After a 5 hour drive across Namibia from Windhoek, the runners arrived at Spitzkoppe basecamp ready for the start of the Desert Ultra 2018 earlier this afternoon. At Beyond the Ultimate we promise nothing if not adventure and the runners have walked straight into that. It was 45’c in the Namib as they got of our coach and the desert winds were howling through camp. It’s best to think of this sandy breeze as a free exfoliant. It’s making camp life tougher but our Namibian crew are made of hardy stuff and the runners have been merrily chatting in our communal tent and filling up on expedition food. The rustling canvas might make sleep a little tricky tonight which is unfortunate if you happen to be starting a 250km race across the desert tomorrow morning.
The atmosphere in camp is energetic, if a little trepidatious. Some of these runners have met on our other races and elsewhere and have tales to tell. Others are with us for the first time and learning their way around under the tutelage of the veterans. No matter how experienced they might be, everyone is nervous tonight.
The team and runners watched the sunset from outcrop nearby, at the foot of the Spitzkoppe mountain, the 120 million year old granite monolith towering above our camp. The sunset here is generally beautiful and has been no different this evening. Expect all the participants social media channels to be full of lurid orange, red and purple sundown pictures once their journey is over.
Tomorrow is Stage One, the Spitzkoppe Saddle. This 50km stage begins with a 12km stretch across sun-scorched scrubland with all assembled aiming for the narrow pass between two low rocky hills in the distance. Here they will find CP1 and head onwards across the desert to our next camp on the dry bed of the Oumaruru river.
The action begins at 8am local time (6am UTC). You can follow the action live via our GPS tracking system which will appear on the homepage of our website in the hours before the race, and via our Instagram and Facebook profiles.
At this point we’d like to thank Kinetic6 for helping to connect us to the world whilst we’re out in the middle of the world’s most ancient desert.