RACE COVERAGE

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The Breaking News below is from the 2018 edition of the race. This shows you the updates that are posted up to five times per stage during the race to keep those following race up-to-date on the leaders, the progress of all competitors, weather, highlights and more.

Pre-Race: Breaking News 5

Sun, 29 April 2018 at 03:14

Sahara Race 2018 LIVE: 29 April - 5 May 2018
Skeleton Coast, Namibia
www.4deserts.com/sahararace/live

Competitors are now comfortably resting in Camp 1, close to the Skeleton Coast deep in the Namib Desert. As competitor Matt Burke put it: "Hello all! We made it to the start line today around 4pm. If I had one word to describe this campsite then it would ‘windy’! But beautiful desert all around us." Tomorrow's Stage 1 will start at 9 am with a distance of 43 kilometers (or 25.5 miles). We remember, in photos and videos, a day of check in, the bus ride and finally the arrival at camp.

??NEW Blogs: https://bit.ly/2Hw4pJN
?? NEW Photos and Videos: https://bit.ly/2r3H2gh

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 Email Competitor: https://bit.ly/2vQ2la3
 Sign Up Breaking News: https://bit.ly/2Kj09eu
Features: https://bit.ly/2HtEXEJ
Stage Updates: https://bit.ly/2HBqClL
Blogs: https://bit.ly/2Hw4pJN
Photos and Videos: https://bit.ly/2r3H2gh
 Results: https://bit.ly/2vQ2la3
Register Sahara Race 2019: https://bit.ly/2HXcCGb

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Pre-Race: Breaking News 4

Sat, 28 April 2018 at 18:04

Competitors spent the morning listening to a briefing, going through medical checks and having their equipment checked. The most-asked question was: Who had the lightest pack and who had the heaviest. Drum roll ????.....Sandy Suckling of Australia and Lee Jin Woo of Korea had the lightest pack at 5.2 kg (11.44 lbs). The heaviest pack record went to Masayuki Tanaka at 16 kg (35.2 lbs). 

A shout out to the oldest competitor in the Sahara Race - Yasuichi Kawashima of Japan at 70 years young. 

Competitors are now at Camp 1 in the famed Skeleton Coast National Park deep in the oldest desert on the Earth, the Namib.

See NEW photos: https://www.4deserts.com/sahararace/photos

See NEW videos: https://www.4deserts.com/sahararace/videos

Don't forget to email competitors:  https://www.4deserts.com/sahararace/results.  Emails are available to competitors daily in the CyberTent.

Tomorrow's Stage 1 is 43 kilometers (26.5 miles) and begins at 8 am.

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Pre-Race: Breaking News 3

Sat, 28 April 2018 at 01:01

Competitors, volunteers and staff have now arrived in Swakopmund, a coastal city in Namibia, west of the capital, Windhoek. Its sandy beaches face the Atlantic Ocean. Established by German colonists in 1892, Swakopmund is the host town for the Sahara Race 2018.  Competitors from up to 40 nations will be going through equipment and medical checks today, Saturday, before boarding buses to head out to Camp 1 deep in the Namib Desert.

We'll be sending updates throughout each of the six stages from 29 April - 5 May 2018.  Those subscribed to Breaking News will be the first to receive updates followed by updates to the website and social media.  Please follow Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube to get all the latest news.

Sahara Race 2018 LIVE: 29 April - 5 May 2018
Skeleton Coast, Namibia
www.4deserts.com/sahararace/live
  

How to Follow the Sahara Race LIVE

 Email Competitor: https://bit.ly/2vQ2la3 
 Breaking News: https://bit.ly/2Kj09eu
Features: https://bit.ly/2HtEXEJ
Stage Updates: https://bit.ly/2HBqClL
Blogs: https://bit.ly/2Hw4pJN
 Photos and Videos: https://bit.ly/2r3H2gh 
 Results: https://bit.ly/2vQ2la3 

 Register Sahara Race 2019: https://bit.ly/2HXcCGb

 

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Pre-Race: Breaking News 2

Tue, 24 April 2018 at 10:00

The 2018 4 Deserts Ultramarathon Series kicks off in Namibia in just six days.  The Sahara Race will host competitors from around 40 countries in the 15th year of the well-established global race series.  Stay tuned for Breaking News updates LIVE from the Skeleton Coast National Park in Namibia.

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Pre-Race: Breaking News 1

Wed, 11 April 2018 at 12:00

The Sahara Race (Namibia) 2018 will start on Sunday, 29 April. 

Breaking News will be posted four or five times during each stage to update you on the progress of the race including the leaders, the middle of the pack, the back of the pack, competitor comments, as people pass through checkpoints, the weather any other relevant information.

Subscribe to receive breaking news to your email or look here for updates as they are posted.

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Stage 1: Breaking News 4

Sun, 29 April 2018 at 23:38

Stage 1 concluded at 18:38 when Kwon Sungnin and Dyllan Kang completed 43km / 27 miles of the first Stage of the Sahara Race (Namibia) 2018 – the entire field of competitors completed the Stage.

The Top 4 for the men and women after Stage 1 are:

MEN
Vicente Juan Garcia Beneito from Spain – 3 hours 28 mins
Ollie Stoten from the United Kingdom – 3 hours 38 mins
Wong Ho Chung from Hong Kong – 3 hours 40 mins
Takyua Wakaoka from Japan – 3 hours 45 mins
Ben Dame from Germany – 4 hours 16

WOMEN
Isabelle Sauve from Canada – 4 hours 22 mins (8th overall)
Sandy Suckling from Australia – 5 hours 18 mins (19th overall)
Jacqui Bell from Australia – 5 hours 44 mins (29th overall)
Christina Khinast from Austria – 5 hours 44 mins (30th overall)

The youngest competitor – a marine from Korea, Yoo Dong Hyeon, spent time to pick up some rubbish during the stage before finishing in an impressive 20th position.  He then continued to beat the drum to welcome other competitors to camp.

Scott Baldridge had a good day – pacing himself well. 

Pia Allerslav said “Today was hard, but we came through without too many blisters and pain. Most beautiful surroundings and great sweet people.”

Stage 1 was to work out the small aches and pains and put the body into full gear.  This is particularly the case for Matthew Burke who started the day without sunscreen, lubricant or suitable amounts of salt, but finished strong and will be better prepare tomorrow.

It has been a windy day, but competitors learned to appreciate the wind today as it was behind them pushing them along.   Temperatures reached 26C but the wind kept everyone cool. 

The wind dropped after sunset at about 7:30pm.  All competitors are safely in their tents resting ready for Stage 2 tomorrow which is 40km / 25 miles ending on the beach.   The local tribe who are responsible for the camp were chanting their tribal songs around the fire as the sunset. 

The website has been updated with:
RESULTS: www.4deserts.com/sahararace/results
PHOTOS: www.4deserts.com/sahararace/photos
BLOGS:  https://www.4deserts.com/sahararace/blogs

Videos and a stage update will be added soon.

Follow the race through the website:

WWW.4DESERTS.COM/SAHARARACE/LIVE

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Stage 1: Breaking News 3

Sun, 29 April 2018 at 15:50

Stage 1 Update:  Competitors appear to have the wind at their backs.  Ollie Stoten, said "Feeling great."  Michael Mclean said "Great day, very runnable and loved the scenery." 

The following competitors have completed Stage 1.  All competitors are doing well on the course and more updates will be provided later.

Unofficial Results as of 3:25:50 (Namibia)

102, Vicente Juan Garcia Veneito, Spain ? (1st overall)?
78, Ollie Stoten, UK
92, Ho Chung Wong, Hong Kong
90, Takuya Wakaoka, Japan
18, Ben Dame, Germany
52, Michael Mclean, Canada
63, Nyikolaj Roskovics, Hungary
68, Isabelle Sauve, Canada (1st Female)
62, Roberto Rivola, Switzerland
23, Michal Gawron, Poland
89, Matthew Von Ertfelda, United States
87, Bart Van Schilt, The Netherlands
77, James Steele, United Kingdom
84, David Timblick, United Kingdom
32, Sam Itah, Israel
70, Bruno Seguin, Australia
97, Kuba Zwolinski, Poland
33, Tommy Jacobsen, Denmark
79, Sandy Suckling, Australia
94, Dong Hyeon Yoo, Korea
4, Kevin Bass, United States
7, Taewook Bin, Korea
9, Matthew Burke, United Kingdom
29, Cheongshin Heogwak, Korea
20, En Lin Foo, Malaysia
6, Robert Bennett, United States
53, Hichame Moubarak, France
11, David Cermak, United Kingdom
71, Steven Shapland, United Kingdom
5, Jacqueline Bell, Australia
39, Christina Khinast, Austria
101, Jayden Lee, Korea
95, Girts ziliskis, Latvia
48, Carloa Llano Fernandez, Spain
76, Tom Sperry, United States
28, Shaun Henderson, Ireland
47, Jeter Li, Taiwan
2, Scott Baldridge, United States
88, Marco Vola, Italy
8, Kevin Brownsey, United Kingdom
59, WonSang, Park, Korea
66, Samantha Ryder, United Kingdom
41, JungMin Kim, Korea

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Stage 1: Breaking News 2

Sun, 29 April 2018 at 17:03

4 Deserts Ultramarathon Series champion Vicente Garcia Beneito of  Spain has taken first place in Stage 1 followed by Ollie Stoten of the United Kingdom and Ho Chung Wong of Hong Kong.  In the ladies division, Isabelle Sauve of Canada placed first followed by Sandy Suckling of Australia and Jacqui Bell, also of Australia.  We are waiting on updates for the rest of the field and should be able to post photos and results soon.

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Stage 1: Breaking News 1

Sun, 29 April 2018 at 09:00

And they're off.....The first race of the 4 Deserts Ultramarathon Series, the Sahara Race 2018, kicked off at 9 am this morning from the Skeleton Coast in the Namib Desert.  Competitors will  have to navigate sandy terrain over 43 kilometers (26.5 miles) through a stage known as "The Symphony of Life."   

Stage 1 will introduce competitors to the sheer vastness of the Namib desert while they discover endless plains and colorful valleys in the most precious areas of the Skeleton Coast National Park.  

The fastest competitors are expected to take around 3 hours and 30 minutes with those towards the back expected to take up to 11 hours to complete Stage 1.  Camp 2 is called "Purple Oasis" and is located on purple stones next to the green Huab river with a small spring close by.

Samantha Fanshawe, the Race Director, said the weather is expected to be windy and misty with temperatures around 25 or 26 C (77 F) degrees; overall very good racing conditions.

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Stage 2: Breaking News 4

Mon, 30 April 2018 at 22:00

Stage 2 of the Sahara Race (Namibia) 2018 is complete and every competitor who started the race is still going!!  The final competitors reached Camp 3, the Skeleton Coast Camp, at 18:36 – nine and half hours after the start.  

The temperatures were lower today at 19C and the wind slightly less strong.  There are a few more blisters and sore bodies at Camp today after 83kms / 51 miles, while some who had a slow start yesterday had a better day today, but everyone is in good spirts.  Eating and chatting with fellow competitors.    

Gonzalo Frias from Argentina powered through to finish at 17:42 – his feet are much better and he didn’t stop at the checkpoints. 

Julia Guttridge from the United Kingdom is enjoying the camaraderie among all the competitors.

Wong Ho Chung is planning how he can improve his pace to try to catch up first place competitor Vicente Garcia. 

Similar temperatures and wind conditions are expected for tomorrow which is considered to be quite a tough stage running on the beach, past seal colonies and ship wrecks before turning against the wind for the final section.  There are a few competitors who are already thinking about The Long March on Stage 4 – the day after tomorrow – and will be taking it easy tomorrow to conserve their pace for this – in particular those who are doing the race again having withdrawn from previous editions. 

RESULTS, PHOTOS, BLOGS and more from Stage 2 (today) can be seen on the website.

WWW.4DESERTS.COM/SAHARARACE/LIVE

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Stage 2: Breaking News 3

Mon, 30 April 2018 at 16:30

Stage 2 is going well – at 16:30 local time, seven and a half hours into the race 71 people have reached Camp 3 on the Skeleton Coast beach.  The most recent people to complete the Stage were Mel Winder from New Zealand and Alona Zurmuehlen from Germany who have completed most of the stage together and came across the finishline with big smiles.  

 

Other people who arrived recently included Tim Barnes from the United Kingdom, Team Roppingi Rockets from Japan and Korea, Edward Chan from Hong Kong, William Chew and Helen Tan from Malaysia, Bea Garcia from Spain, Keith Gayhart from the United States and Leon Clarence from the United Kingdom.

 

Checkpoint 3 is waiting for three people to arrive – all three from Korea: Lee Jin Woo and Kwon Sungmin and Dyllan Kang have formed a new team and had the plan to finish last. 

 

En Foo Lin from Ipoh in Malaysia said he is enjoying the race much more than he expected. 

 

Kevin Brownsey from the United Kingdom, but living in Poland had a better day today than yesterday having managed his electrolytes and pace well.

 

STAGE 2 RESULTS of the Top 30 have been uploaded to the website. 

Photos, blogs, videos and more will be added at the end of the day in Namibia.   

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Stage 2: Breaking News 2

Mon, 30 April 2018 at 12:45

1st competitors complete Stage 2 in less than 3.5 hours.  Vicente Garcia Beneito of Spain was first, followed by Wong Ho Chung of Hong Kong in second place and Ollie Stoten of the United Kingdom in third. 

Chung  said “I think this course is even more beautiful than yesterday.”

Garcia Beneito said “That was nice, but so much wind."  He then went into his tent to get out of the wind.

Stoten said “That was great, I am just enjoying myself.”  Today were the first dunes (very small ones) and the first time Ollie has run in dunes ever – he is just glad that his feet survived relatively sand free. 

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Stage 2: Breaking News 1

Mon, 30 April 2018 at 09:25

Stage 2, It was a calm night with most people saying they slept well and, having loved the scenery yesterday were ready to get going again. They were treated to a traditional dance by the Himba tribe people.   Temperatures this morning were around 15C with a lighter breeze than yesterday and the mist from the coast clearing to show blue sky before the start .The Diamond Trail over Scotts Bridge got started this morning at 9 am.

Today’s stage is 40km / 25 miles over Scotts Bridge which takes them over a magnificent river bed and onto wide open colourful plaines with small dunes and rock formations onto the Skeleton Coast Beach where they will camp tonight – giving them a chance to refresh their legs in the cold Atlantic Ocean.  The course today is flatter than yesterday with less than 400m elevation gain a similar elevation loss. 

James Steele from the UK has the plan to go out as fast as he can and then walk the last section into camp. 

Marco Vola from Italy was glad when the sun came out yesterday and enjoyed the heat.  He finished well but a bit tired.

Keith Gayhart from the United States was ready to start another day – his back was a little store but he knows it will shake out after the first few kilometers.

Team Roppingi Rockets from Japan were in good spirits.

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Stage 3: Breaking News 4

Tue, 1 May 2018 at 22:03

Stage 3 is complete and all competitors are now back at camp resting.  There was one withdrawal on Stage 3:  Jin Woo Lee of Korea. Tomorrow is The Long March.  

Full results are available on the website: https://www.4deserts.com/sahararace/results
Blogs will be posted shortly.

Stage 3: Breaking News 3

Tue, 1 May 2018 at 16:34

 

As of 3:30 pm (Skeleton Coast, Namibia), 17 competitors have arrived at Camp 4. There was a tie among three for first place overall with Isabelle Sauve of Canada taking first place among women (and 7th overall).  Results so far are as follows:

1st: Vicente Garcia Beneito, Spain; Ho Chung Wong, Hong Kong; Ollie Stoten, United Kingdom
4th, Takuya Wakaoka, Japan
5th, Michael Mclean, Canada
6th, Nyikolaj Roskovics, Hungary
7th, Isabelle Sauve, Canada (1st female)
8th, Roberto Rivola, Switzerland
9th, Kuba Zwolinski, Poland
10th, Ben Dame, Germany
11th, David Timblick, United Kingdom
12th, Michal Gawron, Poland
13th, Matthew Burke, United Kingdom
14th, Sam Itah, Israel
15th, James Steel, United Kingdom
16th, Robert Bennett, United States
17th, En Lin Foo, Malaysia

All competitors are through the second checkpoint. No one has withdrawn on Stage 3 as of 3:30 pm.  The temperature is around 25 C (77 F).

Quotes:  

James Steel, United Kingdom:  "Stage 3 wasn't bad."
Ollie Stoten, United Kingdom: "That was awful, so hot."
Isabelle Sauve, Canada:  "I was just happy that the smell wasn't me but rather the seals along the Skeleton Coast."

Stage 3: Breaking News 2

Tue, 1 May 2018 at 12:00

At 12 noon – 3 hours after the start of Stage 3 checkpoint 1 has closed with all competitors passing through successfully.

15 people had reached Checkpoint 2 – the last two to pass through were James Steele from the United Kingdom and Sam Itah from Israel.   The temperature on the beach is 20C with a light breeze behind them. 

3 runners had reached Checkpoint 3 – they were Ollie Stoten, Vicente Garcia and Wong Ho Chung all quite close together.

The final section is hot, uphill and into the breeze. 

Stage 3: Breaking News 1

Tue, 1 May 2018 at 09:00

Stage 3, called the "Skeleton Coast Run," began at 9am. The marathon distance stage of 42 kilometers (26 miles) is the last stage before The Long March. Competitors will experience magnificent colours in a wide open desert pan and vast salt flats.  They will then run along the infamous Skeleton Coast with hundreds of seals and see ancient shipwrecks scattered along the coast.  

There are both historic and modern reasons for the name "Skeleton Coast."  In ancient time, the shoreline featured whale and seal bones littering the shore from the whaling industry, although in modern times the coast harbours the skeletal remains of the shipwrecks caught by offshore rocks and fog.

Today is a very special day for Sahara Race competitor Julie Guttridge, a Cambridge law graduate from the United Kingdom.  Julia's late grandfather was actually on one of the ships that wrecked along the Skeleton Coast called the "Dunedin Star."  Fortunately, he was rescued.  Julia is running in honour of her grandfather.  We would also like to honour Julia's grandfather and  dedicate this stage in his honour.

MV Dunedin Star was a UK refrigerated cargo liner. She was built by Cammell Laird and Co in 1935–36 as one of Blue Star Line's Imperial Star-class ships, designed to ship frozen meat from Australia and New Zealand to the United Kingdom. She served in the Second World War and is distinguished for her role in Operation Halberd to relieve the siege of Malta in September 1941.

Dunedin Star was lost at the end of November 1942 when she ran aground in the South Atlantic on the Skeleton Coast of South West Africa. A complex sea, air and land operation overcame many setbacks and rescued all of her passengers, crew and gunners. An aircraft, a tug and two of the tug's crew were lost in rescue attempts. It took a month for the last of Dunedin Star's crew to reach Cape Town, and more than two months for the last of the rescuers to return.

Today's Stage 3 will provided a continued fight in the overall division as Hong Kong's Ho Chung Wong and the UK's Ollie Stoten both battle to overtake Spain's Vicente Garcia Beneito.

In the women's division, Canadian Isabelle Sauve holds a good lead, but Sandy Suckling is known for her "never give up spirit" and newcomer Jacqui Bell of Australia could also pull off a stage win.

Perhaps one of the wisest competitors is Marisa Holman of the United States who said in her blog: "The Namib desert both takes from you, but also gives back. The sunsets are beautiful and last night the moon was full and super bright. If I keep investing in Namibia, I know it will reward me." 

Stage 4: Breaking News 8

Thu, 3 May 2018 at 11:05

Sahara Race 2018 LIVE
Stage 4, The Long March


All competitors have now arrived at camp. The last competitors were Gonzalo Frias, Argentina, Deokhoon Kang and Sungmin Kwon, both of Korea, who completed the stage in 25 hours, 3 minutes and 31 seconds.

Full results are now available on the website:  https://www.4deserts.com/sahararace/results

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Stage 4: Breaking News 7

Thu, 3 May 2018 at 09:05

Sahara Race 2018
Stage 4, The Long March

Competitors have been running and walking through the night in the Namib desert to make the cutoff times at checkpoints. As of 8 am, Namibia time, all had arrived in camp except for eight competitors including:

Christopher Gooch, United Kingdom
Scott Baldridge United States
Shaun Henderson, Ireland
Dyllan Kang, Korea
Gonzalo Frias, Argentina
SoYoung Jekal, Korea
Gudrun Siegle, Germany
Sungmin, Kwon, Korea

All are expected to arrive at camp by 11 am (the cutoff time is 12 noon).

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Stage 4: Breaking News 6

Thu, 3 May 2018 at 02:40

Sahara Race 2018 LIVE
Stage 4, The Long March

As of 2 am, Namibia time, 50 competitors have arrived at camp. Below is a list of the top ten men and the top six women.

Overall
(1) Tie: Vicente Garcia Beneito, Hong Kong / Ho Chung Wong, Hong Kong, 8:11
3. Ollie Stoten, United Kingdom, 9:36
4. Robert Bennett, United States,  10:30
5. Takuya Wakaoka, Japan, 10:37
6. Nyikolaj Roskovics, Hungary, 10:39
7. Michael Mclean, Canada, 10:54
8. Hichame Moubarak, France, 11:18
9. Taewook Bin, Korea, 11:25
10. Matthew von Ertfelda, United States, 11:29

Women
68, Isabelle Sauve, Canada, 11:35
39, Christina Khinast, Australia, 13:38
22, Bea Garcia, Spain, 15:35
79, Sandy Suckling, Australia, 15:41
85, Ruth Upsdell, New Zealand, 16:21
27, Zeana Haroun, United States, 17:01

The two most recent to arrive at camp were Tommy Jacobsen, Denmark, and Jeremy Larson, United States.  Jacqui Bell of Australia is not too far from camp.

We'll continue to provide updates.

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Stage 4: Breaking News 5

Thu, 3 May 2018 at 12:24

CP5 is now closed; it closed at 10:45 Namibian time. The Korean contingent were the last to arrive.   Scott Baldridge of the United States was exhausted but loving his Expedition Foods Macaroni and Cheese meal.  Chris Gooch of the United Kingdom is walking with Scott but wants to move quickly so he doesn't experience the heat in the morning.  There were two withdrawals today:  Steven Shapland of the United Kingdom and  Mel Winder of New Zealand.

The weather was very hot today with a wind that felt like a hairdryer. However, the temperatures were milder than last year which gave returning competitors some happiness.

A complete update on the filed will be provided in the next two hours. It is currently 12:30 am in Namibia.

[Picture: Korean competitors go through the rare green Namib Desert.]

 

 

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Stage 4: Breaking News 4

Wed, 2 May 2018 at 17:01

Sahara Race 2018
Stage 4, The Long March

Arrivals at CP5 (as of 4:45 pm, Namibia Time). 
Note:  List is not in any particular order.

92, Ho Chung Wong, Hong Kong
102, Vincente Garcia Beneito, Spain
94, Dong Hyeon Yoo, Korea
6, Robert Bennett, United States
78, Ollie Stoten, United Kingdom
53, Hichame Moubarak, France
79, Sandy Sucking, Australia
5, Jacqueline Bell, Australia
89, Matthew von Ertfelda, United States
7, Taewook Bin, Korea
39, Christina Khinast, Austria
20,En Lin Foo, Malaysia
90, Takuya Wakaoka, Japan
101, Wonjin Lee, Korea
48, Carlos Llano, Spain
47, Jeter Li, Taiwan
4, Kevin Bass, United States
52, Michael Mclean, Canada
63, Nyikolaj Rosovics, Hungary
95, Girts Ziliskis, Latvia
88, Marco Vola, Italy
70, Bruno Seguin, Australia
68 Isabelle Sauve, Canada
15, Hongseok Choi, Korea
27, Zeana Benjamin, United States
85, Ruth Upsdell, New Zealand 
77, James Steele, United Kingdom

Picture:  CP5, Isabelle Sauve and Bruno Seguin (they met at the Atacama Crossing 2016 and are a couple!!)

 

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Stage 4: Breaking News 3

Wed, 2 May 2018 at 15:30

As of 3 pm on Stage 4 of The Long March, all competitors are through CheckPoint ("CP3") and more than half the field is already through CP4.  The most recent to arrive were Jesper Kramer and his wife Hanne Plehn both of Denmark.  Jesper is celebrating his birthday today -- Happy Birthday Jesper!   All competitors at CP4 were rewarded with a cold Coca Cola.

The leaders are now close to CP6 which is 54 kilometer (34 miles) into The Long March. The Spaniard Vicente Garcia Beneito and Hong Kong's Ho Chung Wong are leading as as of 2:05 pm Namibian time. Ollie Stoten of the United Kingdom, who recently completed a crossing of Antarctica, is about 20 minutes behind in third place.  

There are about 20 competitors through CP5, the most recent to arrive was Nyikolaj Roskovics of Hungary.

Marisa Holman of the United States, Christoper Gooch of the United Kingdom and Scott Baldridge of the United States, all who struggled in the race last year, are doing well.  Marisa is currently en route to CP4 and Chris and Scott are resting at CP4.

We'll have more updates later including on the status of the leading women and others in the field.

Extremely rare rain in the interior of the Namib has resulted in a spectacular green blanket over much of the course.  See the picture below.

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Stage 4: Breaking News 2

Wed, 2 May 2018 at 11:30

Stage 4, The Long March, kicked off earlier today with a staggered start. The majority of the competitors ran out of the gate at 8 am Namibian time while the top 16 competitors in the overall rankings started at 10 am.There was excitement in the air as competitors were packing their bags for the 84 kilometre (52 mile) stage. 

A cool mist was in the air which soon faded and by 10 am the sun was already out making the temperatures much warmer.  This is the stage where the course leaves the Skeleton Coast and heads inland so hot temperatures are expected.

At 10 am, the temperature was 24 C (75 F) at the startline while further in the course at CheckPoint 2 the temperature had already reached 31 C (88 F).

Jesper Kramer of Denmark is celebrating his birthday today and received a loud cheer at camp during the morning briefing.

4 Deserts Grandslammers  Jacqui Bell of Australia and Ho Chung Wong of Hong Kong were excited to start the stage.  Ho Chung Wong is now in second place pushing the leader Vicente Garcia Beneito from Spain.

Roberto Rivola of Switzerland prepared quietly and wasn't too nervous as he has run through many stage races before.

Besides the heat and length of The Long March which is a challenge in itself, the stage is very runnable so fast times are expected today.  

With recent rain on the course, much of the stage is covered by green grass and beautiful wildlife including Springbok, Oryx and Jackals.

The cutoff at Camp 5 is noon tomorrow, Thursday, 3 May.  

[Picture of 16 competitors at 10 am start.]

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Stage 4: Breaking News 1

Wed, 2 May 2018 at 08:01

"By endurance we conquer."  Ernest Shackleton

Stage 4, The Long March, began this morning at 8 am.  Today there will be a staggered start with the top runners starting at 10 am and everyone else at 8 am.  This is to keep the field closer together on this 84 kilometre (52) mile stage.  The Long March is the most difficult stage of the Sahara Race 2018. Competitors can expect to traverse the majestic wide open plains of  rocky and sandy terrain in the area of the Koigab River Bed, around an area called Springbok Wasser.

There will be a total of nine CheckPoints, but the competitors will have the option to rest and/or sleep at the fourth checkpoint at roughly 44 kilometres (27 miles). In addition, hot water is available at that checkpoint to make a freeze dried meal, soup or hot drink.

The overall leaders are close. The Long March takes no prisoners but exerts a full day or two of varied and difficult terrain combined with steaming hot temperatures and a cold night.  Wind can make a difference as well.  Vicente Garcia Beneito of Spain, Wong Ho Chung of Hong Kong and Ollie Stoten of the United Kingdom are all close.

Isabelle Sauve of Canada has a wide lead for the women, but anything can happen over such a long distance.

So far there has been just one withdrawal in the Sahara Race 2018, which is an extremely low rate.

The winners are expected to finish in just under 7 hours and the last competitor in under 21 hours.

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Stage 5: Breaking News 3

Fri, 4 May 2018 at 11:42

Stage 5, Dune Day, is now complete and competitors are all resting at Camp 6, Torra Bay.

The final three competitors to arrive at Camp 6:

Scottt Baldridge, United States, 26:20:17
Sungmin Kwon, Korea, 26:51:06
Deokhoon Kang, 26:52:56

There were four withdrawals today:

Kevin Brownsey, United Kingdom
Pia Allerslev Uth, Denmark
Gonzalo Frias, Argentina
Shaun Henderson, Ireland

All are fine and also resting at camp.  Tomorrow is the final stage of the Sahara Race 2018, Stage 6.

Full results are available on the website: https://www.4deserts.com/sahararace/results

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Stage 5: Breaking News 2

Fri, 4 May 2018 at 14:30

Stage 5, Dune Day.  As of 2:30 pm Namibia time, seventeen competitors had crossed the finish line.

Overall

1. Vicente Garcia Beneito, Spain, 4:04:37 / Ho Chung Wong, Hong Kong, 4:04:37
3. Ollie Stoten, United Kingdom, 4:15:51
4. Michael Mclean, Canada, 4:29:46
5. Nyikolaj Roskovics, Hungary, 4:31:14
6. Takuya Wakaoka, Japan, 4:39:45
7. Roberto Rivola, Switzerland, 4:40:29
8. Isabelle Sauve, Canada, 4:42:06 (1st female)
9. Sam Itah, Israel, 4:58:10
10. James Steel, United Kingdom, 4:59:20
11. Kuba Zwolinski, Poland, 5:07:18
12. Ben Dame, Germany, 5:10:20
13. Matthew von Ertfelda, United States, 5:13:46
14. En Lin Foo, Malaysia, 5:19:26
15. Jayden Lee, Korea, 5:29:26
16. Hyeon Dong Yoo, Korea, 5:30:46
17. Michal Gawron, Poland 5:33:49

Picture: Final stretch into camp

 

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Stage 5: Breaking News 1

Fri, 4 May 2018 at 08:09

Today is Stage 5, aka DUNE DAY.  Stage 5 kicked off at 8 am, earlier than normal, to allow for cooler temperatures.  Today's stage takes runners through both dunes and dunettes (smaller dunes).  It is a day with sand, sand and more sand, but fortunately the sand is quite firm given the recent rain.  Competitors may see some wildlife in the dunes, the animals of the Namib are at home in the sand.

Both the overall and female leaders have comfortable margins going into today's stage. There could be some battles in the age group categories.

Overall
Vicente Garcia Benioto, Spain, 18:34:32
Ho Chung Wong, Hong Kong, 18:50:50
Ollie Stoten, United Kingdom, 20:23:20

Women
Isabelle Sauve, Canada, 24:54:59
Christina Khinast, Austria, 30:17:32
Sandy Suckling, Australia, 31:23:46

4 Deserts Grand Slammers:  A number of the competitors are vying to complete all 4 Deserts races in one calendar year: Namib, Gobi, Atacama and Antarctic deserts.  To date, only 66 in the world have accomplished this feat.  Read about the "4 Deserts Grand Slammers" in this feature article.

Check out the full results: https://www.4deserts.com/sahararace/results

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Stage 6: Breaking News 3

Sat, 5 May 2018 at 15:02

The final Stage 6 started at 8am after Namibian camp manger Francois Snyder thanked everyone at the start line for coming to Namibia and supporting the country.  The cheerful group of competitors started the final stage that lead them through the Skeleton Coast covered with whale bones and shipwrecks through dunettes and a salt lake to the final finish line.  

A Namibian chorus made up of the local Nambian camp team and members of the native Himba tribe sang and danced as competitors crossed the finish line.

All competitors finished by 10:30am.  Vicente Garcia Beneito of Spain was first followed by Ho Chung Wong of Hong Kong and then Ollie Stoten of the United Kingdom, all about three minutes apart.

In the women's division, Isabelle Sauve of Canada was first followed by Sandy Suckling of Australia and Christina Khinast of Austria.

Mike Mclean of Canada was very happy with his medal after having not been able to complete the Atacama Crossing -- the medal represented two years of training.

Ho Chung Wong of Hong Kong was excited and said:  "After MDS, where I came in 10th, I thought I was an experienced desert racer but Vicente Garcia Beneito is very experienced.  I need to train differently for the Gobi March and it will be fun to race again against Vicente."

David Cermak of the United Kingdom had tears in his eyes and said "it was a beautiful course and an amazing week."  

Shaun Henderson of Ireland who had to withdraw on Stage 5 sat at the finish line and said "now I know where I will be next year" --  he plans to return.

Marco Vola of Italy plans to retire from stage racing after the Sahara Race 2018 -- he had a beautiful race and did well so it is the perfect way to end his long career in stage racing.

Bea Garcia of Spain chose this race to celebrate her 10th stage race -- an amazing feat for someone who is diabetic. She was all smiles as she crossed the finish line.

The four members of the Korean special forces did a celebratory military salute at the very end.  They were led by Dong Hyeon Yoo.

Competitors will soon be back in Swakopmund preparing for the Awards Banquet tonight.



 

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Stage 6: Breaking News 2

Sat, 5 May 2018 at 11:02

All competitors have now completed Stage 6 -- the Sahara Race 2018 has concluded. Vicente Juan Garcia Beneito of Spain and Isabelle Sauve of Canada are the Sahara Race 2018 champions.  

Results, photos and videos will be posted in a few hours.

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Stage 6: Breaking News 1

Sat, 5 May 2018 at 07:05

Today is Stage 6, The Final Footsteps in the Namib Desert.  Competitors will run or walk a ceremonial 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) to the finish line where beer, soft drinks and food will be in abundance.

The Stage 6 schedule will have competitors starting at 8am and finishing by 11am.  Competitors will then have a 3- 4 hour bus ride back to Swakopmund. The Awards Banquet will be held tonight in Swakopmund. 

We will be sending two more Breaking News emails: one after the conclusion of Stage 6, and one after the Awards Banquet listing all overall winners, age group awards, sportsmanship award and spirit award.

Below are the rankings after Stage 5:

Overall Ranking
1. GARCIA BENEITO, Vicente Juan, Spain,  22:39:05
2. WONG, HO CHUNG, Hong Kong,   22:55:18
3. STOTEN, Ollie, United Kingdom,  24:39:01
4. WAKAOKA, Takuya, Japan,   27:23:38
5. ROSKOVICS, Nyikolaj, Hungary,   28:11:32
6. MCLEAN, Michael, Canada,   28:30:45
7. SAUVE, Isabelle, Canada,   29:36:55
8. RIVOLA, Roberto, Switzerland,   30:19:41
9. DAME, Ben, Germany,  31:28:05
10. GAWRON, MICHAL, Poland,   31:57:58

Women's Ranking
1. SAUVE, Isabelle,  Canada, 29:36:55
2. KHINAST, Christina,  Austria, 38:05:01
3. SUCKLING, Sandy,  Australia, 38:37:20
4. UPSDELL, Ruth,  New Zealand, 44:18:05
5. DUBE, Monique,  Canada, 44:18:05
6. BELL, Jacqueline,  Australia, 44:32:05
7. HAROUN, Zeana,  United States, 45:29:40
8. RYDER, Samantha,  United Kingdom, 45:40:16
9. GARCIA BERCHE, Beatriz,  Spain, 45:55:24
10. SAUERBACH, Florentina,  Germany, 46:57:45

Some insights from competitor blogs:

Keith Gayhart?, United States?:  "We could see the ocean below, parallel to the line of dunes, It’s a sight I’ll never forget.?"?

David Cerma?k, United Kingdom:  "Wonderful tent mates and a race full of incredibly accomplished people.?"?

Robert Bennett?, United States: ?"?I will leave you with this.  I had simple goals for this race.  I wanted to see my friends, meet some amazing people, and push my boundries.?"?

Jacqui? Bell?, Australia:  "The food and beer at the finish line is calling my name…. well I don’t drink beer but am thinking after this my first ever beer is necessary haha.?"? 

Marisa Holman?, United States?:?  "?This has been hands down the hardest 4 Deserts race for me. I am not sure I can pinpoint the reasons why, except by how much adversity I personally faced with and had to overcome. It was very much taking it checkpoint to checkpoint and drawing upon all of the epic support from the volunteers (esp Deo, Carmen, and Bev!), the doctors (Curly for the tough love, Brian for his amazing energy, everyone who worked on my feet to try to make the discomfort less), my amazing tenties for the unwavering support, lots of laughs, all of my friends and family for all of the email and blog comments- I drew upon these so so much during those many hours of solitude, and last but not least my amazing and supportive fiancé, Dusty, who always knows what to say to support and motivate me to achieve my goals.?"?








 

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