The 2008 Sahara Race, part of the 4 Deserts series of ultramarathons, got underway over the weekend, with two stages already in the books. More than 150 racers from 30 countries, have descended on Cairo, where they will spend seven grueling days in the desert, racing through one of the hottest environments on Earth.
You can find results from the first two stages by clicking here. Stage 1 was 35 km (22 miles) in length, and wound it’s way through giant rock formations, forcing the runners to use careful navigation throughout the day. Stage 2 took place in the beautiful White Desert and covered a distance of 41.8 km (26 miles).
After these two stages, runner Ryan Sandes of South Africa leads the way, with Paolo Barghini of Italy in second, and ultramarathon man Dean Karnazes of the U.S. in third. Karnazes is attempting to become the first man to complete the 4 Deserts and the Badwater in the same year. German Nina Breith is the top female competitor, currently in 4th place overall.
The race will continue over the the next few days with the fifth stage, dubbed The Black Desert March, covering 92.6 km (57.5 miles) on Friday. Saturday will see the racers running home, with a short 10 km (6 mile) run to the finish line. Amongst the competitors this year, for the first time, is a team from Egypt, who are proudly carrying the flag for the host country.
Good luck to all the runners. Be safe in the Sahara heat.
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