RACE COVERAGE

Sign up to receive breaking news from the The Last Desert in Antarctica!
Complete the details below to receive live updates during The Last Desert (Antarctica) 2018. Breaking news will be sent multiple times each day throughout the event in November 2018.

If you do not receive an email from [email protected] to confirm that you have signed up for Breaking News please check your SPAM box and add this email address to your contact list to ensure you don't miss out on receiving Breaking News during the race.

Pre-Race: Breaking News 11

Mon, 26 November 2018 at 10:35

The Last Desert 2018 has started! Stage 1 countdown took place in front of the Bellingshousen Station at 7:15 this morning, and competitors have had a good three hours of running so far. This means that the leaders have had approximately 45 kilometers in by now. Wong Ho Chung and Isabelle Sauve are in the lead at the moment. Weather permitting the stage will continue until approximately 17:00.

The course takes competitor through the main research bases on King George Island including the Russian  Bellingshousen Station, the Chilean station and a Chinese base. King George Island does not have a huge amount of elevation so today is a good running day for those who want to get up in ranks. However there are enough hills to be able to enjoy gorgeous views all around the island

Weather so far is pleasant. It’ around -1 degrees Celsius and not too breezy. It is overcast at the moment which can be a good thing as the sun in Antarctica is super strong.  When competitors get to the top of the Bellinghouse station they have wonderful views of the island. When they get to the other side of the island this is where the penguins and seals join, depending on what they are up to. If it’s a sunny day, they will be sunbathing and watching the competition.

***   

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

Pre-Race: Breaking News 10

Sun, 25 November 2018 at 20:00

It’s 20:00 on M/V Plancius.  Competitors were treated to a 20-minute show by Fin Whales at 14:30 local time today! They are second in size to Blue Whales and feed on grill. They are not whales that show their tales when diving, but there was lots of water spayed into air by their blows when the whales past the boat. Two fin whales spotted from the boat. These giant animals travel at 25-30 knots which is twice as fast as the M/V Plancius could sail!

 

Wandering albatross and the beautiful, gracious Light Mantled Sooty Albatross were also putting on a great show today.

Some competitors are keen to get on land. The moment is nearly here though, and today, all ship passengers were asked to go to the boot room to collect their pair of wellies. In addition, competitors were asked to bring their trainers and every last stone and piece of dried on mud needed to be removed. There was a disinfectant bucket and a scrubbing brush but it was a lesson in how to properly clean our shoes after running a muddy trail.

 

The cyber lounge is set up in the ship’s library, right near the bar, although competitors are saving the beers for the return trip to Argentina which hopefully will be a smooth sail. Competitors have been writing blogs and emails during the day so blog updates are expected to be posted soon. 

 

Expedition staff member Pippa gave a lecture on whales and the different types that can be spotted while crossing the Drake Passage. There was also a mandatory briefing on how to get on and off the zodiac boats, which everyone will be experiencing tomorrow for the first time.

 

Competitors also had a briefing on what to expect on shore tomorrow and subsequent days. Everyone feels that it is a privilege to be here, and therefore we want to keep the area as untouched as possible.

 

Miia, the ships’ 2nd officer is from Finland. A quick trip to The Bridge shows that Plancius has travelled 570 nautical miles and have 99 to go to King George Island. The ship passed a couple of ice blocks in the ocean today. They were about 10 metres across, so too small for icebergs, and are known as growlers. The expected arrival time is 4:30 on Monday morning. Competitors’ breakfast will be ready at 5:00 for an early landing and Stage 1!

 

Bryan Murphy who will run under the British flag asked “Are we nearly there yet?”.

 

Rebecca Walker’s smart observations: “is this a good time to be reading a book about a shipwreck?”

 

Bruno Seguin (below) noted: “It’s warmer than in Canada”(where he has just recently moved).

Today’s blogs will be posted soon, as well  as more photos from the day.

****

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

Pre-Race: Breaking News 9

Sun, 25 November 2018 at 12:55

M/V Plancius is moving well through the Drake’s Passage. The Last Desert 2018 participants have travelled exactly 500 nautical miles from Ushuaia and they have another 162 miles to go to the first race location on King George Island.

 

The wind speed is currently a very manageable 15-20 knots. It is expected to get slightly stronger over the course of the day.  The 2nd Officer Matei from Romania is working on the bridge and shows the navigation charts to any passenger who goes up to the 6th level. He enjoyed meeting our two Romanian competitors Iulian Rotariu and Andrei Gligor.

 

In anticipation of the first landing tomorrow, competitors are now in the process of vacuuming their outer gear, including drop bags, backpacks, parka jackets and shoes. This is a requirement by IAATO (International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators) to ensure no foreign bacteria make it onto this pristine land.

 

Vikki Bester from Australia, who is about to start her fifth RacingThePlanet / 4 Deserts Ultramarathon noted:  “Vacuuming went well. I just have to clean the mud from my shoes now.”

 

Michal Alshechbendan from Israel, who is joining the race with Eilon Armon as a family member said “I’m so excited about the kayaking. We’ve got our kayak suits now and I’m looking forward to it tomorrow.” Ann, a fellow boat passenger from South Africa joined to the conversation: “I’ve just seen a whale. Thar she goes!”

 

Ramiro Alfaro, our Guatemalan competitor found an unexpected friend: “My wife Irene and I are very excited to meet a fellow Guatemalan on the boat. He is one of the crew.”

 

South Korean athlete Choi Heogwak (Zealot) who is aiming to complete the 4 Deserts Grand Slam admits “I’m most looking forward to seeing the penguins but the albatross we’ve seen so far on the journey have been amazing.”

 

For Kan, Chao Chun (Jim) this is something he has waited for long: “Not a lot of people can make it to Antarctica. The fact that I can do the race, and in such a special place makes it even more amazing. I’m the first person in my family to make it here, which makes it super special.”

 

Hichame Moubarak (below) is looking forward to getting his legs moving. “Happiness never goes to the one who goes fastest. It goes to the one who slows down the least.”

 

Jacqui Bell says in true Jacqui style “I’m just excited to get my feet firm on the land as I’m going a bit stir crazy!”

 

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

 

Pre-Race: Breaking News 8

Sun, 25 November 2018 at 07:50

It’s 7:30 in the morning and competitors are starting to wake up to their second morning on the Expedition Ship. So far the Drake Passage has treated them fairly nicely – according to the ship staff the nicely rolling 6-meter waves that are an average size, can sometimes turn to 10 meters or more. M/V Plancius is an old research vessel and build for rough seas and it is incredible how for the ship staff everything is business as usual even on stormy days!

The breakfast is shortly available at the dining hall where plates and glasses are secured by sticky placemats. They stay nicely on the table even in rougher seas. The only thing that slides are passengers’ chairs so timing is key when having breakfast!

The day will continue with interesting lectures of Antarctica, both historic and environmental topics, vacuuming of gear to ensure that Antarctica will stay pristine and some more relaxing and fine dining.  The ship’s loud speaker does also give regular reminders on the wildlife around. Sightings of Humpback whales, Dolphins and Orcas are an experience itself, not to mention the constant show of various sea birds flying around the ship. Once Antarctica is on sight seals and penguins will join the show.  Despite the freezing air, one of the best places to be is the top deck or the ship’s bridge where the Captain navigates M/V Plancius through ice bergs and the rough waters.

Leon Clarence, Annastiina Hintsa and Scott Baldridge enjoying the best views!

For more reading and updates you can now go to the Blog section of The Last Desert website where the latest updates from competitors are available. There are also more photos and videos available and you can also have a read though the pre-race press release at https://www.4deserts.com/pressroom_press_release


****

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

Pre-Race: Breaking News 7

Sat, 24 November 2018 at 09:20

The Last Desert Expedition Ship is at the moment a little less than half way to the planned destination, the King George Island.  So far it has sailed 304 nautical miles and there are 346 nautical miles to the destination. It is Satuday evening, 21:20, and competitors have experienced their first full travel day – there is 1.5 days left to go.

 

 

There has not been that much seasickness on the ship as the weather has been relatively mild.  Then competitors left Ushuaia they travelled through the calm Beagle Channel with spectacular views on each side of the Patagonian mountains of Chile and Argentina.  The somewhat rough seas started at midnight and competitors awoke to slightly upset stomachs. By mid-day the weather had calmed down and most competitors felt pretty well. All are very excited to finally reach Antarctica on early Monday morning.  The first Stage is expected to take place on King George Island and should be begin around 6 am lasting for some 12 hours, if weather is favourable.

 

Tomorrow, Sunday, competitors will vacuum their clothing and gear thoroughly to get any unwanted particles off to ensure nothing ends up in Antarctica. The rules of protecting the environment are extremely strict. They will also be provided with boots for the zodiac  landings.

 

Competitor Vladmi Dos Santos has done an amazing job of navigating the ship, blind.  Vladmi has faced some sea sickness.

 

David Grosse from the United Kingdom is enjoying his time in the ship. “I like the way they have arranged sick bags like Christmas decorations around the ship.”

 

Bryan Murphy, UK competitors who currently resides in Hong Kong had some concerns earlier but things are looking good: “I am enjoying not being sick. The patch just seems to make me sleep.”

 

Rebecca Walker: “Man, I took five naps today. Every nap is 15 minutes long and I dream every time.”

Rebecca is an American ER doctor and part of many previous RacingThePlanet races both as a medical team member and competitor. In this race she will be racing together with Vladmi. Although Vladmi is incredible experienced in “feeling” any challenging desert terrain with his feet, Rebecca will be Vladmi’s eyes in this race, guiding him though the most challenging parts. They plan to run the whole race together.

 

Martin Hennessey’s most depth thoughts for the day were “It's time for dinner”, which everyone agreed to and rushed down to the dining hall.

 

Ali Liddle, one of our favourite Expedition Leaders of all times knows the race well from the past editions of The Last Desert. She’s also good at keeping order on board: “Runners, no running on deck please, save your energy for Antarctica, you'll need it.”

More photos are expected in the next few hours so stay tuned.

Grand Slammers Wong Ho Chung and Jason Yoo have their gear ready

The narrow ramp of M/V Plancius

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

Pre-Race: Breaking News 6

Sat, 24 November 2018 at 00:24

It’s just past midnight now on the Beagle Channel. The mandatory equipment check concluded a couple of hours ago. Competitors had to spread out their gear items in their cabins for The Last Desert staff to go it through item by item. It's always exciting as it's really not an option to go shopping more if something is missing! The check went well and everyone has put their sea sick patches on as the ship is approaching the Drake Passage.

This is one of the world's most renowned crossings which can produce huge swell and an uncomforable ride. At times the Drake Passage can also be calm, which is when it’s called the “Drake Lake”.

Competitors are now resting / sleeping in their cabins and enjoying their first night under the stars of the End of the World.

PHOTOS from the pre-race activites are up on the website. http://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/photos

More news will come in the next couple of days as the ship travels though the Drake Passage and start entering Antarctic waters.  All updates are subject to Satellite coverage.

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

 

Pre-Race: Breaking News 5

Fri, 23 November 2018 at 19:45

The official competitor briefing of The Last Desert (Antarctica) 2018 has concluded at the Hotel Cap Polonio in the host town of Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. All competitors, plus staff and media crews were super excited to finally meet each other’s, and hear the details of the race. Mary Gadams welcomed everyone in Ushuaia and the Event Director Zeana Haroun and Medical Director Jay Sharp covered the schedule, rules, safety, and medical topics for the next 12 days of the journey to Antarctica.

Special welcome went to the group of 12 Grand Slam competitors: Jacqui Bell (Australia), William Chew (Malaysia), Hongseok Choi (South Korea), Leon Clarance, (UK), Heogwak Cheongsin (South Korea), Tommy Jacobsen (Denmark), Hichame Moubarak (Qatar / France), Marek Rybiec (Poland), Bart Van Schilt (Netherlands / Belgium), Takuya Wakoaka (Japan), Wong Ho Chung (Hong Kong) and Dong Hyeon (Jason) Yoo (South Korea).

Blind competitor Vladmi Dos Santos who is returning to his 7th race with RacingThePlanet and Team 5 Legs Never Quit got a big hurray from the crowd.

Following the briefing competitors walked down to Ushuaia port all together, through the hustle and bustle of the little streets and walked down the long pier there the majestic looking M/V Plancius was waiting. Having just sailed back the previous night it’s a quick turnaround for the ship’s crew that were welcoming all The Last Desert participants on the loading dock.

 

Everyone has boarded and found their cabins and are now getting familiar with the ship. The Captain of Plancius is about to welcome everyone with the Captains Toast, following a safety practice drill. After this there is dinner and following that the mandatory equipment is checked as the last thing in the evening.

The evening view through the Beagle Channel is looking gorgeous.

More photos has just been uploaded to the website.

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

Pre-Race: Breaking News 4

Fri, 23 November 2018 at 11:46

The streets of Ushuaia are getting busier and more and more competitors are being spotted wearing their RacingThePlanet gear. The official race briefing starts just in 15 minutes and competitors are arriving at the Cap Polonio Hotel.

Many are already having coffee in the restaurant area, relaxing and enjoying discussions with fellow competitors. quite a number of competitors know each others from the past RacingThePlanet / 4 Deserts races but there are also new friends to make. Spending two days on the ship without a land in sight will give everyone time to mingle and bond.

We have some time to interview competitors as they get ready to have their forms checked downstairs before the briefing.

Raymond Chak, a lawyer from Hong Kong, who is part of the team 5 Legs Never Quit says that having seen all different kinds of desert terrain he is looking forward to the the walks on ice fields and the never ending white scenery. "It’s the self-challenge why I come to these races".

His team mate, amputee Camel Fung has impressed all of us having previously completed the Gobi March and the Atacama Crossing wearing his prosthetic leg. “The Atacama Crossing is my favourite race so far. It was also the hardest. Completing The Last Desert was part of the bigger plan since 2015, to complete all 4 Deserts Ultramarathons.” Camel has completed every race with his wife Chong Bing Ying.    

Marek Rybiek from Poland has always wanted to visit Antrarctica so in many ways this race is a dream come true. “Everything is possible if you really want it” he says looking eager to get started.  

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

Pre-Race: Breaking News 3

Fri, 23 November 2018 at 07:20

Today is the day! The countdown clock says 0 days to The Last Desert 2018 and the Expedition Ship M/V Plancius will start the sail to Antarctica in the evening. Competitors have started to wake up for breakfast in Ushuaia.

The official pre-race meeting takes place at the Cap Polonio Hotel from12:00 to 16:00. This is where competitors will be briefed with the last essential details before heading to the port at 16:00.

The ship is scheduled to start sailing shortly after 18:00 after the passenger briefing and formalities. The weather in Ushuaia is slightly cloudy and light rain is expected but it should be a beautiful journey through the calm Beagle Channel before reaching the rough waters of the Drake Passage.

Blind competitor Vladmi Dos Santos from Brazil will his guide Rebecca Walker 

Jason Chou of Taiwan and Grand Slammer William Chew of Malaysia

More photos are available on the official website.  

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

Pre-Race: Breaking News 2

Thu, 22 November 2018 at 01:00


It is just past midnight on Thursday, 22 November in Ushuaia, Argentina.  This is the first breaking news for The Last Desert (Antarctica) 2018 - these will continue from now until 3 December when the race has concluded and the expedition ship has returned to Ushuaia.

Competitors have started to arrive in the host town of Ushuaia located in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, from all corners of the world. Ushuai is often referred to as the "end of the world" due to it's location in the most southerly point in South America. 

There are 31 countries represented in the race. Malaysia, Belgium, Romania, Finland, Guatemala and the Netherlands will be represented for the first time in Antarctica and the 4 Deserts Club! The race is also on for the 4 Deserts Champions who will also be crowned at The Last Desert!

The favourite in the men’s race Wong, Ho Chung has arrived having flown in all the way from Hong Kong as well as Jacqui Bell who is aiming to be the youngest female in the world to complete the 4 Deserts Grand Slam - she arrived in Ushuaia a couple of days ago. Belgium’s own Joost Muylle, Ann Verhaege and Kurt Masselis  have also been enjoying pre-race tapering, including some stake and wine, for a few days. Other arrivals include Sebastian Li from Germany, Scott Baldridge from USA, Marisa Holman from New Zealand and Team 5 Legs Never Quit, amputee Camel Fung, Mrs Fung and Raymond Chak from Hong Kong.  The rest of the  participants are expected to arrive throughout Thursday.

The RacingThePlanet management team, with Zeana Haroun and Mary Gadams in charge are taking care of the final arrangements before the much anticipated meeting on Friday, 23 November with all participants - after which they will board the expedition ship and start the journey to The Last Desert in Antarctica.

Photos from the earlier arrivals are below.

Wong, Ho Chung  of Hong Kong

Jacqui Bell, Australia

Joost Muylle, Ann Verhaege and Kurt Masselis of Belgium

Follow the race coverage including results, photos, videos, stage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

 

 

Pre-Race: Breaking News 1

Tue, 13 November 2018 at 13:00

The Last Desert (Antarctica) 2018 gets underway on 23 November when participants board the expedition ship for the 1,000km / 620 mile voyage across the Drake Passage to Antarctica. 

The Pre-Race Breaking News will start on 21 November when competitors arrive in Ushuaia, Argentina from thirty-one countries around the world.

Breaking News may also be posted during the voyage until competitors arrive in Antarctica and are ready to undertake Stage 1 which is planned for 26 November.  

Stage 1: Breaking News 4

Tue, 27 November 2018 at 05:28

The Last Desert Expedition Ship is on her way to Danco Island, a small picturesque island just off the Antarctica Peninsula. The island used to be a British research base from 1956 to 1959. More than 2,000 pairs of breeding Gentoo penguins occupy the slopes behind the northern coast of Danco Island.  Weddell seals are often present on the offshore rocks and beaches, and the Errera Channel that surrounds Danco is a favourite haunt of Humpback and Minke whales towards the end of the summer. The island is an ideal place to observe wildlife while running / hiking through the snow. Danco has a fair amount of elevation so and typically it has a lot of snow so competitors are likely to find the course challenging.

The sea journey will take over 12 hours so competitors will have a little lie in before they set their foot on a new island and start Stage 2. The plan is to race until the evening as long as the winds and movements of ice will be favorable.     

The first stage was a tough one for many and competitors are resting while traveling to the new location:  

Raymond Chak, a member of 5 Legs Never Quit summarized the day: “Day 1 is a really tough day! We all have to run 12hours today on the first island we land in the amazing Antarctica. The weather is amazing today, gentle snowing, heaving snowing, wind chill, strong wind, you name it, we experience it all within one day.”

British competitor David Grosse describes: “As the day wore on the snow turned to slush – and the going got increasingly heavy. I didn’t plug in my ipod at any time during the day- so it was whiteout outside and whiteout in my head. 10 hours of watching my feet squelching. Good news- we are sailing tonight to a new location –looking forward to a lie in.”

The second day of racing will start with breakfast at 8:00 and once the course has been cleared to be safe, Stage 2 will start.   

More photos have been uploaded to The Last Desert website and blogs from Stage 1 are up. Enjoy reading them!

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

Stage 1: Breaking News 3

Mon, 26 November 2018 at 22:17

Now that all athletes have returned the ship, have got their wet gear off and a hot shower, here is a more comprehensive update on Stage 1. The course around King George Island was 13.3 kilometers. The route took competitors from Uruguay Base through to Russian Base and then to China Base also known as China Great Wall. It was very snowy in morning but the weather cleared throughout the day at blue sky emerged for a moment.

 

Men’s competition was incredible tight today!

  • Iulian Rotariu (Romania) completed 79.66 kilometers and is in first place after Stage 1.
  • Wong, Ho Chung (Hong Kong) completed 79.66 kilometers but 45 minutes slower than Rotariu which puts him to second place.
  • Christoph Santini (France) completed 73.08 kilometers

Women's field was exciting as well:

  • Isabelle Sauve (Canada completed 66.36 kilometers
  • Ann Verhaeghe (Belgium) completed 59.78 kilometers
  • Jacqui Bell (Australia) completed 53.06 kilometers
     

All competitors completed Stage 1.

 

It is Vladmi Dos Santos’ birthday today and he was recognized both before the race by his fellow competitors and with a birthcake at dinner. “I can’t think of a more amazing place to celebrate my birthday” he said when receiving hugs from fellow competitors.  

 

Marissa Holman had a memorable day too "I was dive bombed twice by a large bird! Really really enjoyed the course. We all passed each other many times. Lots of high fives. Great atmosphere and commaraderie"

 

Takuya Wakaoka in the fourth place said he enjoyed the fast course and the watching penguins.

 

Muylle Joost thought “For a flat course, it had many hills.” Ironically King George Island is one of the locations with least elevation gain and loss as the land formation on the islands and the Peninsula itself has a lot of variation.  

 

Ann Verghahae: “The last few kilometers were difficult but it didn't stop me taking selfies with the penguins” (from a distance, of course)

 

Masato Nakamura enjoyed his day tremendously: "I slipped in the snow and ice and ended up in a pool of water but got up and carried on and still greatly enjoyed the course."

 

The “locals” of King George Island which means the people who live in the research bases for a few months at the time were excited to have unusual visitors on the island!  The Russian base was by the checkpoint and the leader himself spent some time there watching the competition. Uruguay base turned on music for the runners so they could enjoy their day of running even more! The Chinese base has an amazing four-wheel drive vehicle with snow track tires.  Every time they drove by they cheered on the competitors.

 

Competitors got to enjoy many sightings of penguins, seals, terns and skewers today.

 

Results and photos from Stage 1 will be available on the website soon.

***   

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

Stage 1: Breaking News 2

Mon, 26 November 2018 at 21:02

Stage 1 of The Last Desert 2018 has concluded. Iulian Rotariu, a fireman from Romania took the stage and completed almost 100 kilometers!  The first stage lasted for approximately 10 hours and weather remained stable so all competitors were able to get some good mileage in and enjoyed putting their sea legs into action!  

Due to low satellite coverage updates from Stage 1 have been limited but more information including results, photos and blogs will be posted as soon as possible.

***   

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

Stage 1: Breaking News 1

Fri, 2 November 2018 at 10:00

The Last Desert (Antarctica) 2018 gets underway on 23 November when participants board the expedition ship for the 1,000km / 620 mile voyage across the Drake Passage to Antarctica. 

The Stage 1 is planned to take place on 26 November when competitors arrive in Antarctica. The timing of each stage is subject to the weather conditions.  Stage 1 Breaking News will be sent when Stage 1 starts.

Stage 2: Breaking News 5

Tue, 27 November 2018 at 06:04

Hope you have enjoyed following race updates from Antarctica. M/V Plancius is now on the way to our third location, the Stony Point which is near Paradise Bay just off the Antarctica Peninsula. Stony Point is a small island but very picturesque! This course will have a lot of elevation changes and it’s also known for receiving a lot of heavy snow fall, so a soft white race course is expected for tomorrow. As long as the weather stays clear competitors will get to enjoy breathtaking views over the Paradise Bay and the dark mighty mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Stage 3 is planned to start at 9:00 and continue until approximately 21:00 - It’s not going to be an easy day but it will take everyone closer to the total distance of 250 kilometers!    

A video summary from Stage 2 is now available, as well as Blogs, Results and a Stage Update.

 

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

 


 

 

 

Stage 2: Breaking News 4

Tue, 27 November 2018 at 21:00

Danco Island was a wonderful host for the competition today. Due to the longer sailing distance to this location, the stage was shorter. It was started at 15:03 in the afternoon and concluded just over three hours later at 18:30. This gave competitors a chance to recover from the previous day.

Danco offered various wild life to watch, birds, hundreds of penguins and whales!!! Competitors also got to admire blue shaded huge icebergs as they drove in with the Zodiak boats. 

The weather changed hourly but it was quite cold with high winds.

Despite the challenging course everyone made great progress today during the 3.5 hour stage:

MEN

Wong Ho Chung (Hong Kong) won Stage 2 today reaching 32km

Iulian Rotariu (Romania) was second with a distance of 30 km

Christophe Santani (France) in third place having completed 18 kilometre

 

WOMEN

Isabelle Sauve (Canada) is the female winner having run 24 km

Ann Verhaega (Belgium) in second place with a distance of 20 km

Annastiina Hintsa (Finland) in third place having completed 18 kilometre

Some penguins of course crossed the course a few times which created traffic jams as competitors had to allow for right of way. That gave everyone a nice breathing break.

At the end some of the bravest competitors did a polar plunge! Jacqui Bell, Annastiina Hinsta, Sebastian Lippert, Jim Kan and volunteer Natasha bit the bullet and jumped into the icy Antarctic water!
 

Some quotes from competitors:

Iulian Rotariu: “I was most impressed by the chance to run side by side with the penguins. They often beat me because I had to stop. I was tempted to do the polar plunge but I've never experienced such a thing. Maybe I would do it on a rest day, or after the last stage.”

 

Maik Becker: “It was a special day because of the penguins, then the icebergs and hearing the ice cracking. I didn't even realise 3.5 hours were up, time went so fast”

.

Andrei Gligor: “I usually hate running uphill but today I couldn't wait to get to the top on each loop, just so I could reach the penguin colony. I felt like I was an TV presenter, working for National Geographic!”

 

Jerrad: “I hope the next stage will be like this one.”

 

Jim Kan: “Today was very good. Beautiful. Peaceful. Amazing. For the first lap though, I was running behind the leaders. Every step was a nightmare, but then the snow compacted down and they just got better and better.

 

Competitors are now back at ship and recovering from the day.

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

 


 

 

 

Stage 2: Breaking News 3

Tue, 27 November 2018 at 17:00

Stage 2 of The Last Desert (Antarctica) 2018 is underway. Competitors are trying to make as much progress on the Danco Island as much as possible. The start was very challenging with the deep snow but as the route packed it has become easier to run on. By now many are simply just walking, as the terrain is difficult and there are constant climbs to tackle. Once on top of Danco Island, the stunning views across the bays are breathtaking.  Isabelle Sauve is keeping the lead still, while the men’s competition has been tighter through this stage. We will be posting updates on the rankings as soon as possible. Chong, Bing Ying, amputee Camel Fung’s wife who form the team of three, 5 Legs Never Quit, says “this has been a challenging but fun day. We are not used to snow so there are a few new things to learn here!”

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

Stage 2: Breaking News 2

Tue, 27 November 2018 at 12:00

Update from Gerlache Strait at 112noon.


The Last Desert participants sailed all night from King George Island to the Antarctic peninsula, and are currently motoring through the Gerlache Strait, heading for Danco Island. Stage 2 will be run on Danco Island, and it will be an approximately 3 kilometer circuit, including an uphill zig zag route and back down again. As the ship is still moving, the stage will begin at around 14:00 and will last approximately 4-5 hours. There will be lots of snow, and runners may be asked to wear micro spikes on their shoes, if conditions are icy or slippery, as the route gets compacted down. Generally colder weather is expected, possibly around -4C, so slightly colder than yesterday on Stage 1.

 

Isabelle Sauve of Canada, currently leading lady, looked incredible on the King George Island course, running almost all of it. But, she says, "It was tough. My feet got wet, but I only got cold at the end, waiting for the Zodiac. It was only for 5-10 minutes. The best part was seeing the penguins, especially on the beach by the checkpoint, where we got on the Zodiac."

 

Rebecca Walker, Stanford ER doctor, and guide for our blind competitor, Brazilian Vladmi Dos Santos said, "the hard part for me was managing and avoiding puddles and helping Vlad do the same."

 

Martin Hennessy of Ireland, was happy with his 66 kilometer run yesterday. He says he doesn't run with a watch or GPS and was happily surprised with the result. He says, "Today's stage is going to be interesting. In a positive way - I'm a glass half full person. Yesterday was good. I saw a penguin, and a seal, and a dead seal." He is currently reading through many, many messages from supporters back home.

 

Martin is sharing a cabin with David Grosse from the UK. They have a drying line hooked up diagonally across the room, so will have warm, dry clothes again for today. David is very relaxed. He says, "I'm feeling good, yesterday was fine. I'm looking forward to running some more."

 

A few of the competitors' family have joined the race as guests. Alain Esseiva’s wife Vanessa Teo has joined the trip. Vanessa stayed at the checkpoint helping all runners. Susy Braverman from Mexico who is Mauricio Cohen’s partner, was a great help at the checkpoint, ticking runners off as they completed the course. Lot Hogan, who is travelling with Australia's Mick Hogan was seen out on the route cheering on competitors as they ran along the slushy snow trail.   

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

Stage 2: Breaking News 1

Tue, 13 November 2018 at 10:00

The Last Desert (Antarctica) 2018 gets underway on 23 November when participants board the expedition ship for the 1,000km / 620 mile voyage across the Drake Passage to Antarctica. 

The Stage 2 is planned to take place on 27 November. The timing of each stage is subject to the weather conditions.  Stage 2 Breaking News will be sent when Stage 2 starts.

 

Stage 3: Breaking News 5

Thu, 29 November 2018 at 01:30

The website has now been updated after Stage 3. 

RESULTS: 

An incredible 70+km / 40+ miles was completed by the leaders on Stage 3. That puts them at 180+km / 110+ miles in total after the first three Stages. It is two fireman going head-to-head for first place. Hong Kong vs. Romania. 

The average distance completed today was 41km / 25 miles. 

  • There was no change in overall positions for the Top 4 men and Top 3 women.
  • But Vikki Bester from Australia has overtaken her cabin-mate, Jacqui Bell taking 4th place for the women. 
  • Eilon Armon from Israel had a great day moving up 4 places in the overall rankings
  • Eva Zhou from China has moved up to 44th place from last.  
  • Team 5 Legs Never Quit from Hong Kong are the last but still very much in the game. 

 

PHOTOS:

More than 100 photos from today's Stage on Stony Point in the beautiful Paradise Bay can be seen on the website. 

Above: Mr. & Mrs. Fung still going strong!

 

VIDEOS:

Two new videos have been uploaded from Stage 3. 

  1. Watch a video Rebecca Walker who is the race partner of blind competitor Vladmi dos Santos from Brazil - find out how she and Vladmi stay together and their plan in case of a crevasse. 
  2. Zeana Haroun, the Event Director of The Last Desert 2018 tells us how a Stage is set up. 

 

BLOGS:

Only three new blogs today - after a long 10 hours of running, the priority was eating and getting to bed to rest before the next stage. 

 

Stage 4 is planned to start tomorrow, Thursday 29 November at 06:00 for another 12 hour day on Dorian Bay. The front runners could reach the 250km / 155 miles.  Once each person reaches that goal then they can stop running.  Everyone else will carry on to get as close to 250km as possible. 


Stay updated on all the news on the LIVE website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

Resultsblogs photosvideos and a stage update

Stage 3: Breaking News 4

Wed, 28 November 2018 at 21:00

Stage 3 on Stony Point concluded at 19:45 after nearly ten hours of racing.  

It was  a long day but the weather was great with beatiful 360 degree views of Antarctica and many icebergs around the course.  There were also lots of sounds of avalanches in distance and calving ice closeby to keep the racers on their toes.  This location is within Paradise Bay and it certainly lives up to it's name!

  • Tied 1st place: Wong Ho Chung & Iulian Rotariu 
  • 1st for the women: Isabelle Sauve

A few quotes straight after the finish: 

Mauricio Cohen from USA / Mexico: I had fun, I really did. I enjoyed it. I'm ready for tomorrow, the sooner the better. I'll have time to sleep when it's over.

Vladmi dos Santos from Brazil, blind competitor, was referring to his guide Rebecca Walker as Rebecca Airlines. It did seem as though they were flying at some points too, despite malfunctioning gaiters and wet socks. He said, 'it seems like every day is a long day on Antarctica!'

Kasper, 2nd expedition leader, MV Plancius. 'I'm enjoying working with RacingThePlanet and the runners. Everyone is polite, and I'm surprised at how focussed they are on the race. This trip for me is more focussed on logistics and people because there are so many moving parts.'

Masato Nakamura from Japan: 'Today was in a really nice, beautiful landscape. I really enjoyed it. I'm tired but my legs are still good. 

Zhihong Lin from China: 'today was very good. I took a lot of pictures. I'm feeling ok because I'm taking it fairly easy so that I have energy left over for tomorrow, which I'm looking forward to.'

 

Results and blogs are being uploaded very soon. 

Photosvideos and a stage update will follow.  

 

Stay updated on all the news on the LIVE website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

 

Stage 3: Breaking News 3

Wed, 28 November 2018 at 18:17

The third Stage at Stony point in Paradise Bay continues  and the weather has been relatively good throughout the  day. Men’s competition has been tight though the whole day with Wong Ho Chung and Iulian Rotariu still keeping the lead. Isabelle Sauve has also managed to keep Ann Verhaege and Jacqui Bell behind her, although all three are looking strong. 

Wong Ho Chung of Hong Kong


In the middle of the pack, besides the challenging course with it’s big up and down hills, competitors are making good progress. Leon Clarence in all black is taking the scenery in “Better scenery than in the UK!”.   Grand Slam competitor William Chew of Malaysia finds it tough however “the difference to all other 4 Deserts races is so huge – this place is just incredible”. Choi Hongseok is loving the run today “Really I’m so glad I came, this is the hightlight of my year!”

Andrei Gligor from Romania who is currently in sixth place is used to snow so although this is unusual much of snow, he’s taking the slopes and turns with experience. Christoph Santini currently in the third place commented coming by the checkpoint last time: “C’est superb, dur mais superb!”

Annastiina Hintsa of Finland who’s holding the fourth place “The wildlife is just incredible here. That and when you look up from the top of this hill!”

The Stage is planned to continue for a couple more hours weather depending.

Photos from Stage 2 have been added to the website now that the satellite connection has improved. More updates to follow soon.  

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

 


 

 

 

Stage 3: Breaking News 2

Wed, 28 November 2018 at 11:00

Stage 3 on Stony Point in Paradise Bay has started! Once all Zodiak boats had reached the landing points competitors gathered for a group photo before the start of the race.

The stage has now gone on just over an hour. Competitors have so far covered about 4 kilometers – that just tells how tough it is to run in the fresh snow. Wong Ho Chung is pulling the pack at the moment, being the first one to sink in the soft snow. Competitors just behind him are helping by taking turns. The course will pack down over the day.

Weather is gorgeous, it’s sunny and clear skies and it should stay clear until about 15:00 when wind is forecasted to pick up. If it gets very windy, competitors may get an early call to the boat. If the ice packs start moving too fast the ship must lift the anchor. However weather cooperates, the stage will continue until the evening.

We will be sending more updates as the day progresses.

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

 


 

 

 

Stage 3: Breaking News 1

Tue, 13 November 2018 at 10:00

The Last Desert (Antarctica) 2018 gets underway on 23 November when participants board the expedition ship for the 1,000km / 620 mile voyage across the Drake Passage to Antarctica. 

The Stage 3 is planned to take place on 28 November. The timing of each stage is subject to the weather conditions.  Stage 3 Breaking News will be sent when Stage 3 starts.

Stage 4: Breaking News 5

Thu, 29 November 2018 at 23:09

It’s the end of the day and The Last Desert 2018 competitors (and hopefully staff too) are catching some well-deserved sleep while the expedition ship M/V Plancius is heading to the final location for Stage 5. She is still aiming to George’s Point but the direction may change – the winds are still blowing strong.

The evening was a big celebration for Wong Ho Chung who has officially won The Last Desert 2018! The Hong Kong based fireman is now done with his running  and will be cheering on his fellow competitor tomorrow! Iulian Rotariu has a mere 5.5 kilometers to complete. Christoph Santini and Takyua Wakaoka will hopefully reach the full distance as well but have over 30 kilometers to complete. Women’s leader Isabelle Sauve has completed 196 kilometers. Have a look at the overall results to see the effort that everyone has put in.   

Stage 4 day could be described being mental. Read the latest blog updates about the tough day and the conditions competitors endured during the seven hour stage. Photos will be uploaded as soon as possible.

Tomorrow, Friday 30 November is the final stage of The Last Desert 2018 - It will be a day of celebrations. Competitors will received their finisher medals, hopefully in the sunshine but completing the tough race will be amazing whatever weather Antarctica will throw at them!  

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

 


 

 

 

Stage 4: Breaking News 4

Thu, 29 November 2018 at 21:00

Stage 4 started finally at 12:15 after six hour delay due to wind and fog. With the huge gusts and no visibility landing wasn't safe. It was great that the weather conditions improved enough to get on shore, but the day remained challenging for competitors.

The Stage lasted for nearly 7 hours, ending at 19:00.

Wong Ho Chung of Hong Kong reached the 250 kilometer distance today! He did it just on time, and got to 67.2 kilometers just before 19:00! Iulian Rotariu of Romania completed 62.4 kilometers.  

In the women’s competition, Isabelle Sauve of Canada  continued her strong steady performance and remained in the lead until the end.

Everyone did very well given the challenging weather conditions - it was raining, snowing and very windy all day.  However lots of penguins came to play and the stunning mountains gave this stage a magnificent backdrop.

Competitors have just returned to the ship and are enjoying a well-deserved barbeque dinner.

Stage 5, the final stage of The Last Desert 2018, will take place tomorrow, 30 November.  The location will be announced soon.  

 

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

 


 

 

 

Stage 4: Breaking News 3

Thu, 29 November 2018 at 12:04

 

It's now 12noon in Antarctica. It is still very windy in Dorian Bay and so far it is not safe to leave the ship to start Stage 4.

Although the race is very much on, competitors enjoyed a little rest time in the morning. The cybertent up on the 5th level of the ship opened so competitors have been able to check the messages that you have sent to them – that’s a perfect cheers for them that they need today.

 

Maik Becker, a Swiss competitor says: “I liked the downhill parts of yesterday's course. It was like skiing and even as the potholes in the snow got bigger as I could slide over them. Don't ask me about the uphills - there was no cable car!”

 

Simon Melanson, Canada: “I love Antarctica. I've been to a lot of the Canadian Arctic, which is stunning but Antarctica is like the super beautiful older sister. Interesting are the views, which seem bigger than 360 degrees. The hills and cliffs look like icing sugar dusted onto blue jelly, and they change colour during the day. I underestimated the beauty and scale.” Simon's family are travelling with him. He says, “my eldest, Olivia was in a penguin colony yesterday and laughed herself to tears watching penguins steal rocks from each other.”

 

Hichame Mourabak, Qatar: “The location of yesterday's race was amazing. We asked for tough and we got it, although I think I'd have been happier with a 6 or 7 hour day. It was very long.”

 

Isabelle Sauve: “In a way, I'd like to get going today but I'm also kind of pleased there's a delay as I couldn't get to sleep last night so an extra hour of rest is welcome.“

 

Scott Baldridge gives staff member Natasha a high five and eats 3 cinnamon rolls. The cinnamon rolls are excellent on the ship, but he says putting three together is like an American cinnamon roll. He is running with a penguin toy. He says, “I enjoyed yesterday. I got smiles from everyone and about 1000 high fives on the circuit and at the checkpoint.”

 

Sebastian Lippert, Germany: “I'm happy about the slight delay because the recovery time is much shorter than on the other races. I don't stretch so I'll probably go to the lounge and wait for when we can get going again.”

This morning there were two inches of snow on the ship's decks. Let’s see how the weather develops today.

 

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

 


 

 

 

Stage 4: Breaking News 2

Thu, 29 November 2018 at 06:29

After the night’s sailing, The Last Desert 2018 Expedition Ship has arrived to Dorian Bay. However high winds and fog have delayed the start of Stage 4. Everyone on board is now waiting for word from the ship’s Expedition Leader on when the race can start but it will be delayed at least two hours maybe more. This will give competitors some more time to recover from the previous Stage and the 10 hours of running. It’s also a good time to update blogs and enjoy the time viewing the beautiful Dorian Bay from the outer decks.

Another breaking news will be posted once Stage 4 gets underway.

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

Stage 4: Breaking News 1

Tue, 13 November 2018 at 10:00

The Last Desert (Antarctica) 2018 gets underway on 23 November when participants board the expedition ship for the 1,000km / 620 mile voyage across the Drake Passage to Antarctica. 

The Stage 4 is planned to take place on 29 November. The timing of each stage is subject to the weather conditions.  Stage 4 Breaking News will be sent when Stage 4 starts.

Stage 5: Breaking News 5

Mon, 3 December 2018 at 01:00

One last update from M/V Plancius: The Last Desert 2018 competitors got to experience some stormy weather in the Drake Passage with winds over 50 knows and a big swell. It was a matter of finding the most stable place on board – for many it was their bed in the cabin. It’s all part of the experience and made the return trip memorable. The schedule on Sunday went on as planned. Captain’s farewell drinks took place at 17:30, following dinner and a cake to celebrate the conclusion of the race at 19:30.

 

The much anticipated Awards Banquet started at 21:00. The following competitors were awarded:

 

THE LAST DESERT 2018 WINNERS:

 

  • Overall winner of The Last Desert 2018: Wong Ho Chung (Hong Kong)
  • Second place winner: Iulian Rotariu (Romania)
  • Third place winner: Christoph Santini (France)
     
  • Women’s winner of The Last Desert 2018: Isabelle Sauve (Canada)
  • Women’s Second place winner: Ann Verhaege (Belgium)
  • Women’s Third place winner: Jacqueline Bell (Australia)

 

  • Spirit Award: Rebecca Walker (USA) and Vladmi Dos Santos (Brazil): for their impeccable cooperation and friendship through to the completion of The Last Desert 2018   
     
  • Sportsmanship Award: Scott Baldridge (USA): for his continuous support to his fellow competitors despite his own injuries during the race.

 

THE 4 DESERTS CHAMPIONS 2018: 

 

This award goes to the competitor with the lowest ranking of all 4 Deserts races combined!

 

  • The 4 Deserts Champion 2018 (Men): Wong Ho Chung (Hong Kong
  • The 4 Deserts Champion 2018 (Women): Isabelle Sauve (Canada)

 

 

GRAND SLAM 2018:

  • Bell, Jacqui (Australia) – now the youngest female in the world to complete the 4 Deserts Grand Slam!
  • Chew, William (Malaysia)
  • Choi, Hongseok (South Korea)
  • Clarance, Leon (UK)
  • Cheongsin, Heogwak (South Korea)
  • Jacobsen, Tommy (Denmark)
  • Moubarak, Hichame (Qatar / France)
  • Rybiec, Marek (Poland)
  • Van Schilt, Bart (Netherlands / Belgium)
  • Wakoaka, Takuya (Japan)
  • Wong, Ho Chung (Hong Kong)
  • Yoo, Dong Hyeon, Jason (South Korea)
  •  

 

4 DESERTS CLUB MEMBERS:

In addition to the 4 Deserts Grand Slam competitors, further 20 competitors joined the 4 Deserts Club at The Last Desert (Antarctica) 2018!

 

  • Alfaro, Ramiro (Guatemala)
  • Bester, Vikki (Australia)
  • Chak, Raymond (Hong Kong)
  • Chey, Jerrad (South Korea)
  • Cohen, Mauricio (United States / Mexico)
  • Dos Santos, Vladmi (Brazil)
  • Esseiva, Alan (Switzerland)
  • Gligor, Andrei (Romania)
  • Grosse, David (UK)
  • Hennessy, Martin (Ireland)
  • Hintsa, Annastiina (Finland)
  • Holman, Marisa (USA)
  • Huang, Jason (Taiwan)
  • Lippert, Sebastian (Germany)
  • Murphy, Bryan (UK)
  • Muylle, Joost (Belgium)
  • Rotariu, Iulian (Romania)
  • Sauve, Isabelle (Canada)
  • Seguin, Bruno (France)
  • Verhaege, Ann (Belgium)

 

One last stage is left and that is called the after party! Although some have already given up the celebrations and gone to bed, there is still a good number of competitors having drinks at the ship’s bar, making the most of the last hours together before arrival in Ushuaia in a few hours! Their ETA is 8:30 on Monday morning, 3 December.

 

Photos from the Awards Banquet and journey back are now available on the website under Stage 6, a well as blog updates.

 

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

 


 

 

 

Stage 5: Breaking News 4

Sat, 1 December 2018 at 10:58

The expedition ship is making good progress across the Drake Passage although the sea is fairly rough. Competitors have just woken up to the morning of Saturday, 1 December so it’s the second weekend they’ll spend on the Southern Ocean. Everyone is happy although tired from the big week. They’ve just had breakfast and the cybertent has just opened. So far today there hasn’t been special sightings of whales but it’s likely that the ship’s loud speaker will announce something exciting later in the day. Albatrosses follow the ship loyally at the moment.


Today is a good day for everyone to reflect their achievement. The Last Desert being an invitation race, all competitors would have had at least two previous 4 Deserts Ultramarathons under their belt. However many joined the 4 Deserts Club at the finish line in Antarctica and there were 12 competitors who completed the 4 Deserts Grand Slam, all 4 Deserts Ultramarathons this year.

One of these people, Bart Van Schilt describes his learning experience from the big year: “These races confirm to me what I already know, or think I know. When your mind tells you to stop, you’ve only used your body to 40%. That means you have 60% more in you to complete the race.” He says he would recommend the Grand Slam to any who has the time.  

 

Andrei Gligor from Romania who finished in 6th place in this race has a similar experience: “I’m more focused, more organised and I have more of a Can Do- attitude now. I’m very grateful for this.”

More photos from Stage 5 is available on the website and we’ll continue adding updates as the ship sails towards Ushuaia. The Awards Banquet is scheduled to take place tomorrow, Sunday 2 December.

 

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

 


 

 

 

Stage 5: Breaking News 3

Fri, 30 November 2018 at 10:46

The final stage of The Last Desert (Antarctica) 2018 has concluded on Mikkelsen Harbour located in the Palmer Archipelago, Antarctica. Competitors finished a very short 0.25 km stage which was largely ceremonial. With an avalanche in the background and surrounded by penguin colonies, all 49 competitors received The Last Desert medal.  Isabelle Sauve of Canada and Wong Ho Chung of Hong Kong received the women's and overall champions prizes. It was a memorable moment for every single competitor and having shared together the whole journey from the calm to rough seas, all different race locations, running in blizzards, huge winds and gorgeous sun shine and blue skies everyone was so excited and happy at the finish line.

 

Group photos were taken of everyone as well as the new 4 Deserts Club members and those 12 competitors who joined the 4 Deserts Grand Slam.

 

After the celebrations, the Zodiac boats took competitors for one last ride and back to M/V Plancius where hot showers and celebratory lunch is waiting. The expedition ship is now sailing towards the Drake Passage. The forecast for the moment is looking quite rough.

 

Results, photos and more race coverage from Stage 5 is available on the website.

Follow the race coverage including resultsphotosvideosstage updates and breaking news on the LIVE website at https://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/live. 

Stay updated on the news via FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram

 

 


 

 

 

Stage 5: Breaking News 2

Fri, 30 November 2018 at 08:30

The final stage of The Last Desert 2018, Stage 5, takes place on Mikkelsen Harbour where the weather is more stable. The stage has just started.  This will give a chance to the competitors to break the 250 kilometer full distance or get as close as possible.

Stage 5 will last until approximately 10:30 and the much deserved finisher medals will be given on shore before the happy competitors and staff return to the expedition ship to continue celebrations!!! M/V Plancius will then turn towards the Drake Passage and start sailing back towards South America. 

Photos from Stage 4 in Dorian Bay has been uploaded. Content from Stage 5 will be available on the website soon. 

Stage 5: Breaking News 1

Tue, 13 November 2018 at 10:00

The Last Desert (Antarctica) 2018 gets underway on 23 November when participants board the expedition ship for the 1,000km / 620 mile voyage across the Drake Passage to Antarctica. 

The Stage 5 is planned to take place on 30 November. The timing of each stage is subject to the weather conditions. Stage 5 Breaking News will be sent when Stage 5 starts.

Stage 6: Breaking News 1

Tue, 13 November 2018 at 10:00

The Last Desert (Antarctica) 2018 gets underway on 23 November when participants board the expedition ship for the 1,000km / 620 mile voyage across the Drake Passage to Antarctica. 

 

If a sixth Stage is possible, Breaking News will be sent on 1 December. The timing of each stage is subject to the weather conditions. 

 

After the conclusion of the final stage particpants will remain on the expedition ship for the return voyage back to Ushuaia.  They will disembark from the ship on 3 December by 09:00 local time.