Racing The Planet, Article by Sharon Abella, www.1worldcinema.com
October 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
140 competitors from 36 countries will set out on a life changing journey this Sunday, October 28, 2012 as the eighth edition of the world-renowned Sahara Race returns. These brave souls will travel 250km on foot over 7 Days in Egypt’s protected Wadi Al-Hitan region in the world’s largest hot desert, and the second largest desert after Antarctica, The Sahara Desert, with their food, clothing and supplies in their backpacks, and only tents and water will be provided along the way.
“We are incredibly excited to return to the great Sahara Desert in Egypt for the eighth time, and are proud to have so many nationalities represented with large contingents from the Asian nations including Korea, Japan and China,” said Samantha Fanshawe, Vice President of Events for RacingThePlanet. “We are also excited to see growing numbers of Egyptians participating. We look forward to again working with the Ministry of Tourism to stage another successful event.”
Among the frontrunners expected to dominate the race are Vicente Juan Garcia Beneito of Spain, a 36-year-old firefighter who has put in an amazing performance in the 4 Deserts series this year, winning the Atacama Crossing in Chile and the Gobi March in China. He is matched in the women’s division by Germany’s Anne-Marie Flammersfeld, who also aims to take her third consecutive 4 Deserts medal in 2012.
This speaks of an impressive group of 19 competitors who are taking on the 4 Deserts Grand Slam in 2012: all 4 Deserts races in one calendar year. The Grand Slammers are showing physical strength and mental agility as they move into the third stage of their quest to complete a total of 1,000-kilometers across the world’s most extreme desert landscapes—from the high altitudes of Chile’s Atacama Desert, to the remote sands of China’s Gobi Desert and finishing amid the epic setting of Antarctica in November.
The Sahara Race has also drawn a large number of newcomers with remarkable life stories. Canada‘s Sebastien Sasseville is a Type 1 Diabetic who has scaled Mount Everest, completed four Ironman triathlons and is here to raise funds and awareness for the disease. Japan’s ‘fastest comedian,’ Yashuhito Wakita, also takes on the feat for the first time, with an entire film crew from NHK, Japan’s National Broadcasting Organization following his footsteps. The field is extremely diverse with students, doctors, bankers, chefs and homemakers alike sharing a dream to conquer this legendary desert.
The race begins on Sunday morning and traverses the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wadi El Hitan, southwest of Cairo. Special permission has been obtained to allow competitors to move through this celebrated paleontological site, where large whale skeletons from ancient times still lie on the sands. After spending six days pushing through a course of sand dunes, desert oases and stony expanses, competitors finish on Saturday, November 3, 2012 amid the impressive backdrop of the Pyramids of Giza.
God bless all those running regardless of race, creed, color, or national origin!