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What Lies in Store for Iceland 2013 Competitors


It is the diverse geographic beauty that attracted RacingThePlanet, to select Iceland as a Roving Race destination. “I always think that we'll have a difficult time beating the last location, but I think Iceland will top everything,” says Mary K. Gadams, RacingThePlanet’s founder. “Iceland is remote, exotic and culturally unique with out-of-this-world landscape, which made it an easy choice."

While “Iceland” may summon images of white ice and snow, competitors will actually experience a lot of black underfoot in the Nordic region. Yes, black. Being one of the world’s most volcanically active countries, the 2013 Roving Race in Iceland will see competitors crossing a black sand desert, running along a black sand beach, traversing once-active lava fields and scrambling through a lava tube. However the landscape will vary greatly, also offering stunning vistas of green rolling hills, wild horses, mountains and bodies of water in all of states of glory: lakes, glaciers, waterfalls and fjords.

The race’s variety also extends to its competitors. There are over 44 different countries represented and the largest contingent of women so far – 34% of the overall competitors. The race’s youngest competitor is competing in a team of four with his father, brother and sister.

Simone Bishop, one of only fourteen (14) female 4 Deserts Club members as well as a finisher of Roving Races in Nepal and Jordan admits she is addicted to the Roving Races. “RacingThePlanet takes me to exotic destinations I have never been to before, “she says. The Roving Races also allow her to reconnect with old friends and challenge her limits. “I am always so excited at the prospect of pushing myself beyond where I ever believed I could go!”

The differences between Iceland and other RacingThePlanet races do not end there. Keeping competitors warm is the last of Samantha Fanshawe’s concerns when organizing multi-day running events through the Atacama, Gobi and Sahara Deserts. But with the 2013 Roving Race in Iceland presenting a range of temperatures – from freezing at night to mid-teens Celsius (or twenties if we are lucky) during the day – as well as differing terrain, the RacingThePlanet’s Vice President and Event Organizer is expecting some extra challenges.
“Despite the race taking place in the Icelandic summer, a major factor will be the unpredictable weather,” says Sam. “Competitors may experience rain, sun, wind, cold and (relative) heat all in one day and require the equipment to be prepared for this."
Vicente Juan Garcia Beneito, who is heading towards a RacingThePlanet record as he prepares for the final two events of the 4 Deserts Grand slam after winning the Gobi March (China) and Atacama Crossing (Chile) races this year, will also race in Iceland. For Beneito, the choice was made easy after his positive experiences at the 4 Deserts races. “I am very happy with the whole team at RacingThePlanet,” he says. “I’ve taken on Iceland so I can do more runs with you.” We are expecting South African ultrarunner Ryan Sandes, who is currently the only person to have won all 4 Deserts races, to go head-to-head to Vicente in Iceland.