Gobi Desert March – 400 km (250 mile)

I ran across this amazing video today. (See what I did there?) It’s a beautiful film about the Ultra Trail Gobi Desert March. Oh… these are definitely the crazies of the world. The snow storm and the sand storms! A-mazing. I can’t believe they just head out there. No course. Use your GPS and best judgement. Self supported. 1 stage. Clock starts and you gotta finish in 6 1/4 days. You can choose to sleep, or not. Unbelievable.

This video inspires me because it focuses on the drive and obsession. It’s not about the nuts and bolts. It’s not about the weather and terrain. It’s about what happens to you in the middle of the desert… what it feels like to be in the stillness… in the middle of the desert on ancient roads… all by yourself. It’s that feeling that’s inspiring. I won’t ever do this race, but this video gets to the heart of why I find triathlon inspiring and why I do it. It’s epic. It’s grand. You find yourself answering questions about yourself. You survive and share amazing stories. You meet other people with the same crazy dreams.

Event Website: http://www.4deserts.com/gobimarch/

Original posting on Trail Runner.

Last fall, runners set off on the 400-kilometer (250-mile) Ultra Trail Gobi, a self-supported race in the beautiful, harsh Gobi Desert. The time limit was 150 hours, or six-and-one-quarter days.

Unlike most races of this distance, the Ultra Trail Gobi was not broken up into several one-day stages, but was run as a single, nonstop stage; competitors could pause to sleep, but the clock would continue to count down. Perhaps most daunting, runners didn’t follow a set course, but used GPS to navigate from one way point to the next, finding their own route in between over tough terrain.

This video, by The African Attachment, follows the runners who took on this brutal challenge, including Bryon Powell, “Runner-in-Chief” of iRunFar, and Betsy Kalmeyer, a 16-time finisher of the Hardrock 100.


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