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BREAKING NEWS

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The breaking news feed from 2014 can be seen below

Pre-Race: Breaking News 3
Sat, 15 February 2014 at 15:18
The competitor check-in at the Beit Zaman hotel in Petra has now concluded. The lightest backpacks of 6 kilograms belong to Sandy Suckling of Australia and Matt Lefevre of Canada. Japan’s Nakatani Tetsuya had the heaviest pack, 16.5 kilograms. Lasse Jensen of Denmark will start the race with 9.5 kilograms. “I'm good with that. 4.5 kg of that is food and the rest mandatory items. It’s my first race so food is my main priority. This race I'm expecting to push some boundaries both physically and mentally. I'm excited and nervous at the same time and keen to get started.” China’s Yu Guandi was happy about his 9 kg backpack: “It's okay not bad - the weight is in the middle. I'm excited to be here and looking forward to the start!” South African Kristinet Van Der Westhuizen was simply excited to start the race: “I’m doing the Sahara Race again because of the change in location. I’m looking forward to awesome scenery and hoping to have a blast, finish the race without blisters and don't take too long on the course. My non mandatory items are 3 ipod nanos with anything from running music to German heavy metal. If I have music on then I know I'm fine - dance along and hope no-one sees you dancing. It’s all about having fun! Competitors started the journey to the first Camp in Wadi Rum at 14:00 where they will be greeted with local traditional Bedouin music before getting ready for the first race day.
Pre-Race: Breaking News 2
Sat, 15 February 2014 at 12:10
Big cheers at the competitor briefing this morning for Jesse Yoo and Ash Mohktari who are two the people to have completed most 4 Deserts Races ever. Also for the 22 Grand Slammers and four 4 Desert Club members as well as Vladmi Dos Santos, who is a blind competitor from Brazil with his guide Alex. Competitor check-in is well underway. A top contender Salamah Al Aqra from Jordan awaits his kit to be checked showing us his gaiters that he personally sewed onto his shoes and padding that he put on the backpack. "I am very happy to have something like this to run in my back yard here in Jordan." He met double Olympian from Spain, Chema Martinez, briefly last night and said "may the best man win". There is a mix of nerves and anticipation in the air with everyone is focused on the weather - after days of sunshine it is clouding over with a possibility of rain tonight and tomorrow. 4 Deserts Club member Simon Southgate says "rain dances have been banned - swamp races are for other people, not for me." Bert Van Mackelenbergh from the Netherlands said "I don't know how some people get it their bag so light - I have all the lightest gear and it's still 10kg". In a few hours we will all leave in buses to the first Campsite, Kings Camp in Wadi Rum.
Pre-Race: Breaking News 1
Sat, 18 May 2013 at 08:00
Sign up to receive Sahara Race (Jordan) 2014 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 5
Sun, 16 February 2014 at 19:00
One hundred and eighty four competitors crossed the finish line for Stage 1. The final four competitors completed the stage at 17:22 to the cheers of fellow competitors, having walked alongside each other since the third checkpoint. Said Ji Sung (Jesse) Yoo, who was one of the final four and is currently attempting a record-breaking 20th 4 Deserts event: "Today was okay. It's my second time in Jordan, but it was the first time for my friends so it was nice to walk with them." Kim Kibum, Son Youngdal and Jang Jiyoon, who was with Yoo, commented on the course and its beautiful views. "It was cold out on the course today, but at the same time I enjoyed it. It was an interesting course with some really nice views."
Stage 1: Breaking News 4
Sun, 16 February 2014 at 18:00
Competitors have been coming into Camp 2, Lawrence of Arabia all day long, with many of them commenting on the stunning course. "I loved the variety of the mountains, the different colours of the sand and the swallows were a total distraction," said Australian Brett Foote, who is a Grand Slam contender. As the sun gave way to rain, a rainbow formed at camp, welcoming in a few competitors. Song Jinkyung of South Korea asked for drums to be played as she crossed the finish line. The rain didn't dampen the spirits of Sarah and Tom Sawyer. "The weather was amazing for us because we're Brits. The course was great and not too tough. A really good first day for us."
Stage 1: Breaking News 3
Sun, 16 February 2014 at 13:00
The first competitor across the finish line was Jordan’s own Salameh Al Acra at 10:55.40, followed by the Olympic marathoner Jose Manuel ‘Chema’ Martinez Fernandez from Spain at 11:08.39. Another Jordanian contender, Mohammed Al Swaiti and Italian Andrea Girardi came in together in third position at 11:39.26. The fastest man today, Salameh Al Aqra, commented the first stage: "It’s been a good day, a good try and I hope I can be first tomorrow again. I'm happy to be first." The second across the finish line, ‘Chema’ Martinez Fernandez summarized his day: "For me it's my first race in the desert. My problem is my back - my bag is too heavy. I feel okay, but tired. I liked the course." There was a strong spirit of sportsmanship at the finish line. When Andrea Girardi crossed the finish line he was greeted by Al Aqra. Girardi took Al Aqra's hands and said "my hero, my hero.". So far 12 people have crossed the finish line.
Stage 1: Breaking News 2
Sun, 16 February 2014 at 08:15
The first stage of the Sahara Race (Jordan) 2014, Lawrence’s Playground, started at 8:00 with 185 competitors who were excited to get going and warmed up after a cool rainy night at the King’s Camp. The lousy weather didn’t put off the competitors, who have been waiting this moment for months. Bill Biffin from Australia celebrated his arrival to the start line with gourmet meal last night: fresh oysters were on the menu. Janine Canham who is half-Lebanese and lived in Beirut until she was 12, has always wanted to visit Jordan. "I'm so excited. As soon as I landed in Jordan I haven't stopped smiling. Despite a really wet night, I'm really excited to get started." The race was started by the local manager Yousef Hasanat, who waved a Jordanian flag at the start line. Despite some signs of sun in the morning, the day is looking to be overcast at least until the afternoon.
Stage 1: Breaking News 1
Sun, 16 February 2014 at 08:00
Breaking News for Stage 1 will be posted on Sunday, 16 February 2014.
Stage 2: Breaking News 5
Mon, 17 February 2014 at 18:10
Competitors spent the afternoon enjoying the sun and recharging on their Expedition Foods. Many competitors enjoyed the challenging stage. Takaaki Kameya laid out on the sand, enjoying some well-deserved chocolate. "Today was long and the canyon was very exciting, but at the same time it made me very tired," Kameya said. "The views were great and we saw some camels as well as camel bones. I hope it will stay like this for the rest of the week." German Magdalena Dombek described the course as "really nice and beautiful. It was more challenging because of the terrain but less challenging than yesterday because of the weather." But it was also the newly formed friendships that made an impression. "The last two parts I ran with two Brazilian guys and it was great chatting to them and getting to know each other. We were singing - I think they wanted to pay me to stop." 168 competitors have crossed the finish line into Camp 3. It was a successful Stage 2 as volunteers and competitors welcomed Han Gyu Beom into camp who was the final competitor to complete the stage. Shortly before Han came through, fellow Koreans Cho Jung Min and Kang Shinkyu crossed the finish line. Many competitors appreciated the beautiful camp surrounded by rock formations. Eric Wheeler was one of many competitors using the Cybertent to update friends and family back home. In his blog post the San Francisco native described Camp 3 as a "Burning Man with mountains." Canadian Paul Borlinha said: "This is the best camp of the three so far."
Stage 2: Breaking News 4
Mon, 17 February 2014 at 12:52
Salameh Al Aqra of Jordan won the 36.6-kilometer Stage 2, finishing ahead of Jose Manuel "Chema" Martinez Fernandez and crossing the finish line at 11:08:01. Martinez Fernandez came in at 11:29:00. With the sun out shining, the 183 starters were in bright spirits and ready to tackle the challenging course, which included a narrow canyon towards the end of the stage. "I looked at the canyon and I thought it's not possible. My bag was touching the wall on all sides," said Martinez Fernandez. Third across the line was Andrea Girardi, with Yoshihito Sonoda close behind in fourth. "It was hot today, but I really enjoyed the course and I loved the narrow canyon," Sonoda said. Girardi felt today's stage was more challenging than Stage 1. "It was difficult," Girardi said. "There was a lot more sun today and so it was more challenging. I actually didn't see the canyon the first time so I had to double back. The scenery was really beautiful on the course." Six competitors have come through and are now at Camp 3, The Hidden Canyon. Due to Sunday's bad weather, results for both Stage 1 and Stage 2 as well as blogs and emails will be posted tonight.
Stage 2: Breaking News 3
Mon, 17 February 2014 at 11:08
Competitors are pushing through the sandy stage surrounded by majestic rock formations of Wadi Rum. Approximately a third of the field has now passed the half-way point of the course and Checkpoint 1 has closed. Many competitors are yet to see the amazing rock arch that is located between Checkpoints 2 and 3. Whilst many are finding the soft sand difficult, everyone is making steady progress on the course. Beatriz Garcia Berche of Spain who is completing her third 4 Deserts race is enjoying her day: “I feel strong today, having a great time!” Hideki Miyashita from Japan is also making good progress: “The scenery keeps my mind busy between the checkpoints but I can’t wait to see the cheering volunteers again.”
Stage 2: Breaking News 2
Mon, 17 February 2014 at 08:00
Stage 2, Wadi Rum Rock Formations has just begun with competitors eager to depart camp and start the 36.6- kilometer section. The stage takes place around rocky formations in the Wadi Rum desert. The weather is still wet but is expected to clear. Many of the competitors posted better times than they had expected on Stage 1, including Duncan Sharp who said: "Stage 1 was quite good. Overall I went faster than I planned to - I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not." And while the competitors were focused on the stage at hand, many of them seemed to take a moment to appreciate the course. "The scenery is really beautiful. Ordinarily I would spend more time looking at the scenery, but I'm focused on the race. However, every now and then you have to stop and take it all in," Sharp said.
Stage 2: Breaking News 1
Mon, 17 February 2014 at 08:00
Breaking News for Stage 2 will be posted on Monday, 17 February 2014.
Stage 3: Breaking News 6
Tue, 18 February 2014 at 18:30
Competitors cheered on their fellow racers to the finish line as today's Stage 3 came to a close. To the beats of a drum and the chants of "go, go, go" competitors and volunteers welcomed in Chan Wing Fu, who was also greeted by his wife Karen, a volunteer. The cheers continued for Kang Shinkyu, who said: "Today has been my best day so far. I'm good, but a little tired." Fellow competitor Richard Wang agreed. "I think today has been the best day so far, more like a desert run," Wang said. "I enjoyed today - the terrain, the weather. It's a scenic camp site - the spots have all been good - but I didn't like the climb into camp!" South Korean Han Gyu Beom was the final competitor to cross the Stage 3 finish line.
Stage 3: Breaking News 5
Tue, 18 February 2014 at 16:00
Contrast has been the word of the day with competitors marveling at the variety on the course and the stunning camp site that greets them at the finish line. "That was pretty hard but I liked it," said a smiling Agnes Cheng as she crossed the finish line. "The contrast between the rock formations and the sand dunes was stunning. The hard part was the sand - it felt like skiing without skis." Marian Gray and Catherine Manfield completed the stage together and were in strong spirits as they crossed the finish line. "I feel really good," Gray said. "The scenery was amazing and while they said the canyon would be very difficult, we didn't find it too bad." 136 competitors have crossed the finish line into Camp 4, Sunset Paradise.
Stage 3: Breaking News 4
Tue, 18 February 2014 at 13:40
Sandy Suckling continues to lead all women as she was the fastest female to complete Stage 3, finishing 23rd overall and coming into Camp 4 at 12:23:38. "I thought it went great today," Suckling said. "We had the most magnificent rock formations and it was stunning all around. We climbed through a canyon and we were fortunate to have people guiding us through. I loved the dunes and coming down the hill." Of her three-stage strong lead she said: "I love running and love the deserts. It's a bonus to be the leading lady and I'm quite proud of that." The stage was won by overall leader Salameh Al Aqra who arrived at camp at 11:08:33, followed by Jose Manuel "Chema" Martinez Fernandez at 11:23:36. 37 competitors have arrived, with Chen Jianqing, part of the leading team Xiamen University, saying: "Today was great! I think the first part of the course was challenging, but after that it was fine."
Stage 3: Breaking News 3
Tue, 18 February 2014 at 12:20
Checkpoint 1 closed at 10:30. The last competitor arriving was Gyubeom Han of South Korea. Competitors are making good progress on the course. The first hundred passed through Checkpoint 2 an hour later at 11:40. The most recent ones were Vladmi Dos Santos and Alex De Lima from Brazil, the blind competitor and his guide who are sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers Brazil.
Stage 3: Breaking News 2
Tue, 18 February 2014 at 10:20
Stage 3, Camel Racing in Twaissah, began today under the morning sun with competitors in bright spirits. At the course briefing competitors applauded as Sandy Suckling and Salameh Al Aqra were given their leader bibs. Today's course will see the 182 starters go through a narrow canyon before crossing a hard white dry salt flat beside a camel racing course. They will go around the edge of Twaissah Village and head into the Kharaza desert. "I'm feeling good. I'm enjoying the race and I think everyone sees the sun and they're happy," said Jin Feibao as he ate breakfast. Simon Southgate said:"The plod to Petra continues and now that the sun out spirits have lifted. It's much easier to enjoy the scenery now that we're not hiding from the rain. Smiles are growing and the aches and pains aren't too bad." Roslyn Crawford of Australia and Kang, Seong Wook of South Korea have withdrawn and are safe at camp. Competitor blogs, preliminary results and Stage 2 update are available on the Sahara Race 2014 website. More results and photos will be available soon.
Stage 3: Breaking News 1
Tue, 18 February 2014 at 08:00
Breaking News for Stage 3 will be posted on Tuesday, 18 February 2014.
Stage 4: Breaking News 5
Wed, 19 February 2014 at 19:00
All 182 starters completed Stage 4 with Son Youngdal, Song Jinkyung and Kim Kibum crossing the finish line together into Camp 5, at the top of Wadi Ahaimer canyon, at 18:10:54 The trio were greeted by fellow competitors and volunteers, with many of their compatriots assisting them at the finish line with their bags and water for the evening. When one competitor said to Song “you made it!” she beamed and replied “I know!”. Kim said of the day: “I enjoyed the course, but it was a long day and I’m tired. I’m still smiling, but now it’s time to get some rest and get ready for tomorrow.”
Stage 4: Breaking News 4
Wed, 19 February 2014 at 15:30
Competitors have been strong on Stage 4 arriving into camp and ready to tackle tomorrow's 86.3 km long stage. "It's sad that tomorrow is the last big stage - I want to stay more!" said Kristinet Van Der Westhuizen. There was plenty of camaraderie out on the course. Marian Gray and Catherine Manifield have been racing for seven years together and were still smiling as they came into checkpoint 3. "We haven't fallen out yet!" they said. Competitors Chris Calimano and Paul Borlinha were appreciative of all the hard work by the volunteers. "For three nights I have slept outside the tent near the fire and just yesterday, I slept near the volunteer tent and I found that they wake up at 4:30 am and usually they are the last to go to sleep so these guys are awesome!" Calimano said. 126 competitors have arrived at Camp 5 on the top of Wadi Ahaimer canyon.
Stage 4: Breaking News 3
Wed, 19 February 2014 at 11:14
The leader Salameh Al Aqra has just completed Stage 4 in less than 3 hours 10 minutes and arrived at the camp that is located on top of Wadi Ahaimer canyon. There are no other competitors in sight yet.
Stage 4: Breaking News 2
Wed, 19 February 2014 at 08:05
Stage 4, The Rock Bridge, began at 8:00 this morning with all of yesterday's 182 finishers starting the stage. Salameh Al Aqra and Sandy Suckling continue to lead the overall and ladies competition, respectively, while Xiamen University is the leading team. Competitors were excited to get the stage under way and also reflected on the challenge in front of them. "The word I've been using a lot is epic," Amanda (Chett) Matchett said. "I knew signing up for this would be a big mental challenge and that's what I'm getting served with the pain of the blisters and the long time on the course. I'm going slower than I expected, but still having a great time. I've never felt more alive." Bryan Pryde said: "Today's difficulty rating) is moderate, moderate, moderate, moderate. That's good right? I'm looking forward to today and then it's The Long March after that."
Stage 4: Breaking News 1
Wed, 19 February 2014 at 08:00
Breaking News for Stage 4 will be posted on Wednesday, 19 February 2014.
Stage 5: Breaking News 9
Fri, 21 February 2014 at 16:20
Oh Byeong Ju of South Korea was welcomed across the Stage 5 finish line by all the competitors, who clapped and cheered as he arrived at camp at 15:26 on Friday. He was given a hug by Yoo Ji Sung, who is celebrating his 20th 4 Deserts event, before high fiving fellow competitors who could all appreciate the hard effort that went into the 86.3 km stage. All 172 finishers have now arrived at Camp 6 atop a plateau above the Ancient City of Petra. Competitors were in high spirits as many spent the day resting and welcoming competitors across the finish line. Others were overcome with emotion as they arrived into camp. A teary Lin Yuli exclaimed: "That was hard!" Competitors are now resting up ahead of tomorrow's highly anticipated finish in Petra.
Stage 5: Breaking News 8
Fri, 21 February 2014 at 10:30
Checkpoint 8 has had 171 competitors through and the last competitor, the sweepers and their camels are in sigh. Checkpoint Captain Dolfen Yehia comments the atmosphere: 'Competitors get here so tired and some have been crying, but after some rest and a chat they have felt better and left motivated, "we will finish this" in their minds.' The last checkpoint and the finish line have had a steady flow of competitors coming in. At 09:08 157 competitors had come through Checkpoint 8 and at 10:02 141 had reached Camp 6. The cut-off time at Camp 6 is 13:00. The weather has already become hot, with sun shining from a bright blue sky. There are already a lot of competitors chilling at the camp, enjoying the well deserved rest day.
Stage 5: Breaking News 7
Fri, 21 February 2014 at 04:05
In the early morning hours after 200 kilometers of racing competitors' bodies and minds are really starting to take their toll. The United Stated based Nina Shin found the course much harder than described: “I'm feeling alright, but that was way too difficult. That was not moderate by way! But I'm smiling because we made it so that was good." Canadian Bryan Pryde and Shin, Sang Hun of South Korea crossed the finish line together, sprinting in the last few meters. "The hardest thing I've ever done", described Pryde. The Over-night Checkpoint 6, where the last competitors were having some hot soup and rested before heading on, closed at the cut-off time of 3:00. The last quarter of the competitors is making their way to the finish line over the Ancient City of Petra, through a 10.6 and then a 10.3-kilometer section on dust road through the outskirts of Petra, that takes them to the finish.
Stage 5: Breaking News 6
Thu, 20 February 2014 at 18:20
It's been a challenging Stage 5 today with Christopher Murrer describing the walk up to Checkpoint 5 on the Turkish road as "one of the three hardest things I've ever done." Leaving Checkpoint 6, Jean Magnol, who was with fellow competitors Alan Roy, and Xavier Abadie, said "it is very hard today". Competitors also commented on the scenery of the course with Scott Waring saying it was "impressive to find 10 miles all uphill like that", Uwe Paschke describing it as "magical mountains and beautiful views".
Stage 5: Breaking News 5
Thu, 20 February 2014 at 15:10
Competitors are going strong on today's 86.3km Stage 5 with 130 comps through the third checkpoint at 14:15. Marian Gray said: "The view is fantastic!" As for as the walk, she said "well, you just suck it up and go." At Checkpoint 5, when Mikko Kohonen learned he was the running in fourth place, the Finn replied: "Oh really! I can't believe it!" Food was on many competitors' minds with Andres Lledo Lopez opening up a package of Spanish ham as he headed towards Checkpoint 6. With a big uphill climb to Checkpoint 5, Lasse Jensen and Kaare Frandsen passed the time talking about the best place in their hometown to buy French fries.
Stage 5: Breaking News 4
Thu, 20 February 2014 at 13:00
Sandy Suckling is running strong and still the first woman in the field. Sandy came through Checkpoint 3 at 11:26. The second woman was South Africa’s Kristinet Van Der Westhuizen at 11:39. Michael Traub, Mikko Kohonen, John Ross, Kaare Frandsen, Lasse Jensen, Gijsbertus Van Mackelenbergh and Andres Lledo Lopez arrived at 11:15 running in a pack. Checkpoint 3 received their 70th competitor at 12:50. In the meanwhile Checkpoint 1 has closed. The last competitors arrived there at 12:00 and are now making their way through the canyon towards Checkpoint 2. The first competitor through Checkpoint 5 was Salameh Al Aqra at 12:47.
Stage 5: Breaking News 3
Thu, 20 February 2014 at 10:48
Competitors are making good progress on The Long March. The first competitors reached Checkpoint 1, located 11.5 kilometers into the Wadi Ahaimer canyon, at 08:57 and Al Swaiti who has taken the lead, has come through Checkpoint 3 at 10:33 with Al Aqra and Yoshihito Sonoda just 10 minutes behind him. There are a total of eight checkpoints along the course until competitors will reach the camp. "What a view!" Marveled the Checkpoint Captain Tony Brammer, when he arrived to his location at Checkpoint 7 overlooking the vast desert on the Turkish road.
Stage 5: Breaking News 2
Thu, 20 February 2014 at 08:30
The much anticipated Long March started with 182 competitors at 8:00. Everyone was excited for the final push but hesitant about the news of a recently formed river crossing in the canyon. The 4 Deserts Club member Simon Southgate read a tribute to all "brave runners and weekend warriors" as they lined up for the start. Linh Huynh of Canada who has previously completed the Antarctica Ice Marathon as well as the North Pole Marathon was looking forward to the day. "I have never hurt this much but am so excited", she said. Jordanian Mohammad Al Swaiti in 4th position was looking to see who is in front and behind him to know how hard to push today. Philippe Gatta was already enquiring after what food will be at the final finishline. The weather looked promising with blue skies and breeze as the competitors left the finish line, descending into Wadi Ahaimer canyon where they will be running for the next 20 kilometers until starting the long section on the famous Turkish road.
Stage 5: Breaking News 1
Thu, 20 February 2014 at 08:00
Breaking News for Stage 5 will be posted on Thursday, 20 February and Friday, 21 February 2014.
Stage 6: Breaking News 3
Sat, 22 February 2014 at 09:04
The 2014 edition of the Sahara Race has finished with competitors crossing the Stage 6 finish line in front of the famed Treasury in the ancient city of Petra. Competitors jumped for joy as they finished the race and grinned from ear to ear as medals were placed around their necks. Gijsbertus Van Mackelenbergh was the first competitor to arrive in the non- timed stage where he was given his medal by his wife Jennifer, a volunteer. Plenty of family and friends were on hand to celebrate the finish, including Sandy Suckling's husband, Colin, who surprised the leading female and 10th overall finisher, moving her to tears. "It's been a great week, one of the best ever," Finnish competitor Mikko Kohonen said. Upon receiving his medal Shinichi Tada said: "Thank you, thank you. Now I can go to The Last Desert." Ashkan Mokhtari, who completed his 15th 4 Deserts event, described the electric atmosphere at the finish: "It was a fantastic week. This has been an amazing finish. When you're approaching the finish you can hear the cheering and it's like going through a stadium. This is a truly unique place to have a race."
Stage 6: Breaking News 2
Sat, 22 February 2014 at 07:15
The final stage of the 2014 edition of the Sahara Race began at 7:00 this morning, with 172 competitors leaving Camp 6 for today's short stage into the ancient city of Petra. The atmosphere at the start line was as excited as in the beginning of the first stage. Brazilian Paolo Ortega described: I didn't sleep at all I was so excited. I packed my bag twice in the night." The six stage, seven day 250-kilometer race has taken competitors across four deserts, starting in Wadi Rum and finishing in a truly unique way in front of the iconic Treasury.
Stage 6: Breaking News 1
Sat, 22 February 2014 at 08:00
Breaking News for Stage 6 will be posted on Saturday, 22 February 2014.
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