staying in the village hall and schoolrooms of a small village near the Quilotoa crater. The cybertent has been renamed Cyberchurch as we have set up the medical area and blog area in the very pretty whitewashed church in the village. We have recruited the local children to bang the drums as competitors arrive.
Stage 4: Breaking News 3
Wed, 29 July 2015 at 12:00
All competitors are now through Checkpoint 1. The first two men through were Ake Fagereng of Norway, followed by Ralph Crowley of the USA. Sarah Sawyer of the UK continues her lead of the ladies. Ake and Ralph are half way around the 6 kilometre stretch on the rim of the Quilotoa crater and are expected at camp in about 20 minutes. Camp 5 is in the small village of Huayama Grande, where competitors will be sleeping in the school rooms and village hall. The cybertent is in the church!
Stage 4: Breaking News 2
Wed, 29 July 2015 at 10:15
Ake Fagereng of Norway and Ralph Crowley of the U.S. went through checkpoint 1 at 0855 followed by Paul Hewitson of New Zealand at 0856. First female to checkpoint 1 was Sarah Sawyer of the U.K. at 0918. Twenty-one competitors have gone through checkpoint 1. The locals were&#8206; asking why there were so many people around and commented 'I think Cotopaxi erupted and everyone is running to get away.' Kimberly Williams of the U.S. was spotted smiling while she waited for a flock of sheep on the pathway to pass. Ralph Crowley was the first competitor through checkpoint 2 at 10:15. Next one in sight in the distance is Ake Fagereng with Paul Hewitson just behind.
Stage 4: Breaking News 1
Wed, 29 July 2015 at 08:00
A warmer night at lower altitude in a stunning meadow next to a Hacienda by the Toachi River meant that most slept much better than on previous nights. Everyone is feeling tired but good, with trepidation of the day to come, which includes an elevation gain of 1985 metres. It will prove to be a tough, but spectacular day today, with the final section including 6km along the ridge of the Quilotoa crater lake. The leading men and Sarah Sawyer the leading lady were at the front of the start line. The race started at 0730. The length of the course today is 40.4 kilometres. Michael McKerrow of Scotland was the last to cross the start line, having put the finishing touches to his packing, which made sure he would be ready for the river crossing ahead.
Stage 5: Breaking News 6
Fri, 31 July 2015 at 11:00
Stage 5 concluded at twelve minutes passed three on Friday morning when Dorothy Lam and Tiffany Wong crossed the finishline at Camp 6 in the school ground of La Argentina in the coastal jungle of Ecuador. Father and daughter Elizabeth and Dong Chae Shin with Brazilian Carlos Dias were just in front of them. Cate Martin was also looking strong when she finished the race. All competitors who started Stage 5 completed the stage. In general the stage was enjoyed by all. Stunning scenery descending through the clouds on simple terrain to the sounds of the unique species of birds. The downhill did take its toll on some knees and joints but the rapid descent provided more oxygen which was a welcome break from the altitude of the previous stages. David Grosse said he felt such a high from the increased oxygen that he did not want to stop at any checkpoint to make the most of the feeling. Everyone is now relaxing around the camp enjoying the humid, tropical climate at 27C (it is hotter when the sun comes out and cooler when the cloud moves across). There is a river a short walk away where well earned baths are being taken in the middle of the jungle. The trees around are full of oranges, lemons, avocados and other fruit. This is somewhat torturous to the hungry competitors who are eating their final calories of the week. Results, photos and stage updates from Stage 5 can be seen on the website. Competitors are working out whether they can sneak up a place (or if they may lose a place) on the final stage tomorrow. However it seems that the podium places for men, women and teams have been decided. Stage 6 will start at 7am tomorrow (Ecuador time).
Stage 5: Breaking News 5
Thu, 30 July 2015 at 23:30
Ake Fagereng, finished Stage 5 in a time of 5:45 followed by Paul Hewitson in 6:12 and Stuart Berry 6:27. Further down the field, Mark Walton, Charlie Engle, Frode Lein, Davide Lugato, Michael Corr, Jan-Jilles van der Hoeven, Chris Walker and David Field all finished in less than 7:15.All are now resting at Camp La Argentina, which is nestled among a small village in the lush foothills of the Andes Mountains. Stage 5 began at 10:00am with near perfect running conditions. No one has withdrawn on Stage 5 and competitors are expected to arrive throughout the night. Paul Hewtson said, "I love downhills, but not that steep and not that long. The terrain was stunning."Charlie Engle said, "This stage was the most spectacular stage of the race so far, to go from high altitude to the cloud forest...unbelievable." 102 competitors have now finished the long stage at 23:27. The last competitors to come through were in a group of 8, including Allister Kreft with his girlfriend Nicole Morgan, James Spence, Kimberly Hughes, Charles Cooper, Hamish Travers, Caroline Kirkendoll and Tim Lichtenstein. Almost all competitors crossed the finish line in pairs. It's great proof of the friendships that have developed during the week.
Stage 5: Breaking News 4
Thu, 30 July 2015 at 16:00
Ake Fagereng of Norway was the first competitor through checkpoint 3 at 12:51. Fifty-five competitors were through checkpoint 3 at 14:39. The temps have been cool and its mostly cloudy. Jacqueline Madalena of Canada said "Its way better than Iceland!" As of 15:30 ninety-seven competitors are through checkpoint 3 and David Grosse of the U.K. was the latest competitor through.
Stage 5: Breaking News 3
Thu, 30 July 2015 at 15:00
All 116 competitors are through Checkpoint 2 with Ake Fagereng coming in first at 11.53, followed by Ralph Crowley and Paul Hewitson at 11.58. It was a hard climb with beautiful views. The Quilotoa crater rim and last night's village campsite could be seen from the other side of the valley for miles. Carlos Dias of Brazil, Kristina Arthur of New Zealand and Catherine Martin of Australia left Checkpoint 2 at 1440 in great spirits after a short break.
Stage 5: Breaking News 2
Thu, 30 July 2015 at 12:04
First three competitors are through checkpoint 2. Ake Fagereng, followed by Ralph Crowley with Paul Hewitson right on his heels have barreled through looking fresh and ready to take on the long stage. As Ralph sprinted by, he shouted, "so just another marathon to go?" Currently its perfect running weather for our leaderboard - slightly overcast, cool breeze and nice tracks underfoot.
Stage 5: Breaking News 1
Thu, 30 July 2015 at 10:00
116 competitors started Stage 5 from Camp 5 which was La Escuela (school) and church of Guyama Grande at 10am - a late start to allow everyone a good rest after four tough stages. They have 62km ahead of them with seven checkpoints taking them down 3000 meters through a cloud forest and into a warm, humid tropical climate. Rain showers are forecast for this morning and there is a brisk wind. Everyone must arrive at Camp 6 by 0700 on Friday morning. Ake Fagereng from Norway is running to retain his lead - he has 18 mins on New Zealander Paul "Hewi" Hewitson and 40 mins on American Ralph Crowley. There is also competition among the women - Sarah Sawyer in the lead with Magdalana Dombek, Heather Jablonowski and Desiree Cowie in sight. And the teams also have some stiff competition between family team "The Inconceivables" made up of husband and wife Kate and Fergus Hogan-Edwards and brother / brother-in-law Mick Hogan and Team Quebec Lucie, Joel and Louis-Michel. Jeroen Touw from Holland was looking fresh this morning but said "it's still a long way and I'll take one step at a time". Andy Burns from England was feeling positive about today after a tough Stage 4 taking a minor tumble. Paul Taylor and Ash Mohktari (who has completed more than seventeen 4 Deserts races) have a good competitive camaraderie having had a similar pace for the last four days. And at the back Dorothy Lam, Cate Martin and father-daughter duo Elizabeth and Dong Chae Shin are feeling better for a good night rest and ready to tackle the Long March. Good luck to all competitors!
Stage 6: Breaking News 1
Sat, 1 August 2015 at 13:00
RacingThePlanet: Ecuador 2015 concluded this morning at 1000 when Mike Doerring, crossed the final finishline in Pucuyacu plaza mayor - he came into the stage in 48th position. The stage started for most competitors at 0700 while a few of those at the back of the pack started at 0630. The 11 km stage took them through a jungle track, across four bamboo bridges over rivers and then a run into the town of Pucayacu. The first person to cross the line was Ake Fagereng from Norway in 55 mins - this secures Ake as the overall champion of the race. He was followed by Alexandre Lucas, Frode Leine, David Watson and Paul Taylor making the Top 5 for the Stage. Mark Walton, Ralph Crowley and Paul Hewitson came in together in one hour and seven minutes. All having loved the race and enjoyed the amazing scenery Ecuador has to offer. Celebrations and congratulations were underway early in the square with medals being given, drinks and food being consumed and discussions of what the next race will be were a hot topic - reunions at RacingThePlanet: Sri Lanka and Sahara Race (Namibia) early in 2016 were being planned. Competitors are now on their way back to Quito to wash up and be ready for the Awards Banquet tonight
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