Garcia Beneito and Flammersfeld Looking for Third Consecutive 4 Deserts Series Medals at the Sahara Race
Posted Friday, 26 October, 2012
The ancient grounds of Egypt’s protected Wadi Al-Hitan region will be the setting for a staggering endurance test later this month as the eighth edition of the world-renowned Sahara Race arrives to the region.
The 250-kilometer footrace kicks off on Sunday, 28 October, with 140 competitors from 36 countries embarking on the challenging 250-kilometer footrace in the largest hot desert in the world. They will carry their own food, clothing and supplies with them, with just tents and water 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-kilomoters 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 that, in turn, has pulled in a cast of nearly 30 journalists from around the world. 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, 3 November, amid the impressive backdrop of the Pyramids of Giza.
About the Sahara Race 2012 (28 Oct – 3 Nov 2012) - www.4deserts.com/sahararace
The Sahara Race is one of the four races that comprise the world renowned 4 Deserts series of 250-kilometer rough-country footraces. The race takes place in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wadi Al-Hitan of Egypt’s Sahara Desert, the largest non-polar desert in the world. Wadi Al-Hitan, or Valley of the Whales, is an ancient shallow sea where competitors pass fossils believed to be whales with legs that died 40 million years ago.
About the 4 Deserts - www.4deserts.com
The 4 Deserts is the world’s leading endurance footrace series, a unique collection of world-class races that take place over 7 days and 250 kilometers in the largest and most forbidding deserts on the planet.
Competitors must go beyond the limits of their physical and mental endurance. Racing self-supported in the most inhospitable climates and formidable landscapes, they must carry all their own equipment and food, and are only provided with drinking water and a place in a tent each night to rest.
The series, named again by TIME magazine as one of the world’s Top 10 endurance competitions, comprises the Atacama Crossing in Chile, the Gobi March in China, the Sahara Race in Egypt and The Last Desert in Antarctica.