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RACE CONCLUDED 6 SEPTNEXT ROVING RACE ECUADOR - JULY 2015

Features

From Volunteer to Competitor
There are two very different worlds that manifest on a RacingThePlanet event. There is the competitor’s world—a solitary space of inner-discipline and endurance, where the entire landscape is refracted through one’s internal struggle to complete the course. And then there is the...
Spotlight on Paul Borlinha
It has been an intense year for Paul Borlinha. The 50-year old from Canada is attempting to take on not only the 4 Deserts Grand Slam in 2014, but also the Roving Race. If he succeeds in completing all five, he will...
Getting to know Ryan Sandes
This year’s Roving Race champion, Ryan Sandes, is a familiar name to the 4 Deserts Race Series. When he first entered the Gobi March in China back in 2008, the young South African still had a desk job. But after winning that...
Post-Race Update
The Awards Banquet It was a night of great celebration as more than 300 people—spanning competitors, international and local volunteers, staff, family and friends — gathered by the poolside of the Grand Hotel in the center of Antsiranana / Diego Suarez. Everyone...
Checkpoint Captain Tony Brammer
One of the most important elements of RacingThePlanet events are the checkpoints that competitors pass through during each stage. These stations, which are filled with staff, volunteers and copious amounts of water, are the oases that racers strive to reach on each...
Oldest Competitor: Yoshiaki Ishihara
This year’s RacingThePlanet: Madagascar Roving Race drew many veteran 4 Deserts racers and perhaps among the greatest veterans in the field is Yoshiaki Ishihara. At the age of 69, he is the eldest competitor who has completed more than 200 ultramarathons and...
From Survivor to Madagascar
Having survived the television show Survivor: The Amazon as a runner-up, one could argue that Matthew Von Ertfelda came to Madagascar with valuable survival skills at hand. When we met the man, once voted as People Magazine’s Top 50 Bachelors, we asked...
Japanese Frontrunners
This year’s Roving Race had a strong Japanese flair to it. Wataru Iino of Yokohama has proven himself a force to be contended with, winning second place overall, and less than 25 minutes behind racing legend Ryan Sandes. The gold and silver...
Best of the Madagascar blogs
As The Long March closes and competitors bask in the campsite in relief, exhaustion and elation, we look back at the bloggers who have been charting their journeying via the Cybertent each day. Here’s our pick of some of the best reads:...
Mantras in Madagascar
It’s 4:00pm in the afternoon of Stage 2 of the Roving Race and we're sitting in the finish line tent with Melissa Gosse. At the age of 22, she’s the youngest competitor in Madagascar and is musing on being in her first multi-stage...
Sandes sensation returning to his 4 Deserts roots
Ultra trail athlete Ryan Sandes has confirmed his attendance at the 2014 Roving Race in Madagascar. The 4 Deserts Champion in 2010, Ryan is also the first person ever to have won all 4 Deserts. The South African runner is looking to...
Madagascar Where?
      “Welcome to Madagascar.” “Mada-who-ah?” Like Marty the Zebra from the animated film Madagascar, you can be forgiven for not knowing much about the country. Not many people do. Plonked in the middle of the Indian Ocean off the southeastern...
Preparing for an Event
    The most common questions that are asked just before or just after a competitor signs up to take part in an event / race are:   How do I start preparing? Is there a training plan? When do I know...
Record Number of Americans
Americans turned out in droves for RacingThePlanet: Iceland 2013.  Sixty-three of the 278 competitors signed up came from the United States, the most-represented nation of 52 at the race.  Their reasons were coming were, undoubtedly, as diverse as the country itself.  Gabriel...
RacingThePlanet Celebrates its 40th Event
  Many big ideas start small.  Benjamin Franklin went out in a lightning storm, and that experiment became what we now know as electricity.  A small restaurant in San Bernardino, California, slinging fries and burgers became the worldwide behemoth we now know...
Asians in Iceland
  From Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo or Beijing, Iceland is half a world away, and yet 96 Asians made the trip for RacingThePlanet: Iceland 2013.  Asia was the most represented continent in the race of 278 competitors – but why? The trip isn’t...
New Feature: View from the Front
For most RacingThePlanet competitors, just showing up at the front line is an accomplishment; lasting a few days, an added bonus, and crossing the finish line, a dream come true.  Most could never imagine crossing that line first.      Mo Foustok of...
New Feature: Love on the Run
For most women, the perfect engagement involves champagne and a ring; the honeymoon, a tropical beach and cocktails. But for RacingThePlanet women, romance can be a little different: grueling runs across the desert by day, freeze-dried meals and an eight-person tent by...
New Feature: Iceland in Six Words
RacingThePlanet: Iceland 2013 featured hot springs, steaming geothermal areas, lava fields, glaciers, black sand deserts, rolling green hills, mineral-rich lagoons – in short, more than the eyes of competitors could probably take in over their seven days on the course.    ...
Q & A WITH 66℃ NORTH
66°North’s claim to fame is they’ve been keeping Iceland warm for almost 90 years - quite impressive given the island sits just south of the Arctic Circle and regularly experiences sub-zero temperatures. Starting out as a manufacturer of fishing gear, today 66°North is...
Hanging Up his Stethoscope to Compete in Iceland
The ER doctor and regular medical director of RacingThePlanet / 4 Deserts events, Dr. Mark Ellis, will temporarily hang up his stethoscope and take part as a competitor in RacingThePlanet’s 2013 Roving Race in Iceland. While RacingThePlanet races in wild and remote locations...
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,...
Preparing for An Event
    The most common questions that are asked just before or just after a competitor signs up to take part in an event / race are:   How do I start preparing? Is there a training plan? When do I know if...
The Competitor-Turned-Volunteer
We had four former competitors join us as volunteers this year in Jordan, and on the last night of the race they sat down with Event Manager Alina Brown for a discussion about the experience. The volunteers included Lucy Rivers Bulkeley, who did...
The Leaders
One of the impressive factors of this year’s Roving Race is that both first and second-placed winners are in their 50s—proving that when it comes to these epically long endurance feats, age is no barrier. “I trained a lot for this race...
The Roving Race vs The 4 Deserts
When people first stumble across the world of RacingThePlanet, they often ask: What is the difference is between the 4 Deserts series and the annual Roving Race? We posed this question to competitors here in Jordan: What do they see as the...
The Roving Race Wish List
It’s the end of the Long March and we decide to spend the day canvassing through the campsite, asking people for their thoughts on the perfect location for the Roving Race 2014. Next year is slated for Iceland of course, but what...
Interview: Paolo Barghini, Italy
There was an effortless aura emitting from Italian competitor Paolo Barghini as he moved his way through the sands, canyons and hills of this year’s Roving Race. Catching up with the first-placed competitor at the end of the massive Long March, we...
Interview with Samantha Fanshawe
As the immense Long March plays out in the canyons and grounds of the ancient city of Petra, there is whole crew behind the scenes working hard to make sure that everything is going smoothly and safely.   Heading this crew is...
We Are Family
  If you tell the average person that you are about to head out on a 250-kilometer footrace across one of the most wild and barren regions of the world, and that you’ll be carrying much of your own food and supplies along...
Carlos Garcia Prieto Interview
The Roving Race in Jordan has one of the most exquisite settings of any RacingThePlanet event, and the entire journey was born from the mind of master course maker, Carlos Garcia Prieto. This Spanish racing wizard, who spends his days imagining buildings...
Making a Poem
After three tough days of putting up and pulling down camps, we grab a moment with the local camp manager Yousef, to find out more about his life growing up in this incredible region.  Settling down into the shade of a tent,...
Power in Numbers
What are the essential ingredients for a winning team in a RacingThePlanet Roving Race? Is it to match in physical fitness levels? Is it the psychological bonds? Four teams took on the Roving Race here in Jordan, but by the third day,...
From Deserts to the Olympics
Sophie Collett always has a smile on her race as she runs in RacingThePlanet events, but at this year’s Roving Race in Jordan, you may spot a somewhat broader smile than normal. Sophie has a remarkable task awaiting her when she returns...
The Superhuman
If you happen to be watching the History Channel on May 17th, you’ll come across a Brazilian ultra-runner named Carlos Dias. He’s been named a “superhuman” in Latin America, and it’s a fitting title. Not only is the 39-year old an astonishing...
Imagining Jordan
The storied country of Jordan, with its tales of Lawrence of Arabia, its multicolored desert sands, and awe-inspiring Wadi Rum expanse was a big draw for this year’s Roving Race. On the day before the 250-kilometer adventure began, we caught up with...
The Returners
As buses pushed their way through the streets of Amman and into the wild expanses of Jordan’s Wadi Rum desert region, our team strategically scatters itself on the various vehicles to talk to the huge number of multi-race competitors returning to this...
Healing Footprints
There is a life-changing quality to RacingThePlanet events, and it’s not just the competitors who benefit. Every race in the series partners with a local charity, and as competitors head into Jordan for this year’s Roving Race, they can celebrate the fact...
The Benefits of Competing with a Friend
They say that a problem shared is a problem halved. And there are bound to be a few problems that arise when you’re tackling some of the world’s toughest terrain on foot in events like the RacingThePlanet / 4 Deserts ones. Whether...
Competitors for Days, Friends for Life
 By Clare Morin   There’s an old saying, that those who endure life’s toughest challenges together, forge the deepest bonds. This would certainly apply to RacingThePlanet competitors. The adventurous souls who embark on these races are known to return home with striking collections...
4 Deserts Club Reunion
By Clare Morin The Roving Race in Nepal has attracted a record number of 4 Deserts Club members. Perhaps it’s their adventurous spirit, to take on another footrace in one of the most spectacular regions on earth. Or maybe it's the chance...
Racing at Altitude
By Clare Morin   As competitors were flying into Nepal to undertake the first Roving Race in a mountainous region, some were wondering whether altitude was going to play a big part in the race.   Altitude sickness often strikes those who...
The Children of Nepal
By Clare Morin If you ask competitors who the stars of this year’s Roving Race have been, they will probably say that it was the countless children along the course. Comments were streaming in from competitors throughout the week about these delightful...
Ultra-Dentist
By Clare Morin Stan Lee sits by the campfire on the long rest day and considers what it is that pushed him though seven 250-kilometer races in one calendar year. It began in March 2010 and included the 4 Deserts Grand Slam....
The Women
By Clare Morin One of the most exciting aspects of Nepal thus far has been the competition in the women’s division. There have been some amazing performances, and even now at the end of Stage 5, it is still not entirely clear...
Japanese Endurance
By Clare Morin There are big things happening in Japan this year with the development of trail events and ultramarathons. 2011 marked the launch of the inaugural Ultra-Trail Mt. Fuji, the sister event to Ultra-Trail du Mount Blanc. The Japanese competitors who...
Nepal and the Fine Art of Volunteering
By Clare Morin We are sitting with Tony Brammer in a gorgeous teahouse in the village of Birethanti, when it occurs to us that this is the first time that Brammer has actually been to camp. “I haven’t been in camp,” he...
Behind the Scenes of Nepal
By Clare Morin This year is the first time that the Roving Race has ventured to a mountainous region, which has brought the need for a fair amount of logistical wizardry. Although the course does not go into high altitudes, it is...
Running on Empty
By Clare Morin   Conversing with Marshall Ulrich about the mind of an endurance athlete is a fascinating way to pass the time. This elite American athlete has done more than 120 ultra marathons, climbed the highest mountains on every continent, and...
A Family Affair
By Clare Morin Although it often seems like one person’s struggle against the very limits of their mental and physical capacity, RacingThePlanet events are also known for their strong sense of community. The deep bonds that form between competitors are hard to...
Nepal: Home of RacingThePlanet 2011
  By Clare Morin Competitors are now thick into the action of the first RacingThePlanet event to take place in Nepal. The race is unfolding in the setting of the Annapurna massif, a mountain range in north-central Nepal that is renowned for...
Moving Mountains
By Clare Morin It is early evening in the lush setting of the Fulbari Resort and Spa in Pokhara, and a group of American competitors sit in the lobby of the exquisite hotel. There are hundreds of photographs of young children spread...
The South African Dynamo
By Clare Morin Ryan Sandes is sporting the beginnings of a serious Movember-Mo (that’s facial hair grown in aid of a global, mustache-growing charity event) when we corner him in the Fulbari Resort & Spa in Pokhara.   But hairy upper-lips are...
What the Newcomers Have to Say
By Clare Morin There is something magic at work as competitors prepare for the RacingThePlanet “roving” event in Nepal. The eagerly anticipated location for the self-supported footrace has attracted a record number of new participants - while half of the competitors are...
Nepal, long an expected location for RacingThePlanet
By Sam Healey Choosing the location for RacingThePlanet’s annual roving event is an enviable task. With the opportunity to race in so many diverse countries, climates, terrains and cultures, the list of possible sites is legion.  However, for RacingThePlanet’s founder Mary Gadams,...
Broken by the outback
Broken by the outback By Simon Penn As one of only two people ever to complete the 4 Deserts in a calendar year, Paul Liebenberg was deservedly one of the pre-race favourites for RacingThePlanet: Australia 2010. But an explosive first day put...
Rocky Road to the Finish
Rocky Road to the Finish By Simon Penn   From the gorge walls soaring high above competitors’ heads, to the boulders littering the course beneath their feet, rocks are playing a big part in RacingThePlanet: Australia 2010. And a couple of competitors...
Keeping on going for a cause.
Keeping on going for a cause By Simon Penn For former US marine Chris Lavallee, almost losing his father to pancreatic cancer was the push he needed to enter RacingThePlanet: Australia 2010. Chris and two of his best friends, all former marines, had...
The secret's in the skirt
The secret’s in the skirt By Simon Penn Tim McCosker reckons he has an unfair advantage over the competition in RacingThePlanet: Australia 2010 - the little black skirt he’s been sporting since the start of the event.  “It’s great, you get a...
Feet of Endurance
Feet of endurance By Simon Penn While dehydration has claimed its fair share of victims, feet have been foremost among retirements from RacingThePlanet: Australia 2010. After battling for 13 hours to finish day three, Jennifer Aldassy from the US left the start line...
Back from Namibia to finish the job
Back from Namibia to finish the job By Simon Penn When Russell Paschke failed to finish RacingThePlanet in his home country of Namibia, he was determined one day to finish the job. Russell and his wife Sharon had always wanted to travel...
Racing to trace his roots
Racing to trace his roots By Simon Penn For Peter Jong, RacingThePlanet is giving him the chance to discover his cultural roots. Peter has lived all his life in Australia after being born there when his mother fled from her native East...
Racing for a cause
Racing for a cause   By Simon Penn   As well as clocking up the kilometres, George Chmiel is clicking over the dollars for a worthwhile cause as he competes in RacingThePlanet: Australia 2010. The Magic Foundation supports thousands of families who have...
Aussies take it to overseas challengers
Aussies take it to overseas challengers By Simon Penn The home ground advantage is paying dividends for a few Australian competitors in RacingThePlanet: Australia 2010. The leading Australian competitor after stage two is Stephen Bingham, who is sitting in sixth place with...
From Atacama to the Kimberley
  From Atacama to the Kimberley       By Simon Penn       Tackling the Australian outback in RacingThePlanet is a tough enough feat at any time, but when you’ve just done the same thing a month ago in Atacama the...
Endurance superstars left in the dust
  Endurance superstars left in the dust By Simon Penn The big names competing in RacingThePlanet: Australia 2010 were left eating dust when stage one of the event got underway today. Students from the Dawul Remote Community School led competitors away from the...
Packing For The Outback
Packing for the outback By Simon Penn   Every competitor in RacingThePlanet: Australia 2010 will have a constant companion for the duration of the 250km epic – their backpack. Every entrant’s pack is weighed at the pre-race check-in, which shows the spectrum...
Epic Journeys Down Under
Epic Journeys Down Under   By Simon Penn   For RacingThePlanet: Australia 2010 favourites Stephanie Case and Salvador Calvo Redondo, it was never a matter of whether they would make it to the start line, just a matter of how. In the wake...
One who knows the full potential of The Kimberley
One who knows the full potential of The Kimberley By Simon Penn For John Storey, helping set the course for RacingThePlanet: Australia 2010 was a welcome opportunity to show off the landscape he loves. After moving to Kununurra more than 30 years...
Salvo has a Treble Chance
Salvo’s Treble Chance By Dave Flanagan   True champions are modest about their achievements, never taking success for granted. As winners they know they’re in the sights of every contender out there, but being hunted is what keeps their own hunger for victory...
Aussies Stoked Over RacingThePlanet Walkabout
Aussies Stoked Over RacingThePlanet Walkabout By Dave Flanagan   “It’s going to be awesome running on home turf,” says Michael Hull, barely able to contain his excitement over RacingThePlanet’s choice of the Australian outback for its 2010 roaming event. “We just don’t get...
From the sea to the desert
From the sea to the desert Words: Melanie Ho RacingThePlanet competitors train in various ways to get them into shape   From the famed island of Alcatraz in California to a desire to reach Africa from Europe by water, many of the RacingThePlanet:...
From the diamond trail
From the diamond trail Words: Melanie Ho Team Swana takes RacingThePlanet diamond hunting.   Not many competitors have a built-in excuse for slowing their pace along the trail.  Then again, most competitors aren’t part of Team Swana (Israel), the four-man team of competitors...
Competing to win
Competing to win Words: Alexandra Hamlyn Seventeen former champions participated in RacingThePlanet:Namibia 2009, but is competition a healthy or a bad thing?   Call it the selfish gene or human nature, but survival of the fittest is a race all life on earth...
High School Reunion
High school reunion Words: Melanie Ho   For the competitors and volunteers who have completed the 4 Desert series, RacingThePlanet: Namibia 2009 is like a return to summer camp.   It didn’t take long for Derek Kwik (Hong Kong) to find a familiar...
A different view of the world
A different view of the world Words: Melanie Ho The first woman to fly solo around the world in a helicopter competes in RacingThePlanet: Namibia 2009.   Jennifer Murray (United Kingdom) will be back. She was back today for Stage 5: Out of...
RacingThePlanet, epicurean style
RacingThePlanet, epicurean style Words: Melanie Ho Mark and Philipp Mosimann pack mouth-watering eats for RacingThePlanet: Namibia 2009   While most competitors only worry about the calories they are taking in and not about the actual taste of the food, Mark and Philipp Mosimann...
Leading the Way
Leading the way   Words: Melanie Ho   Kim Gyeong Su leads blind competitor Song Kyung Tae through RacingThePlanet: Namibia 2009   Far after most of the field had reached camp for the evening, Song Kyung Tae (South Korea) and Kim Gyeong Su...
A legend of ultra-trail running
A legend of ultra-trail running Words: Melanie Ho Currently third overall, 60-year old Italian Marco Olmo competes in his first RacingThePlanet event   There was a moment when Ryan Sandes (South Africa) thought: I can’t let someone as old as my grandfather catch...
Beauty in the desert
  Beauty in the desert Words: Melanie Ho     The women (and men) of RacingThePlanet: Namibia 2009 take a few measures to save their faces.   Usually it’s essentials only during RacingThePlanet events.  The mandatory list of equipment is sparse and many...
The hometown crowd
The hometown crowd Words: Melanie Ho Three competitors and one volunteer from Namibia play an integral part of RacingThePlanet: Namibia 2009.   During last Friday’s equipment check-in, volunteer Armand Moller (Namibia) was busy weighing bags.  While the majority of the competitors queued during...
First work and then a holiday
First work and then a holiday Words: Melanie Ho   Having arguably the most fun, the Spaniards take to Namibia   It’s not often that, two days into a seven day, 250-km stage race, you’ll find a group of people of busy sun-tanning...
All that Slithers
All that Slithers Words: Melanie Ho Horned Adder RacingThePlanet: Namibia 2009 competitors sight snakes, specifically venomous ones, on and off the course.    Before the first hour of the first camp had even passed, a set of iconic sightings had sent the competitors...
A Step for RacingThePlanet.
A Step for RacingThePlanet. Words: Alexandra Hamlyn       Sixteen locals from a settlement 150km away from the Fish River Canyon perform for RacingThePlanet participants.   As the sun rose over the dramatic landscape of the Fish River Canyon, melodic sounds began...
RacingThePlanet record holder Jesse Yoo
RacingThePlanet record holder Jesse Yoo Words: Melanie Ho        With a camera in one hand and food in the other, Jesse Yoo races his eleventh RacingThePlanet event.   When Jesse Yoo (South Korea) and Kahshin Leow (Singapore) raced together during The...
Meet the Volunteers of RacingThePlanet: Namibia 2009
  Meet the Volunteers of RacingThePlanet: Namibia 2009 Words: Melanie Ho Volunteers setting up a tent at training. Ahead of RacingThePlanet: Namibia 2009, volunteers tell their stories and talk about what’s needed of them. Tough love.   A steel fist in a velvet glove. ...
The Nama People
The Nama People By Alexandra Hamlyn Image: Children by Paul van Schalkwyk Generations of the Nama people walked the beautiful lands of Namibia’s Desert plains for centuries – now, RacingThePlanet: Namibia 2009 competitors have the chance to follow in the Nama’s footsteps as...
Not as simple as A to B
Not as simple as A to B  By Dave Flanagan "I'll feel I haven't done a good job if I don't get some light-hearted abuse," laughs Dave Annandale, who happily accepts his role as course director for RacingThePlanet: Namibia 2009, is one unlikely...
The Gobi 10: What They Know
  The Gobi 10: What They Know For the uninitiated, the world of endurance racing is exotic but daunting. It’s a self-selecting world of elite athletes who test themselves not only against long-distance competition but also adverse conditions. And they come back again...
From Yorkshire to the Wilds
From Yorkshire to the Flower H’mong Trail You might think that David Annadale and Emma Dawber were an ordinary British couple, even if Annadale is built like a northern bear and Dawber can run 100 kilometers like a deer. But the Annadale-Dawbers have...
People of Many Colors: The H'mong
People of Many Colors: The H’mong Most competitors in a RacingThePlanet race spend a lot of time thinking about their gear. They look for the lightest equipment and materials, in order to minimize weight and maximize performance. Try plastic sandals. For Team...
The Volunteers: Overnight at Check Point Five
The Volunteers: Overnight at Check Point Five All volunteers ask for it, some get what they are asking for and more. The volunteers assigned to checkpoints late in a long race expect long working hours and are ready to cope with emergencies. But...
The Volunteers: Coming Back for More
 The Volunteers: Coming Back for More  There’s no doubt about it – the volunteers for RacingThePlanet: Vietnam have a job that few would envy, especially not this week. The competitors are slogging through rain and mud. The volunteers remain at checkpoints in rain...
Behind the Scenes: Bringing the Internet to Competitors and Hill ...
Behind the Scenes: Bringing the Internet to Competitors and Hill Tribes     If rural Vietnam conjures images of a 2,000-year-old culture with few modern amenities, think again.   Isolated, beautiful, and remote, yes. But as a result of a three-way cooperative project...
Operation Smile in Vietnam
Operation Smile in Vietnam RacingThePlanet will be working with Operation Smile, an international charity, to set up a medical mission during RacingThePlanet:  Vietnam 2008.  Melissa DiBona of Operation Smile will be filing daily reports from the mission site in Lao Cai, Vietnam where...
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