Namibian 24-hour ultramarathon
While the Namibian 24-hour ultramarathon is a fairly new event, having only begun in April 2008, it has to go down as one of the most difficult and treacherous ultramarathons of all time. The marathon takes runners through the Namib desert where heat during the daytime can hit 45°C and drop below freezing point at night. Entrants to the marathon are presented with a 126 km ultramarathon which they have to compete within 24 hours, being equivalent of three full length marathons.
To make matters worse, all participants in the Namibian ultramarathon have to carry their own food, clothes, navigational equipment and water which makes it one of the most dangerous ultramarathons there is. The winner of the inaugural Namibian ultramarathon was Tom Maguire who finished in 17 hours and 15 minutes some three hours faster than the 2009 winner, Darren Roberts, who finished in a time of 20 hours and 28 minutes.
The Namibian desert marathon is not the only ultramarathon which takes place in the desert but it has to go down as one of the most difficult, mentally and physically testing of them all. Those with an interest in ultra running will find it very difficult to comprehend how you can run three marathons in one day in the searing heat of the desert!