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Features
Interview with the Course Designer
The Sahara Race (Jordan) 2015 has one of the most exquisite settings of any 4 Deserts event, and the entire journey was born from the mind of master course maker, Carlos Garcia Prieto. This Spanish racing wizard, who is an architect by...
Mother and Child Reunion
American competitor John Ross has one of the more fascinating job descriptions of the Sahara Race. Based in Palestine, he is working with an NGO to establish two IT startup accelerators - one in Ramallah, West Bank and the other in Gaza...
Desert Alchemy
At the end of the fourth stage of the Sahara Race 2014, Ian Rosenberger sits in the Cybertent and finishes his blog. The 32-year old has been contemplating the next day’s infamous Long March, an 86.3-kilometer fifth stage through the desert. He...
Leading Ladies
It’s the end of the fifth stage at the Bedouin Campsite and there is the sense of extreme relief and accomplishment in the air. We set off around the site to talk to some of the top women in the race, and...
Pole-to-Pole
There’s a new flag whipping in the wind at this year’s Sahara Race. It’s here to welcome four Polish competitors who are representing their country for the first time in 4 Deserts history. Not only that, they’re taking on the Grand Slam....
The Chen Family
There is a wonderful trio of Chens at this year’s Sahara Race. The father and two sons from Taiwan have made 4 Deserts racing a family tradition. Catching up with them at the end of Stage 5, father Chen Yao explains that...
The Jordanians
It was September 2013 when Ammar Sabbah first heard that the Sahara Race was coming to Jordan. “I was doing a training camp at the Beit Zaman Hotel for my health club,” he recounts. “The hotel manager said to me, your people...
Best of the Blogs
In the old days of desert adventuring, you would be gone for a few months then return with a haggard look and huge stories to tell. These days, we’ve got something called a Cybertent so don’t need to wait very long for...
From the Boardroom to Bedouin Tents
José Luis Gómez Alciturri may be one of the coolest bosses you’ve ever met. The CEO and HR Director of Santander Bank is the force behind Team Corre 1km+. You may have spotted their red shirts and impressive logos—this team of five Spanish...
The Man Behind The Nickname
The first thing one notices during an interview with Jose Manuel Martinez Fernandez—known more commonly by his Spanish nickname of Chema—is the incredible mix of humility and raw talent that pervades the 42-year old.   “I started running many years ago when...
Ageless Desert Racers
The desert is one of life’s great equalizers. It doesn’t matter your nationality, your sex, your age or your job—when you’re in the midst of a vast desert and pushing the very limits of your strength and spirit, every human you come...
Interview with the Course Director
The Sahara Race (Jordan) 2014 has one of the most exquisite settings of any 4 Deserts event, and the entire journey was born from the mind of master course maker, Carlos Garcia Prieto. This Spanish racing wizard, who is an architect by...
4 Deserts Grand Slam
More people climb Everest each year than have completed the 4 Deserts Grand Slam. Only 28 brave souls form this extraordinary band of runners. They follow in the footsteps of legendary Dean Karnanzes, the first to complete this year long, one thousand kilometre...
Far-Flung Competitors
The finish line on Saturday felt a bit like the United Nations — with many national flags jostling for space.  A total of 38 countries were represented at this year’s Sahara Race.  While there were huge contingencies from the likes of South Korea and...
Best Equipment Choices
When one’s entire belongings are reduced to a small pack for a week in the desert, the choice of what to bring takes on a colossal importance.  As competitors relaxed at the camps in the evenings throughout the Sahara Race, we asked them to...
Reaching His Potential
Embarking on a desert race can be an extreme instance of coming face-to-face with yourself—the life lessons one encounters while battling these landscapes can be profound.  Perhaps no one represents this concept as well as Sebastien Sasseville. The 33-year-old was born with...
The Chefs of the Sahara
Food cravings are one of the major things that hit competitors mid-way through a desert race. All that dried food starts taking its toll, and visions of hamburgers tend to float through minds. We thought it would be a good idea, therefore, to...
Grand Slammer Seung Chul Youn
The largest country represented at the Sahara Race 2012 is South Korea with an astonishing 30 participants.  Among them is Seung Chul Youn (better known as Yuni), a 23-year-old student from Dongkuk University in Seoul. Yuni is aiming for the Grand Slam this...
Catching Up with Kim Chang In
In our continued profiles of some of the 30 South Korean competitors, the largest nationality represented at this year’s Sahara Race, we met up with 34-year-old Kim Chang In, who works in Samsung Medical in South Korea. When asked why she thinks...
The Online Racer
Of all the blogs of the Sahara Race 2012, perhaps the most entertaining one belongs to Brian Townsend. Filled with a novelist’s eye for detail, dramatic accounts of his first time desert racing and witty asides, it offers a window into a...
The Contenders
They make it look so effortless: gliding across the sand with seemingly endless reservoirs of energy pushing them on. What do the leaders of 4 Deserts races have, that leads them to such extraordinary results? We decided to peer into the minds...
Running in their Own Backyard 

There is the old adage that to really know a place, you need to move through it on your own two legs—feel the earth beneath you, the sky above and experience all the smells and sights directly through your senses.  This is...
Boundless In Egypt
Today was a dramatic day for the stars of the TV Series Boundless.  You may have spotted their names at the top of the results board—Canadians Paul Trebilcock and Simon Donato have been holding second and third overall positions throughout the race...
The Shanghai Crew
Five Shanghai residents are at the Sahara Race 2012, and we cornered them for a chat about what pulled them to this faraway desert. According to Niu Dongmei—China already enjoys a poetic connection to the Sahara Desert. “The Sahara Desert itself is very...
Going for the Grand Slam
One of the highlights of this year’s Sahara Race is the huge number of individuals taking on the Grand Slam.  There are many of them out there making headlines—both the leading man Vicente Juan Garcia Beneito and women’s leader Anne-Marie Flammersfeld are...
Finding Answers: Media at the Sahara Race 2012
Some might say, “what happens in the desert, stays in the desert.” But this sentiment may not ring so true at the Sahara Race 2012.  This year, a huge amount of interest from the world’s media has culminated in 30 journalists joining the...
The Halfway Point
Of the 18 people who set out to conquer the 4 Deserts Grand Slam this March, a total of 16 are still in the game. We catch up with four of them as the Sahara Race rapidly approaches to find out how...
The Mystical Structures of the Sahara
One of the most extraordinary moments of the Sahara Race comes at the halfway point, as competitors enter one of the planet's most mind-boggling landscapes. Set against the vast, silent expanse of a valley buried deep in the desert, are the unlikely...
Cops Join Forces to Cross Deserts and Conquer Cancer
RacingThePlanet has been closely following the progress of Simon Southgate, a Chief Inspector with the Hong Kong Police, as his seeks to fulfill his goal and join the 4 Deserts Club, whilst at the same time raise money to fight childhood cancer...
Running Toward Recovery
The path is laid out before you, mile by mile.  No detours, no meandering.  Running is linear.  That is perhaps what attracts Michael Herbert, whose story is anything but linear.  It is, instead, an intricate, looping tale of addiction, recovery, relapse and,...
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...
Beyond the Doctor’s Orders
Patrick Holgerson (Left) dodged the doctor’s advice for years, making excuses for his high blood pressure, smoking habit, and 107 kilogram frame. Finally, at age 40, the thought of taking pills every day for the rest of his life and missing out...
The home of the Sahara Race
By Clare Morin With all the turbulence and changes in the Egyptian political landscape this past year, some were wondering whether the Sahara Race 2011 would even take place at all. So when RacingThePlanet were the first operator to confirm that they were...
Dan Parr takes Sahara Race 2011
By Clare Morin 'There is a gracious quality to Britain’s Dan Parr, the winner of this year’s Sahara Race. We caught up with him just 24 hours after he pulled into the end of the long stage, winning the race with an overall...
Behind the scenes
By Clare Morin   It’s 6.30pm and a cast of characters of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities are sitting around a tent, sharing stories.  These are the behind-the-scene stars of the Sahara Race, the volunteers helping the staff make all the conditions come...
Conquering the Sahara
By Clare Morin As those who have survived the Long March of the Sahara Race will tell you, the desert can be a beautiful but fierce opponent. And not all competitors who set out from the starting line are able to also finish....
Desert Cravings
By Clare Morin Something funny happens to the mind when the body is moving through an endurance race. While the heart is pumping blood to every area of flesh and muscle, the mind does something different. It forgets about the here and now,...
Desert Doctors
By Clare Morin While the awards are given out at the Sahara Race ceremony, some would argue that some of the true champions of this event are the team of doctors who work tirelessly behind the scenes, tending to the battered feet and...
The Korean Contenders
By Clare Morin It’s the end of Stage 4 and a general sense of quiet anticipation is growing around the Half-Moon Campsite. We are just one night away from the infamous long stage of the Sahara Race, an 86.4 kilometer, overnight test of...
The Good, The Bad (and The Ugly) of Teamwork
By Clare Morin One of the most competitive forces at this year’s Sahara Race is the team’s division. There is a great sense of drama unfolding with the Mister Running Desert Team in the lead, followed very closely by Team Beauty and the...
The Taiwan Effect by Clare Morin
It is the end of the grueling second stage of the Sahara Race 2011, and the desert sky stretches into infinity above the Sandy Horizon campsite.   Sitting on soft sand outside a tent, we find a group of eminent Taiwanese competitors, and...
Operation Smile by Clare Morin
  With all the euphoria, struggles and blisters of 4 Deserts races, the drama of the racing itself often takes center stage. But there is another side to RacingThePlanet events, a quieter side that is just as incredible a force.   An...
Marathon Man Meets the Sahara By Clare Morin
There is something extremely refreshing about Trent Morrow. He may be the Marathon Man, but he doesn’t have the superhero ego to match the title.   Watch any of the videos on the Australian’s website (www.marathonman.com.au), and you will see amusing TV interviews where the 38-year...
Interview with Kevin Lin
    As the dust started to settle on Stage 1 of the Sahara Race, RacingThePlanet founder Mary Gadams sat down with one of the world’s most acclaimed endurance athletes, Kevin Lin, to discuss his most recent project crossing the Silk Road.  ...
Through the Eyes of the Top Contenders by Clare Morin
As competitors check in and make final adjustments to their packs on Saturday’s Pre-Race Day, we catch up with the former 4 Desert champions who are taking on this year’s Sahara Race.   We find top contender Dan Parr heading off for...
A Mystical Mascot of the Sahara
By Clare Morin Strange visions appearing in the desert are not unheard of for 4 Deserts competitors, but participants in this year’s Sahara Race are going to see a particularly unusual competitor bounding his way over the sand dunes. His name is Prince...
A Band of Baltic Brothers
By Clare Morin Competitors in the 4 Deserts series often recount profound moments while being out in the middle of a race, alone under the elements and pushing themselves just one more step beyond their limitations. This was certainly the case with Fred...
Lessons on Running a Life
By Alexandra Graves Jacob Hastrup spent most of the Sahara Race 2005 suffering from the effects of extreme heat. Ill and unable to hold in any food for nearly four days, Jacob still finished the race – and then came back for more. Jacob is...
Aiming for 17
By Alexandra Graves It wasn’t twenty years ago that South Korea was considered a fly-over on the way to other parts of Asia. Then came the 1988 Olympics, and Korea exploded onto the world’s stage, a dazzling economic miracle. In much the same fashion,...
The Benefits of Competing with a Friend
By Simon Penn 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...
Tackling the Sahara
By Simon Penn If you ever need convincing that the RacingThePlanet experience is contagious, the example of competitor Stefan Danis is proof-positive. “I started to blog during my Gobi experience in 2009 to raise awareness for NABS (National Advertising Benevolent Society) which led...
Sharing the Experience
By Simon Penn Despite being involved in their first 4 Deserts events, Jane Peng and Colin and Sandy Suckling had made a whole lot of RacingThePlanet friends before they even touched down in Egypt, thanks to the magic of the internet. Jane...
It's Chile in the Desert
By Simon Penn After the disappointment of being forced to pull out of his home event, The Atacama Crossing, this year, Chilean Sergio Retamales has now become the first of his countrymen to compete in an international RacingThePlanet event. Sergio's father fell ill...
From Snow to the Sahara
By Simon Penn A sauna in the snow may not seem the best way to acclimatise for the conditions in the Sahara Desert, but Finland's Carl-Mikael Tag has few other options. "I have my own sauna at home, like most Finnish people," he...
The Korean Contingent Show the Way
By Simon Penn Korean competitors have a proud history in RacingThePlanet events and the Sahara Race 2010 is proving no different. Sixteen Koreans took to the start line, and sixteen Koreans are still out in the desert going strongly. So what makes Koreans...
The Warmest Job in the World?
By Simon Penn Could there be a hotter job anywhere in the world than boiling water over an open fire in the middle of a desert? Mahmoud Hassan reckons probably not, but that hasn't stopped him loving every minute of his task for...
Leading Ladies
By Simon Penn The world of ultrarunning is dominated by men. When the 153 competitors left the start line for the Sahara Race (Egypt) 2010, just 39 of them were women. Now, after three stages, Katia Figini is the leading woman and...
From Catwalk to Campsite
By Simon Penn For someone used to living in the spotlight, the solitude of the vast Sahara Desert is proving a life-changing experience for Anna Umemiya, but it's also been an eye-opener. "I'm staying in tent seven and got to know people...
A heart for the children of Chernobyl
By Simon Penn David O'Brien's home in Ireland may be a world away from the city of Chernobyl in the Ukraine, but the plight of children still affected by the nuclear disaster there almost 25 years ago is enough motivation for him...
It runs in the family
It's all in the family By Simon Penn Rodney Rutherford isn't sure who has the tougher task on the Sahara Race (Egypt) 2010 - himself as a competitor, or his wife Janice and daughter Jaylene who are volunteering on the sidelines. Rodney has...
Grandad of the desert
Grandad of the Desert By Simon Penn At an age when many are planning to disappear gracefully into retirement, Volker Voss is this week embarking on his tenth conquest of the mighty Sahara Desert. A veteran of eight Marathons des Sables and a...
A Honeymoon to Remember
A Honeymoon to Remember By Simon Penn The light of head torches will replace candles over the dinner table, and a windswept tent is taking the place of a plush hotel room for Belinda Holdsworth and Tobias Wikstrom as the newlyweds celebrate their...
Inspiration to make a difference
  Inspiration to make a difference By Simon Penn A big part of the RacingThePlanet experience for so many competitors is the chance to make a difference by raising funds and awareness for worthwhile charities, and for Ryan Bennett the cause is a...
The Challenges Ahead
The Challenges Ahead By Simon Penn Experience counts when you're in the middle of the Sahara Desert, and competitors with vastly different backgrounds are now assembling ahead of the start of the 2010 race. But the desert can be a great leveller and...
Egyptian Pride
Egyptian Pride By Clare Morin As the Sahara Race kicks off on October 3, two participants will be feeling a special sense of pride as they set out to conquer the Valley of the Whales. Hala Youssef and Amr A. Shatilla are the...
A Family Affair
A Family Affair   By Clare Morin   PHOTO: From left: Libby, Carolyn, Ted, Carrie, Floyd (Libby's husband), Matt, Ann (Matt's wife)   The intrepid souls who sign themselves up for 4 Deserts events are a fairly rare breed. When these adventurous individuals...
A bigger, brighter smile
A bigger, brighter smile. By Sam Healey Earlier this year RacingThePlanet helped fund a mission by Operation Smile doctors to visit Bahariya – the oasis town in the Sahara Desert whose inhabitants have been deeply involved in the Sahara Race for the...
The Stunning CVs of Sahara
The Stunning CVs of Sahara By Clare Morin       Scan the competitor biographies of the Sahara Race and you’ll see a dizzying array of professions, from bankers to psychologists, CEOs to students. But some of the competitors have downright intriguing day...
The path of an experienced competitor becomes a Course Director
The path of an experienced competitor becomes a Course Director By Simon Penn Carlos Garcia Prieto takes a GPS reading While RacingThePlanet competitors are sweating it out in the wilderness during the day and shivering in their sleeping bags at night, they...
Try and Top This..the UK's Venetia Price reflects on her Sahara R...
Try and Top This By Dave Flanagan   “If I did decide to do another long distance race it would be difficult to find something worthy of the challenge,” says Venetia Price of the UK. “I've done the Sahara Race now, so I'd...
Giving Something Back...how RacingThePlanet helps raise a smile i...
Giving Something Back By Dave Flanagan   Saleh Kasm Siad does not think the competitors are crazy. Indeed, the head of El Ris village believes the only way to properly explore the desert is by running or walking. To him, it makes perfect...
Selfless..Takehiko Kano
Selfless By Dave Flanagan   You encounter a lot of selfless behaviour in the 4 Deserts. The hardship just seems to bring out the best in people. But at each event there are some individuals who really stand out because of their constant...
Now You're in Big Trouble...American competitor Saurabh Singh has...
Now You’re in Big Trouble By Dave Flanagan   “My parents don’t know I’m here,” confesses American Saurabh Singh. “They would worry too much.”   Luckily, you don’t need the permission of your folks to take part in a 4 Deserts event, but...
You've Got Mail...how competitors stay connected with home during...
  You’ve Got Mail By Dave Flanagan   Luis Marcos Silvestre’s eyes were filling up with tears as he sat in the Sahara Race 2009 cybertent reading messages of support from back home in Spain. Meanwhile David Mohring of the UK was receiving...
Joker in the Pack...Canadian Ash Mokhtari talks about how he beca...
Joker in the pack By Dave Flanagan   “As it was called a ‘march’, I thought it would just be a bit of hiking,” says Canadian Ash Mokhtari, recalling his less than well-informed decision to sign up for his first RacingThePlanet event last...
Erica's Surprising Day in the Desert.
  Erica's Surprising Day By Dave Flanagan “I come to the desert to get away from it all, to write, to take photos and just to run,” says Erica Terblanche. “I love the minimalism of the desert and these races - they are...
Captain Canada, the Reluctant Hero - Mehmet Danis, Sahara Race 20...
Captain Canada, the Reluctant Hero By Dave Flanagan   Mehmet Danis seems more than a little embarrassed by the suggestion that he’s the favourite going into the Sahara Race 2009.   “No I’m not,” he states, before asking tentatively: “Am I?”   He...
The Party's Almost Over - Team Trifecta reunite for the Sahara Ra...
The Party’s Almost Over By Dave Flanagan  Team Trifecta at the Pyramids of Giza -- all three are scheduled to become  members  of the 4 Deserts Club upon completion of the Sahara Race 2009. “It’s just like we’ve never been apart,” declares Pete Wilson,...
The Japanese spirit shines on in the Sahara ..... read about how ...
Japanese spirit shines in the Sahara By Dave Flanagan   Anyone who has experienced a RacingThePlanet event will know that they’re pretty good examples of how international affairs should be conducted. National flags might be all over the place, but friendship and cooperation...
The more the merrier ... there are seven teams in the Sahara Race...
The more the merrier By Dave Flanagan   “We’re novices and will be treating it with absolute respect”, says Paul Rowlinson of his team’s approach to the Sahara Race 2009. “We’re bound to make mistakes and will have to learn as we...
The Learning Curve ........... read what Raymond Liu, from China,...
The Learning Curve By Dave Flanagan Raymond Liu looked like he was beaten at the end of the second day in the Atacama Crossing 2009. Carrying a rucksack weighing over 20 kilos - complete with huge sleeping bag dangling on the outside...
An Oasis in the middle of the Race
An Oasis in the middle of the Race Words: Douglas Morrison A local Bedouin serves mint tea in the Sahara Race 2008 Competitors taking part in the Sahara Race  (Egypt) 2009 pass through the little-known village of Bahariya, the largest oasis town...
Running for a thousand smiles in the Sahara
Running for a thousand smiles in the Sahara By Dave Flanagan   “As soon as I heard about it I wanted to do it,” says Megan Moran, reflecting on her instantaneous decision to enter the Sahara Race 2009. “I like to challenge myself...
Drawing Pictures in the Sand
Drawing Pictures in the Sand By Alexandra E.P Hamlyn   (Picture in this article: Yukako Hayashi from Japan)   Many people say that you will see things in the desert, some real, and others not. But not everyone imagines another world altogether. Illustrator...
Video Made the Marathon Star
Video Made the Marathon Star By Alexandra Hamlyn   (Picture in this article: Jack E. Denness from United Kingdom)   Looking up into the vast dunes of the Hamada Desert at the Sahara Race (2008) Egypt, there are small figures peppered on the...
Filling Shoes of Someone Else
Filling Shoes of Someone Else   Competitors in the course of Stage 3.   Standing at the airport of a foreign country, there are few more uneasy moments than waiting for your luggage to come through the turnstile; especially if your life depends...
Sisters Stepping Out For Dad
Sisters Stepping Out For Dad   (Picture in this article: Lucy R. Rivers Bulkeley from United Kingdom)     It was over a Sunday lunch that Lucy Rivers-Bulkeley suggested to her sister, Camilla J. Howard that they participate in the Sahara Race (2008) Egypt....
Ice Cream for Joy
Ice Cream for Joy By Alexandra E.P Hamlyn   Giampetro Marion is the author of a book entitled, “24,405 km” which recounts his bicycle journey down through the American continent. He has two sons, aged 24 and 5. For some, the 4 Deserts...
Giving a Gift with a Smile
Giving a Gift with a Smile By Alexandra E.P Hamlyn    A pre-screening process of potential patients was conducted.     As volunteers and staff approached the site where Operation Smile was set up, it was immediately obvious that this charity mission had a huge...
To drink or not to drink
To drink or not to drink By Alexandra E.P Hamlyn   Volunteer training took place in the Movenpick Hotel, Media City Out in the arid plains of the deserts of the world, water is a precious and scarce resource. If RacingThePlanet didn’t bring...
Smile, and the whole world smiles with you
Smile, and the whole world smiles with you Nam Ngoc Lam volunteered in RacingThePlanet : Vietnam 2008 There are few things that communicate the spirit of youth as effectively as a smile – one that comes from the heart and in response to...
Ex-Gurkha to tackle third desert
Ex-Gurkha to tackle third desert By Alexandra Hamlyn Rob James in the Atacama Crossing (Chile) 2008 Achieving the balance between pushing yourself to your personal physical limits, and keeping within the boundaries of good health, is an art – one that many who...
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