Attention ultrarunners! Are you looking for a new challenge to add to your race schedule in 2014? If so, the the newly announced Desert Challenge may be just what you’re looking for. The event will feature two races, in two very different deserts next year, both of which will lead up to a third event which has yet to be named.
The first race is called the TransOmania and as the name implies, it will be taking place in the country of Oman. The full course will run coast-to-coast across that country, covering a distance of 300 km (186 miles). Two shorter routes, one 200 km (124 miles) in length, the other 130 km (80 miles), will also be available, each running through the very heart of the Wahiba Sands, a beautiful desert with diverse landscapes and wildlife. The TransOmania ultramarathon is scheduled to take place in January.
The second race in the Desert Challenge will be the TransArabia, which will run from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea in Jordan. This race will feature three courses that include lengths of 300 km , 200 km and 100 km (62 miles). Competitors will of course run non-stop, passing through the spectacular Wadi Rum desert and the incomparable Petra along the way. The TransArabia is scheduled to take place in November of 2014.
The two races are being managed by Raid Sahara
and my friends at Lost World Racing
, both of which have years of experience organizing long distance running events in extreme environments. They’ve come up with an interesting new concept in desert races, beginning and ending on coastlines, while still featuring plenty of wide-open desert along the length of the rest of the course. Both races will be tough and demanding, yet incredibly rewarding at the same time. These two new ultra marathons are set to make a very big splash on endurance scene next year.
The Desert Challenge was just announced yesterday, so there isn’t a lot more information available just yet. the website domain for the TransArabia race
has been claimed, but as of this writing, the site hasn’t launched just yet. Keep an eye on the page for future updates.
On a side note, I visited Jordan last year and had an absolutely wonderful time. The country is beautiful, with a rich and ancient culture. The people there couldn’t have been more friendly and visiting both Wadi Rum and Petra were amongst the highlights of my travels. The fact this race will put you right into the heart of those environments is amazing.
Stay tuned for more information soon.
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