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                   MULTI -DAY

There was a time, many years ago, when there was the Marathon des Sables and err well the Marathon des Sables. However things are different now and there are lots of multi-day races to choose from. Unfortunately a lot of people still think the Marathon des Sables (MdS) is the one to do. If you enter from the UK it is over-subscribed, over-priced and over-hyped. Having said that it is a well organised event and a great experience.

Because these events, due to their nature, are expensive we have only listed the ones we know offer a good experience. We are the UK agents for some of these events; they met our standards, that is why we became agents. For details of these races and to see some lovely photos have a look at the races & events section of www.edandphil-healthyandfit.co.uk. 

We have made it clear in the description if we are an agent for that event.

The Druid Challenge - 85 miles - 3 days -UK - November. A good introduction to multi-day events which is relatively cheap. It takes place along the Ridgeway with overnight accommodation in school halls, so there are showers and flush toilets. Food is provided and your sleeping mat, bag and clothing is transported by the organisers between stages. Open to both runners and walkers this is a no-pressure event with the emphasis on getting you to the finish. The organisers, Extreme Energy Events, also put on some 2 days events of a similar nature. You will see Ed & Phil helping at checkpoints on the Druid Challenge and some of the other events,

Al-Andalus Ultimate Trail - 230km - 5 days - Spain - July. This is a relatively new race but is quickly becoming popular. The course is demanding and technical with high temperatures (35-40C), numerous long climbs, and scenic trails. Over 90% is off-road, mountain, and desert tracks with the majority of tarmac in the final kilometres when approaching the stage village finishes. It is semi self-sufficient in that competitors must provide all their food and equipment, except tents, but this is transported between stages by the organisers Team Axar Sport. Ed took part in the event in July 2011 to test it out and a few months later we became there UK agents. Ed loved the event, but found it tough, however he still went back in 2013. Find out more details about the race from the link above or email Ed.

Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon - 250km - 6 stages - South Africa - October. This event has been tested by Ed & Phil, somewhat obsessively by Ed - he is the only person to have completed it 7 times This is a self-sufficiency event, where competitors carry all their own food and equipment. The race organisers supply water, about every 10k, medical back-up and cover each night. Because the event takes places in the Green Kalahari there is some sparse vegetation and therefore a chance to spot game. Springbok, Kudu, Giraffe, Ostrich and Zebra are some of the animals that have been seen. Temperatures can get up to 45 degree Celsius, given there is some moisture it feels hotter than the Sahara. The number of competitors is limited to 100 because of the sensitive environment the race passes through. This means that there is a very friendly special 'family' atmosphere. 

Details of the event can be found on the Extrememarathons  website or you can ask us about it, we have been their UK agents for several years. Email Ed.

Gobi Challenge - 135 miles - 6 days - Mongolia - July. Many people we meet at events over the years had talked about this event in glowing terms. When Dave Scott of Sandbaggers, the race organiser, asked us to be agents for the race we jumped at the chance. The race website contains this description:-

"The Mongolian Gobi is a land of extremes. Its imposing sand dunes, towering mountains and seemingly endless sun-baked desert plains are home to wolves, bears, vultures and nomadic goat herders. One of the least forgiving environments on earth, temperatures soar above 40C in summer and plummet a staggering 80C through winter.

Now into its ninth year Sandbaggers Gobi Challenge has firmly established itself as a race of extremes. Immense physical and mental challenge, stunning terrain (including an ice gorge, Asia's highest sand dunes and mountain gorges), adventure, raw culture and a sense of camaraderie which must be experienced to be believed await any who undertake the challenge."

La Transtica - 188km (117 miles) - 5 days - Costa Rica - November. This is a French organised event which we discovered via a good friend Gerrard Verdenet. He is a very well respected runner who has competed in many of the big events. When Ed was in Chamonix Gerrard introduced him to the organiser of La Transtica and a few months later we were agents. This race takes you from the Atlantic coast of Costa Rica to the Pacific coast. It is not a self-sufficiency race; there is food on the checkpoints and breakfast and dinner is included. There are two events in one - the Adventure Trail with daily distances of about 25km and the Extreme about 40km per day. There is also a day where you are transported down river by raft. Considering what is included the price is very reasonable. There is a very strong element of helping the local communities within this race.

Races from The Track Organisation based in France: 
we are the UK agents for these races. For more details visit the Canal-Adventure website or you can email us.

Ultra AFRICA Race - 200km (124 miles) - 5 days - Burkina Faso- November
This is a self-sufficient race over roughly equal stages with competitors carrying a rucksack with all their food, sleeping gear and other essential equipment. It takes place in south west Burkina Faso.  Details and prices are on the event website.

Ultra INDIA Race - 200km (124 miles) - 5 days - India - January
This race takes place in the Kerala region of South India criss-crossing tea and spice plantations. The format is similar to the Ultra ARICA race above.
Details and prices are on the event website.

THE TRACK Outback Race -520 km (323 miles)-9 days-Australia - May
This is advertised as the longest multi-day self-sufficient foot-race. It takes place in the Northern Territory of Australia, through the Outback, between the town of Alice Springs and the Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park. 
Details and prices are on the event website.

Races from Global Limits

We heard very good things about the initial race in Cambodia and Ed took part in the Bhutan Last Secret race in 2013. It was so good that we became agents for these races

The Ancient Khmer Path
- 235km(145 miles) - 6 stages - Cambodia - Nov

The race is a self-sufficiency event with only water provided by the organisers;  however your rucksack containing your equipment is transported for you to the end of each stage.

This is taken from the event website: "Start the race in Buddhist temple were monks will be wishing you the best of luck for the race, camp in ancient temples which served as filming location for the movie "Indiana Jones" and refresh your senses underneath 25m high waterfalls. Run through temple ruins built more than 1000 years ago and finish the race in front of the world heritage site of Angkor Wat!"

The race director is Chuck Walker, a very experienced American multi-day racer. Ed met him at the Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon a few tears ago when Chuck won the event. 

Full details and prices on the event website.

Bhutan The Last Secret - 200km (125miles) - 6 stages - Bhutan

The race is a self-sufficiency event with only water provided by the organisers;  however your rucksack containing your equipment is transported for you to the end of each stage.

Experience an amazing landscape, run through evergreen prime forest, pass amazing monasteries and immerse yourself in traditional Buddhist culture. Start the race at the terrific situated Punakha Dzong, definitely the most beautiful dzong in Bhutan. Run through rural villages and cross three 3500m passes. Stay in farmhouses more than a century old, or in the small cells of the young monks in a monastery at 3500m.

Finish the race at the most spectacular and mystic monastery on earth, hanging in the cliffs at an altitude of 3000m with an outstanding view to the Paro valley, the Taktshang Goemba, also known as "The Tigerís Nest". 

"This race has the most spectacular and beautiful finish location. It also has some spectacular trail running." Edward Chapman 

Full details and prices on the event website.

6633Ultra - 350 miles - 8 days - ArcticMarch. Others may claim it, but this is most definitely the toughest race in the world. The 6633 ultra is a non- stop self-sufficient foot race over a distance of either 120 miles or 350 miles. Both races cross the line of the Arctic Circle, with the longer race continuing to the banks of the Arctic Ocean at Tuktoyaktuk. Competitor have to be self-sufficient pulling all there food and equipment in a sled. The conditions are extremely severe, minus 40 and a lot colder with the wind-chill. Very few people start this race and a tiny proportion finish. Ed & Phil competed in 2010 and did not make it, suffering from frostbite and hypothermia. Having said that it was a fantastic experience. We are not agents for this race, but promote it because we like the event and the race organisers Likeys. Please feel free to email if you would like to ask us about the event.

The Fire and Ice Ultra - 250km - 7 days - Iceland - August. New in 2012 this is a self-sufficiency race through what should be amazing scenery as it passes through Iceland's most extreme and remote landscape. Further details can be found on the Fire and Ice Ultra website. 

4 Deserts - 250km - 7 days - various locations and dates. There are four events in this series organised by Racing the Planet. We have not competed in any of the races, but the Atacama crossing is on the 'to do' list. Reports from friends who have done these events are all very positive. The 4 desert races are: Atacama Crossing, Gobi March, Sahara Race and the Last Desert - Antarctica. You have to have completed the other three to enter the last one, and have shed loads of cash.. These are self-sufficiency races that follow the similar format to MdS. There is a 5th race in the series, however the venue changes each year. 


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