by Marita van Rooyen
Adventure running in Namibia has become increasingly popular. As a result, Namibia has become known for hosting some of the toughest footraces on earth. The terrain and running conditions make it challenging, which is what most adventure contestants look for: an unforgettable experience filled with adventure, sport and nature.
One of these popular adventure races is the 100 Miles of Namib Desert that takes place annually at Sesriem and Sossusvlei. The race covers a total of 150 kilometres over four days.
The five legs of the race provide completely different surroundings; stony desert, majestic dunes, sandy plains, black stones and a never-ending crystal-clear horizon. Graced with the presence of ostriches, jackals, gemsbok, interesting geological formations and a variety of bird species, it gives a completely different dimension to open-air running.
The first day of the race covers 38 kilometres, followed by the second day’s 20 kilometres in the Sesriem Canyon and 15 kilometres amid African dawn colours in the late afternoon. The third day’s race is a 42-kilometre marathon, with a 34-kilometre race at Dune 45 ending the race on the fourth day. The cool and dry climate during winter, gives Namibia the perfect weather conditions for running. And the uncertainty of wind that’s ever present in the desert can be seen as an added surprise challenge.
The 100 Miles of Namib Desert race is arranged by Italian company Zitoway Sport and Adventure. The programme is realised in co-operation with the Namibia Consulate in Italy.
This article appeared in the Aug/Sep ‘09 edition of Travel News Namibia.