Thursday, 6 December 2012

Flight booked for Namib Desert Challenge (March 2013)

I thought I'd take a look at flights this morning for the Namib Desert Challenge (NDC) for next year. The race takes place from 25-29 March 2013. Both SAA and Kulula fly to Windhoek so I pulled both of them up and lo-and-behold, all flights on SAA on the Saturday (23rd) to Windhoek were sold out. I got a flight to Windhoek on Kulula and my return flight (30th) on SAA. Phew! Good thing I didn't leave it longer to book.

On top of a dune at the end of the long, 50-odd kilometre stage. It was frikkin' hot running into Soussousvlei! (Feb, 2009)
I'm really looking forward to this run because I love-love-love stage racing and I've been fortunate to have run in a number of self-sufficient races like Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon (Northern Cape) and Jungle Marathon (Brazil); a supported, staged races like Coastal Challenge (Costa Rica) and Namib Desert Challenge (Namibia); and full-service races like Himalayan Stage Race (India) and TransRockies Run (Colorado, USA; in a pair). And then I had three years of the wonderful full-service, multi-discipline staged race, the Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge (2008-2010; the event is sadly no more).

The format of NDC looks to be quite a bit different to the original format. Initially it was meant to be self-sufficient but after Day 1 we got to leave our food and stuff for the rest of the race behind, only running with each day's provisions. Tented accommodation (with mattresses!) was provided; we just brought along our sleeping bags and all food for the five days.

This year tented accommodation is provided and also buffet dinners each evening! Talk about being spoilt! We've only got to bring along our own breakfast, lunch and running snacks - but we don't have to carry everything with us during the running - we can leave these goodies behind in our tent.

Running this race again will be like running it for the first time because the route has been changed a lot since the first one back in February 2009.

I'm going to make myself a new, colourful pair of Desert Gaiters for the run. It was actually for this race that I created my Version 2 of the desert gaiter design (I created the current Version 3 for the 2010 Abu Dhabi Adventure Challenge).

Lots of training to be done between now and March next year! Yay!

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