The Last Desert 2008 Ultramarathon Begins Today!


The Last Desert, the fourth and final ultramarathon of the Four Deserts events from Racing The Planet, gets underway today as competitors will depart from Ushuaia, Argentina this afternoon for a two day sea voyage to the Antarctic, where they will run a series of races over the course of six days.

The first stage of The Last Desert is scheduled to take place on Thursday on Aitcho and/or Deception Island, depending on weather conditions. From there, the competitors will sail to either Cuverville, Danco, or Orne Islands for the second stage, on Friday. The fluid nature of the locations is due to the very unpredictable weather conditions in the region, which keeps the racers guessing as to where they’ll be next. The remaining three stages in the Antarctic have similar descriptions, and there could be a sixth stage to be held in Ushuaia as well.

There are a total of 27 competitors in this year’s race, which is an invite only affair. To qualify, you must have successfully completed at least two of the other 4 Deserts races, which include the Gobi March, Atacama Crossing, and the Sahara Race.

One of the competitors in this year’s Last Desert is none other than Dean Karnazes, who is hoping to become the first person to complete all four of the 4 Deserts and the Badwater Ultra in the same year. This is the last of those races, and Dean has done quite well for himself thus far, finishing 4th at the Badwater, 2nd at both the Gobi and Sahara races, and taking first place in the Atacama Crossing.

Good luck to all the competitors. Race safely and keep those toes warm!

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