With the Gobi Desert race behind us, Paul and I travelled from Hami, China to Iten, Kenya for some serious altitude training and inspiration in anticipation for the biggest athletic challenge of our lives: Breaking the World Record for “The Most Desert Races Ran In One Year”. For those of you not familiar with Iten, it is a place in Kenya that produces countless number of world class elite athletes, World Champions, and Olympic Champions for distance running. This region in Kenya is where legends are born and bred. No other place on earth have that kind of prestige associated with distance running where anyone can drop in and workout (if you can keep up!) with World Champions and World Record Holders …. for free. If you want to improve your running technique and fitness, then this is where you want to be. The caliber of runners here is so high that even elite runners from foreign countries have a very difficult time completing the Kenyan daily workouts.
Before The Race – The Road to Gobi
One of the things I come to expect 4Deserts™ Gobi Marchcompeting in running races is to expect the unexpected. However, unlike other races I have done thus far, 4Deserts™ Gobi March was everything I expected, read about, and more. Unfortunately, no amount of training and simulation can fully prepare you to run in such weather extremes as the Gobi Desert until you experience it for yourself. How can one train to run in 50+C (120F) heat (without using expensive equipment)?!? Continue reading “Race #3: The Gobi Inferno”
Having conquered the Sahara and Namib Desert in the span of 4 weeks, Paul and I travelled to Brisbane and Sunshine Coast Australia to seek refuge, recuperate from our ordeal, lick our wounds and upgrade our gear to better prepare for our next race in the infamous Gobi Desert.
The Gobi Desert presents itself some interesting challenges. Based on previous year’s race reports from fellow competitors, I expect drastic climate changes (0-40C) ranging from snow, hail, and sandstorms!
The Gobi Desert, which covers large parts of northwestern China, is known as the Windiest Desert in the world. Historically, it is most notable for being the location of many important cities along the famous Silk Road.
Before The Race – Getting Ready All Over Again
The 4 Deserts Sahara Race (Namibia) will be the first major trial of our 8 Deserts Challenge – World Record Attempt. Why? The quick 2 weeks turnaround. Both Eric and I have no idea how our body would react. We have never ran two long distance races so close together before (never mind two self-supported ultramarathons), so our recovery ability will be put to the test. I mean, I have only been running for less than 2 years!
As glamorous as this adventure/World Record chase sounds to all of you, dealing with the logistics of international travel and competing in a sport as demanding as self-supported desert racing is an absolute nightmare. Imagine training/planning for your race to participate in your next major city marathon or your next Ironman. Now add the complexities of finding food that you can keep down (customized for my palate) in 40C heat for a week and replace/repair racing gear(s) that was damaged or lost during the last race in a foreign country in which you may or may not (most likely the latter) speak their language.