The 2012 Sahara Race Begins Sunday

The 2012 edition of the Sahara Race is scheduled to get underway this Sunday, when 160 runners from 40 different countries will set off on a week-long race through the hottest desert on Earth. The course, which is 250km (155 miles) in length, will take them directly into the heart of the Sahara in Egypt, where daytime temperatures are expected to hit roughly 50°C / 122°F.

This is the seventh running of the event, which is part of the 4 Deserts series of ultra-runs. The format for this race is well established, with the runners, who are completely self supported except for water stations, setting out on a stage of the race each day.

Most of those stages are 40km (24.8 miles) in length, although Stage 5, commonly known as “The Long March,” doubles that distance. The final stage, which is next weekend, is just 10km (6.2 miles) in length and finishes in the shadow of the Great Pyramids in Giza.

As usual, you’ll be able to follow the event at the official website, with daily updates to standings and news from the course. Most of the runners are already in Egypt and are preparing to get underway on Sunday in what is sure to be a grueling test of endurance, through an amazingly beautiful setting.

Kraig Becker