Desert Ultra

Namib Desert

£2,500 per athlete

Enter the Desert Ultra

Desert Ultra Marathon

A 250km self-sufficient ultra marathon through the Namib Desert

This is the Namib Desert, Namibia. It’s one of the oldest and most hostile deserts in the world.

Desert running is a real challenge, with sweltering heat of over 50 degrees during the day, temperatures drop to freezing at night. As you survive the heat and the dust, you will be surrounded on all sides by sand dunes and baking scrubland.

The Spitksoppe Mountains loom as you disappear as a dot into the shimmering heat haze on the horizon.

This is the Desert Ultra, follow us to adventure.

Race Details

  • Location: Namib Desert, Namibia
  • Distance: 250km
  • Stages: 5 stages in 5 days 
  • Terrain: Sand Dunes & Scrubland
  • Red Jersey Stage: The Damara Dash
  • Base Camp: Spitzkoppe Mountains
  • Finish: Save the Rhino Outpost
  • Daytime Temperature: 35°C / 55°C
  • Evening Temperature: 5°C / 10°C
  • Daylight Hours: 12 
  • Airport: Windhoek
  • Event Duration: 7 days
  • Accommodation: Tents
  • Places Available: 60

Get your Race Information Pack

Find out everything you need to know about the Desert Ultra by downloading our free race information pack. It includes the travel itinerary, kit list, race rules and a daily breakdown of each race.

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The Desert Ultra Documentary

Follow a group of runners and discover what it's like to take on the Desert Ultra through the Namib Desert.

What's next?

Interested to take part in the Beyond The Ultimate – Desert Ultra? Schedule a call with one of our Race Directors, explore race footage and runner testimonials on our YouTube channel or check out the competition on the race roster.


Kristina Madsen

The toughest desert race out there, but also the best. The beauty of the Namib Desert is breathtaking.

Desert Ultra Winner 2018


Kasia Orzechowska

Flawlessly organised so you can focus on running, enjoying the epic scenery and meeting some truly inspiring people. One of the most unforgettable experiences of my life.

Desert Ultra Winner 2019


Dave Mohring

The whole experience was amazing, just absolutely amazing. The race took me to the depths and the heights.

Desert Ultra Finisher 2019


Eliza Miles

The hardest thing I've ever done. Really mentally challenging. Do this race, find your limits with a really great group of people to support you along the way.

Desert Ultra Finisher 2019

Race FAQs

The Desert Ultra gives you the opportunity to compete in one of the oldest and most hostile deserts in the world. Your entry fee covers the teams and logistics to bring this race to life:

  • GPS tracking ensuring your safety.
  • Manned check-points and camps with medical and support staff.
  • Provision of drinking water on the course and hot water for preparing food at all camps.
  • Race accommodation in tents.
  • Transfers to and from the race.
  • Storage and carriage of luggage during the race.
  • Digital watermarked copies of all photos captured by our professional adventure photographer.
  • Race coverage for friends and family back home.
  • Race T-Shirt and Finishers Medal.
  • Donation to our woodland project to offset carbon from flights.
  • Celebratory meal and finish line celebrations.


What’s not included in your entry fee are your flights, additional hotel stays, equipment and clothing (please see kit list) and food and drink during the race (other than water provided at checkpoints and camps).

Each runner is responsible for carrying all items listed on the mandatory kit list (which can be found in the race information pack) throughout the event. That means all your clothes, medical supplies, food and sleeping kit will be on your back. This doesn’t mean you’re on your own, though. There’ll be a constant supply of clean drinking water, and boiling water for the preparation of freeze-dried meals, at every camp, as well as drinking water at each checkpoint. Checkpoints are placed approximately every 10km, and there you will find a small shelter, a qualified medic and another supply of clean drinking water.

At BTU, we’re determined to be as open as possible in our entrance criteria. We believe everyone should have a chance to take on one of these life-changing challenges. That said, a significant level of physical fitness is needed to take on races like ours in relative safety. Therefore, we ask that anyone entering one of our races has, at least, finished a marathon-length event within 12 months of their chosen race.

We would always recommend every competitor purchases appropriate insurance to cover the costs of your entry fee and your participation in any BTU event should you not be able to take part. Once a staged payment has been made it is non-refundable. Please read our terms and conditions before making your payment.

You can secure your place by paying £2,500 in full when you enter or spread the cost over four equal instalments. Payments can be made online via your debit or credit card.

£625 – deposit due on entry

£625 – 1st payment due 270 days before race start

£625 – 2nd payment due 180 days before race start

£625 – Final payment due 90 days before race start



Payment schedule

To secure your place in the race, you will need to make a deposit payment of £625 on entry. The remaining fee can be split over three further payments. Alternatively, you can pay in full when you enter.

You can use your debit or credit card to make your payment online. Stripe Payments handles the steps between you providing your card information and learning that the payment has been accepted. Some of the world’s largest companies, including Amazon and Shopify use Stripe.


Pay a £625 deposit on entry to secure your place.

270 days before race

Payment of £625 is now due.

180 days before race

Payment of £625 is now due.

90 days before race

Final payment of £625 is now due.