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Stage Updates

Pre-Race Stage Update, Part 2: Monday, 3 November 2014

Good Progress on Second Day of Sailing

Competitors are getting ready to spend their final night crossing the Drake Passage before engaging in tomorrow's opening stage of The Last Desert—and experience first-hand the stunning landscape of Antarctica.

It has been a pleasant second day of sailing aboard the M/V Plancius, which is now well over halfway through the Drake Passage. The former Navy ship has been making good progress through the waves, which have been approximately four to six meters high – which meant plenty of rocking but not as much as expected.

Competitors have spent the day relaxing and enjoying the meals aboard the Plancius, getting ready for the first racing day tomorrow. Ryan Hill, a Brit based in Singapore, has been enjoying the clear and sunny weather from the bridge of the ship, where he has witnessed numerous wildlife sightings including a few fin whales rising from the powerful ocean.

We found Megan Stewart of New Zealand sitting in the fifth floor lounge of the ship. "This is going to be unreal," she predicted. "Like in the Sahara Race, where I had to pinch myself to realize that the amazing scenery around me was actually true, I suspect I'll have to do the same here."

It has been a beautiful day with temperatures of 3 degrees Celsius and a mostly sunny morning with clouds gathering later in the afternoon. The wind speeds have held around 35 knots, with the boat's speed traveling at 11.5 knots.

Many were happy that this two-day crossing has not been too rough. "The journey here was pretty much like I expected," said George Chmiel of the United States. "It's been tough with high seas and strong winds but also very beautiful, clear dark blue water and wildlife. Although this has been exciting, at this stage I think we are all ready to get to stable land. It's time to start racing!"

The plan for tomorrow's stage has been adapted due to unstable weather conditions on King George Island. Instead, the ship is will be heading past the island and into the Brandsfield Straight, which divides the outlying islands from the Antarctic Peninsula. Stage 1 is planned take place on Half Moon Island, an important area for birds such as south polar skuas and chinstrap penguins.

The course directors have planned for Stage 2 to be held on the volcanic, horseshoe-shaped Deception Island, one of the most stunning islands in the area which holds numerous remains from the early twentieth century and Antarctic explorers.

This evening, there will be an evening briefing at approximately 19:00. Tomorrow's opening stage is planned to begin at 08:00, weather and ice conditions permitting, and is planned to include six hours of racing.

Pre-Race Update: Saturday, 1 November 2014

The Last Desert Competitors Set Sail for Antarctica

The 69 competitors in the 2014 edition of The Last Desert are now deep into their journey to Antarctica, having set sail for the Drake Passage from Ushuaia, the southernmost town in the world.

Competitors had been arriving in the Argentinean town of Ushuaia in a steady stream all week. The past few days have been cold with snow, but this morning everyone awoke to bright blue skies and sunshine.

There was a pre-race briefing today at noon, with competitors and staff gathering at the Hotel Cap Polonio on the main street of Ushuaia. Mary Gadams, Founder of the 4 Deserts Race Series, welcomed the field to this sixth edition of the race. She then ushered in Event Directors Alina Prendiville (nee Brown) and Riitta Hanninen, and Medical Directors Laurie Kates and John Lissoway, to talk competitors through the coming days program, the race and medical details. It was an excited and happy gathering, with competitors already feeling like they were at a reunion, meeting good friends from previous 4 Deserts races.

It hasn't been long since the 19 Grand Slammers saw each other last: they finished the previous race in the series, the Atacama Crossing (Chile), just four weeks ago. Others were returning after a significantly longer time away: Bruce Walker's most recent event in the series was at the Roving Race in Namibia in 2009. When asked how he felt, he said: "Terrific! It will be my first time in Antarctica. The thing I'm looking forward to most is to get to this inaccessible place and pristine environment. Competition will not be my motivation; I'll take it easy and steady."

Once the briefing was done, competitors went through the admin check and at this point they were given a very special souvenir—The Last Desert jacket, which is colored by patches from each of the 4 Deserts races. "We are really excited about this trip," said Monique Muhlen and Georges Schroeder who hail from Luxembourg. "We have completed over 20 stage races in hot environments but this will be our first multistage race in snow. It will also be our longest sea journey. We didn't actually plan to do this race, but then one day we discussed it and decided that we may never have a chance to do the race again - the race taking place only every second year and both of us getting older, it is now or never."

When asked what he is looking forward to the most, Grand Slam competitor Atul Patki of India, said, "I would like to see: penguins, all competitors to finish, the beauty of Antarctica, and experience the 'Drake's ride'. The most challenging race this year for me was the Atacama Crossing because of the dryness and heat. I am doing the Grand Slam to be the first Indian competitor to complete the Grand Slam. I saw Michelle Kakade's name on the list as the first Indian person to have joined the 4 Deserts Club and decided to go for more. I said to myself, if there's a will there's a way."

The women's favourite to win this year's edition of The Last Desert and to be the 4 Deserts Champion for 2014, Isis Breiter of Mexico who has been recovering from the recent Atacama Crossing said she is feeling excited but will be taking it one step at the time as she is still recovering from a minor ankle injury in Chile.

There are also four teams racing this year, and the Spanish Team Corre 1 Km+ are looking particularly strong—having just won the team category in Chile at the Atacama Crossing. As Jesus Molina, Jose Luis Gomez Alciturri and Juan Carlos Albarran of Team Corre 1 Km+ were checking in, they said they were in high spirits.

By 16:00, the expedition ship M/V Plancius was ready for competitors and once everyone was on board, welcome drinks were enjoyed as the expedition leader, Kelvin Murray introduced the ship crew, the captain of the Plancius gave another safety briefing  followed by a safety drill.

The engines of the 90-meter vessel were then turned on and the Plancius set sail across the Beagle Channel under beautiful blue and sunny skies with temperatures around 10 degrees Celsius but windy.

After dinner a mandatory gear check will take place before later tonight, the ship enters the Drake Passage - which is normally a rough ride as it is the start of open ocean where the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans meet. The journey across the Drake's Passage will take up to two and a half days and will lead participants into the waters of Antarctica for Stage 1 which is planned to be a 100-kilometer stage on King George Island.

Stage 1 Update: Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Stunning Opening Stage on Deception Island

It has been a striking, opening day of racing in the historic setting of Deception Island for the 69 competitors in The Last Desert 2014.

At 07:00, the M/V Plancius arrived at the horseshoe-shaped island, sailing through Neptune's Window, an impressive gateway of volcanic rock formations that opens up to a large, round, lagoon shaped bay hidden inside the island.

Strong winds and unstable weather conditions around Half Moon Island had prompted the race organizers to move to this sheltered spot for the opening stage. The temperatures this morning hovered around 1 degree Celsius, but the sky was clear and views of the surrounding, icy landscape were breathtaking.

The competitors were delighted to be getting off the boat after two days at sea, being ferried over to firm ground in zodiac boats and landing on a black sandy beach. Nearby were the historical remains of buildings from the era of the whalers in the early twentieth century.

The competitors laid out their drop bags (filled with extra clothing and gear to be used only after the end of the stage) and organized their backpacks. The stage then began at 09:45 after course director Hernan Garcia gave a course briefing. There was 10 – 9 – 8... –1 countdown, and the 69 competitors headed into a stage that lasted for seven and a half hours.

The course took competitors around the island, starting in the middle of the landing beach in Whaler's Bay, a truly magical place where the volcanic, black sand meets the turquoise-colored sea.

From here, the route continued along the beach, passing old remains and houses from the previous century and taking competitors onto a ridge with wonderful views over the other side of the bay and its vibrant blue waters.

"It's like running through tiramisu," said British competitor Ryan Hill of the snowy course.

Competitors then continued past a whaling station and onto a beach where they could see seals sunbathing. Here, volcanic thermals met the numbingly cold water, causing steam to rise from the beach.

The day provided ample wildlife sightings, with three Weddell Seals, countless birds and Adelie penguins that gathered along the water line to watch the action with what looked like immense curiosity in their eyes.

By the afternoon, strong winds began to pick up, rising to 30 knots and making it a challenge for competitors at points. The temperature without wind chill was 0 degrees Celsius, but it felt significantly colder. However, the sun was out all day, keeping spirits high.

The stage concluded at approximately 17:00. The men's competition was tough with Jose Manuel "Chema" Martinez Fernandez of Spain taking first place ahead of Ralph Crowley of the United States—with both competitors completing the top distance of 61 kilometers. Andrjez Gondek finished third overall with 56.4 kilometers.

Isis Breiter of Mexico put in a strong performance in the women's field, covering 47 kilometers. Luxemburg's Monique Muhlen came in second place and Beatriz Garcia Berche took the third spot, with both women covering 42.3 kilometers.

In the team category, the Old Misfits were in first position with 51.7 kilometers.

"Today was good," said Frederic Asseline of France. "But I still feel the past 250 kilometers in my legs," he added, referring to the Atacama Crossing held just four weeks ago.

George Chmiel of the United States, meanwhile, was basking in this rare opportunity to race in Antarctica. "That has to be one of the most wonderful running days of my life," he said.

"Is that it?" said Britain's Bruce Walker with a grin as the stage drew to an end. "I was just getting into my stride!"

With the stage concluded, competitors headed back on zodiacs to the expedition boat across choppy water. They have been enjoying taking warm showers this evening, getting into dry clothes, having dinner and hearing more about the history of Deception Island. By 21:40, many people had already headed to their cabins. Some were still up writing blogs while others were socializing in the lounge.

Tomorrow's Stage 2 is scheduled to take place at Damoy Point on Wiencke Island, which is located closer to the Antarctic Mainland. The M/V Plancius is sailing there overnight with an estimated arrival time of 07:30.

Stage 2 Update: Wednesday, 5 November 2014

'Chema' Martinez Fernandez, Isis Breiter and Old Misfits Sustain Leads on Snowy Second Stage

Jose Manuel "Chema" Martinez Fernandez of Spain has kept his lead on this snowy second stage of The Last Desert. The double Olympian completed 26.4 kilometers through an intensely challenging course.

Change was once again at work this morning, as conditions caused the course to move to a new location. Last night's journey from Deception Island to Wiencke Island took nearly 14 hours and, nearing the Antarctic Peninsula the M/V Plancius expedition ship dropped its speed due to hundreds of icebergs floating along the Antarctic coastline.

By 03:00, the sun was mounting and early risers on the ship were met with a staggeringly scenic tour of black rocky mountains covered in 10-100 meter piles of soft snow along the coast. There were seabirds diving, penguins jumping in and out of the water, and whales visible within the gleaming water.

Approaching Wiencke Island at 07:00 it soon became clear that the ship would not be able to get through thick ice blocking the entrance to the island. The decision was made to head to Gonzalez Videla, an island that is famed for its huge penguin colony and a Chilean research base, instead.

Once on land, competitors climbed a 100-meter snowy slope to get to the start line of the stage. But the effort was worth it as they were rewarded with tremendous views overlooking the mountains and ocean vista from the start line. One could see for miles over the calm waters of the deep blue bay that was filled with ice blocks and a penguin colony.

The stage started at 12:54. The scenic course looked like a winter wonderland, but the soft snow proved to be challenging—forcing competitors to run two times slower than they would on normal, hard-packed terrain.

Nonetheless, the extraordinary views kept their minds occupied. America's George Chmiel was marveling at the huge number of penguins on display: "They are unbelievable," he said. "They are such odd creatures and so fun to watch."

Racer leader Jose Manuel "Chema" Martinez Fernandez called the stage "extremely tough," but the Spaniard managed to keep his lead covering a distance of 26.4 kilometers and coming in first place again today when the stage came to a close after five hours.

Ralph Crowley of the United States covered the same distance and is in second place with an overall time just 22 minutes behind the race leader. Andrzej Gondek of Poland is in third position.

Mexico's Isis Breiter kept her leader bib in the women's division, although 62-year-old Monique Muhlen of Luxembourg is now making impressive progress in second place as she completes the stages alongside her husband, Georges Schroeder. Beatriz Garcia Berche of Spain is third-placed woman.

In the team division, the Old Misfits, comprising Stefan Danis of Canada, Michael Gilgen of Switzerland and Anastasios (Ernie) Votis of Greece, are in the lead. The Three Amigos are in second place, followed by Team Corre 1 Km+.

While the snowy course was a challenge today, the weather proved to be perfect with temperatures of -1 to -2 degrees Celsius with sunshine and some clouds. "This is wonderful," said Linh Huynh of Canada. "Every time I look around I see new colors."

Meanwhile, Chris Calimano of the United States said, "I feel like a bowling ball bouncing around in this snow."

The stage came to a close at approximately 18:00. As Canadian Stefan Danis waited for the zodiac on shore, he was admiring the sapphire blue glacial water, saying: "This is just unbelievable."

Tomorrow's Stage 3 is planned to take place on Danko Island, which is located nearby to today's location and close to the Antarctic Peninsula.

Stage 3 Update: Thursday, 6 November 2014

Spirits Soar in a Pristine Third Stage

It has proved to be an exceptional day of racing in Stage 3 of The Last Desert with the warmest temperatures so far of 0 to 6 degrees Celsius, sunny skies and very little wind. Competitors were able to get out onto firm ground, and race for seven hours in an awe-inspiring location.

The M/V Plancius dropped anchor last night in front of Danko Island, which lies just opposite the Antarctic Peninsula. Surrounded by beautiful glaciers and astonishingly clear water with up to 10 to 15 meters of visibility, this island also has a vast assortment of birdlife. "We got up around 6am and saw outside of window and could not believe the scenery. Any photo or photographer can not give justification to its beauty," said Atul Patki in his blog.

Some of the sightings during the day included albatrosses, Kelp gulls, snowy sheathbills, Antarctic cormorants and storm petrels and of course hundreds upon hundreds of Gentoo and Adelie penguins. There were also some native swimmers and sunbathers including Crabeater, Weddell and Leopard seals, Minke and Humpback whales and Elephant seals.

Today's third stage started at 10:21. As with previous mornings, all 69 competitors were taken in zodiac boats to the start line, which was located at the bottom of a large slope. Several switchbacks then took competitors over the hill to the other side of the island and a route that gave them breathtaking views to the other side of the bay and over the Antarctic Peninsula and surrounding islands.

An endless variety of blues and grays were visible against the misty morning sky over a mesmerizingly still surface of the ocean, apart from the occasional penguin or seal breaking their head through its glass-like surface. As the day warmed, there was sunshine and clear blue skies with many competitors over-heating – not a problem that most had anticipated during a race in Antarctica.

This beautiful weather inspired competitors to run and their spirits went through the roof after having had strong cold winds on Stage 1 and not a particularly runnable Stage 2. The hard packed, runnable snow and beautiful weather was just what everyone was looking for and competitors absolutely loved the stage. Some even pulled off their shirts for a little sunbathing and photos along the way.

On top of the amazing weather, competitors and staff witnessed a huge avalanche fall down from a top of a mountain on the opposite side of the bay from the start line as well as glaciers grumbling and submerging into the sea and then popping up to float again in their new shapes.

For most competitors this was the fastest stage so far.

The stage concluded at 17:10 with Spain's Jose Manuel "Chema" Martinez Fernandez winning the stage again, finishing 41 kilometers with a time of 6:08:30.

Ralph Crowley of the United States kept a strong pace behind the Spaniard; he completed the same distance today, finishing just eight minutes behind with a time of 6:16:23. James Edwards came in third, covering 36.9 kilometers but remaining in fourth place overall.

In the women's field, Isis Breiter has sustained her lead, completing 28.7 kilometers. Monique Muhlen from Luxembourg held steady in second place, with 24.6 kilometers.

For everyone, it was a spectacular day of racing. As Ryan Hill of the United Kingdom said, "I could have gone on for hours today. The course look horrendous at the start but when breaching the brow of the hill, I got this rush of endorphin and that high just got better and better."

"The sunshine and the crystalline waters gave me so much motivation," said Linh Hyunh. "The way it was reflected by the icebergs in the bay was just beautiful."

Tomorrow's Stage 4 is planned to take place on Half Moon Island, which is 14 hours away from this location. It lies next to Deception Island, where Stage 1 took place. From there, it will be a few hours sailing distance to King George Island which is planned to be the last landing point in Antarctica before heading back into the Drake Passage to head home.

Depending on weather conditions, tomorrow's Stage 4 could go on for up to ten hours. With this in mind, many competitors were getting an early night after they finished their dinner aboard the warmth of the expedition ship.

Stage 4 Update: Friday, 7 November 2014

Stage 4 Cancelled Due to Bad Weather

Stage 4 on Yankee Harbor has been suspended due to 40 mile per hour winds. The high winds made it impossible to use the zodiacs which transport competitors back and forth to shore.

Stage 5 Update: Saturday 8 November 2014

Final Stage in Telefon Bay

The Last Desert 2014 came to a triumphant close today, with the final Stage 5 taking place on Deception Island at Telefon Bay.

Jose Manuel "Chema" Martinez of Spain and Isis Breiter of Mexico emerged as race champions. This marks Chema as the Overall Champion of the 4 Deserts Series in 2014.

The Old Misfits won the team category. The team is comprised of Michael Gilgen of Switzerland, Stefan Danis of Canada and Anastasios (Ernie) Votis of Greece.

Yesterday had been an unexpected day of rest for competitors due to very strong winds. Overnight, the expedition ship M/V Plancius had sailed to a new location on Deception Island through rough seas—and this morning, they awoke to calm weather in the caldera of the horseshoe shaped island.

Breakfast was served at 07:00, and within an hour competitors were boarding zodiacs and being transported to the black sandy beach of this volcanic island.

The stage began at 08:50 after a short briefing and was held in a large snowy valley surrounded by volcanoes. The course was on snowy ground but due to cold temperatures of approximately -3 degrees Celsius and cold winds that were being channeled over the snowy peaks, competitors had to deal with a crusty, hard footing for much of the route. It was fairly flat and runnable but also included some more moderate climbs with softer snow.

Highlights during the day were the Weddell seals - including a very unique sighting of an albino Weddell seal cub - resting on the shore as the stage began. There were also many albatross flying around the course and penguins seemingly cheering on from the shoreline. The day was the perfect finishing stage. It was, however, the coldest of the race so far due to strong winds, still around 20 knots, which made the temperatures feel like -18 degrees Celsius at times.

The stage concluded at approximately 13:00, with race leaders Jose Manuel "Chema" Martinez Fernandez of Spain and Mexico's Isis Breiter winning the race. America's Ralph Crowley was second-place overall followed by Andrzej Gondek of Poland in third place. The second-place woman was Monique Muhlen with Spanish competitor Beatriz Garcia Berche coming in third.

Kevin Murray, expedition leader of the M/V Plancius, and expedition staff members Alison Liddle and Paul Donovan awarded the 69 competitors with The Last Desert finisher medals as they completed the stage.

"I loved today," said Japan's Tomotaka Kamei. "The course was very runnable and I could have just kept going. I'm so happy to have completed this race."

Miki Komaba, also from Japan, said: "I have had a great time in Antarctica and it's such a beautiful place. I could come back another time."

The atmosphere at the finish line had it all: tears, warm hugs, loud cheers, photo taking and more. Adding to the celebrations was the fact that it was Grand Slammer (and new 4 Deserts Club member) Atul Patki's birthday. After celebrations on shore, competitors had to say goodbye to Antarctica and boarded Plancius for the return trip.

French competitor Gregory Lafitte said, "I feel great, although with the two day journey back the event is still not quite finished so it's a little hard to realize just yet what I have achieved."

He has completed three 4 Deserts Race Series races in the past few months together with fellow Frenchman Frederik Asseline who added that this race with its luxurious meals onboard has been somewhat different: "I'm feeling happy but I have actually gained weight during this trip," he said with a laugh. "Which was not the case in Madagascar 2014 and the Atacama Crossing!"

The M/V Plancius is now making its way past the last islands and back out to the Drake Passage for a two and a half day journey back to Argentina.

There will be no Stage 6 for The Last Desert (Antarctica) 2014.

The final stage of The Last Desert 2014 took place on Deception Island on Saturday, 8 November. Participants are headed back to Ushuaia, Argentina, with an expected arrival date of 11 November. The Awards Banquet will be held on board the M/V Plancius on 10 November.

Post-Race Update: Tuesday, 11 November 2014

The Awards Banquet

The Awards Banquet for The Last Desert 2014 was held last night aboard the M/V Plancius in the Beagle Channel as it made its way back to the Argentinean coastline.

It was a wonderful event with competitors, staff, volunteers, expedition ship crew and other guests attending and celebrating what has not only been an astonishing race but an incredible year of racing.

Mary Gadams, Founder of the 4 Deserts Race Series, gave a short speech about the history of The Last Desert, highlighting this sixth edition event and how special and unique every Antarctic race has been since its inaugural edition in 2006.

The largest-ever edition of The Last Desert saw all 69 competitors finish the race. The race also celebrated a record-breaking number of Grand Slam competitors (19 from 11 countries) and new entrants to the 4 Deserts Club (43 from 21 countries) in 2014. Even more impressively, many competitors representing first-time nations, including Chile, Philippines, Poland, Switzerland and Thailand, were recognized into the 4 Deserts Club.

Awards were presented to the overall race winners, Jose Manuel "Chema" Martinez Fernandez of Spain and Isis Breiter of Mexico—both Grand Slammers and Overall Champions of the 4 Deserts Series for the year 2014. Martinez Fernandez and Breiter join the history books, along with South African Ryan Sandes and "Ultramarathon Man" Dean Karnazes of the United States, as 4 Deserts Champions.

Ralph Crowley of the United States and Beatriz Garcia Berche of Spain were applauded for their performances in second place, while James Edwards of the United Kingdom and Monique Muhlen of Luxembourg were given medals for their third place rankings.

In the team division, the Old Misfits were the triumphant winners, followed by the 3 Amigos and Corre 1 km+.

The special awards of the evening were then given out. Megan Stewart of New Zealand was given the Spirit Award. Stewart gave a tremendous speech, explaining how Mary Gadams and the 4 Deserts has changed her life—Stewart has turned her racing journey into a platform for fundraising for various charities and has been busy changing lives herself. The Sportsmanship Award was given to Etsuji Otsuka of Japan.

Next came a slideshow of race highlights from talented official race photographer Zandy Mangold. Photographs of the entire group as well as newly inducted 4 Deserts Club members and Grand Slam members were taken with everyone cheering madly.

It has been a tremendous year for the race series as evidenced by the long list of new 4 Deserts Club Members and Grand Slam members. Many new records were set with new nations represented and Canadian Paul Borlinha successfully becoming the third person in history to do all five of the races organized by the 4 Deserts Race Series in one year.

The expedition ship chef prepared a celebratory tiramisu cake covered in chocolate and emblazoned with the words "Congratulations Competitors!" The 4 Deserts Champions Chema and Isis were honored to cut the cake and serve it out to all participants.

A small auction was held at the end of the evening. A 4 Deserts race flag signed by all 2014 participants was auctioned off successfully to American competitor George Chmiel. A second signed flag will be saved and displayed in the 4 Deserts Race Series office in Hong Kong.

After the awards, speeches and copious amounts of food, many stayed up late celebrating until the early hours. In the morning, the expedition ship reached Ushuaia and enjoyed a final breakfast together as a group.

At 08:30 (Tuesday, 11 November), it was time to disembark the ship and bid farewell. A number of competitors are planning to return to the 4 Deserts next year for the Roving Race in Ecuador and—for those that still have a 4 Deserts race to complete— at respective races with the intention of joining the 4 Deserts Club in 2015.

The dock was full of competitors, staff, volunteers and ship crew sharing hugs and wishing each other well. It has become a close group over the past eleven days, and it was an emotional scene. From the dock, nearly half of the competitors left directly for the airport with the other half planning on spending one last day in Ushuaia souvenir shopping, resting at the spa and touring town.

For all, it has been a race that will remain long in our memories—the warmth of camaraderie of this special group of competitors, volunteers and staff set against one of the most spectacular frozen landscapes of the planet.

4 Deserts Grand Slam & 4 Deserts Club (new members in 2014)

   1. Albarran, Juan Carlos (Spain)

   2. Bech-Thomsen, Asger (Denmark)

   3. Borlinha, Paul** (Canada)

   4. Breiter, Isis (Mexico)

   5. Calimano, Chris (United States)

   6. Chu, Arthur (Philippines)

   7. Foote, Brett (Australia)

   8. Gilgen, Michael (Switzerland)

   9. Gomez Alciturri, Jose Luis (Spain)

   10. Gondek, Andrzej (Poland)

   11. Hong, Kyungpyo (South Korea)

   12. Huynh, Linh (Canada)

   13. Lewczuk, Daniel (Poland)

   14. Lledo Lopez, Andres (Spain)

   15. Martinez Fernandez, Jose Manuel (Spain)

   16. Patki, Atul (India)

   17. Raumati, Inia (New Zealand)

   18. Trepa, Rob (United States)

   19. Wikiera, Marek (Poland)

**Third person in history to do all five races in one year

4 Deserts Club (new members in 2014)

   1. Asseline, Frederic (France)

   2. Camiade, Beatriz (Mexico)

   3. Chen, Olle (Taiwan)

   4. Chen, Yao (Taiwan)

   5. Chmiel, George (United States)

   6. Danis, Stefan (Canada)

   7. Ferrero, Juan (Argentina)

   8. Garcia Berche, Beatriz (Spain)

   9. Holdsworth, Belinda (United Kingdom)

   10. Hung, Shing Hing (Hong Kong)

   11. Jin, Feibao (China)

   12. Kairon, Jagdeep (India)

   13. Kamei, Tomotaka (Japan)

   14. Komaba, Miki (Japan)

   15. Kongmunvattana, Sanya (Thailand)

   16. Lee, Gibeum (South Korea)

   17. Narvaez, Raul (Chile)

   18. Niidome, Kozo (Japan)

   19. Okada, Takashi (Japan)

   20. Sin, Shui Fuk (Hong Kong)

   21. Somoza, Francisco (Argentina)

   22. Stewart, Megan (New Zealand)

   23. Watanabe, Shigeru (Japan)

   24. Xing, Bo (China)

New Records Broken in 2014

    Bech-Thomsen, Asger - First Dane, 4 Deserts Grand Slam

    Breiter, Isis - First Mexican, 4 Deserts Grand Slam

    Chu, Arthur - First Filipino, 4 Deserts Grand Slam & 4 Deserts Club

    Gilgen, Michael - First Swiss, 4 Deserts Grand Slam & 4 Deserts Club

    Gondek, Andrzej; Lewczuk, Daniel & Wikiera, Marek - First Poles, 4 Deserts Grand Slam &

    4 Deserts Club

    Huynh, Linh - First Canadian woman, 4 Deserts Grand Slam & 4 Deserts Club

    Kairon, Jagdeep & Patki, Atul - First Indian men, 4 Deserts Club

    Kongmuttavana, Sanya - First Thai, 4 Deserts Club

    Narvaez, Raul - First Chilean, 4 Deserts Club

    Patki, Atul - First Indian, 4 Deserts Grand Slam

    Raumati, Inia - First New Zealander, 4 Deserts Grand Slam

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