It sounds like a nightmare.
You've been dropped off in the middle of the Sahara Desert. Over the next six days you will have to run, jog, walk or crawl 155 miles through the incredible, incessant heat -- temperatures routinely reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit -- across soft sand and hard-parked gravel, over sand dunes multiple stories high and down rocky hills. You must do this carrying everything you need to survive -- clothes, food, sunscreen, emergency medical supplies, sleeping bag -- in a pack on your back.
This is a nightmare that 120 people paid $3,100 (2009) each to endure. They've signed checks, filled out medical forms, bought equipment and supplies, packed bags and flown in from all over the globe. Oh, and they've trained, too.
The Sahara Race is an endurance competition in the strictest sense of the term. The intense heat and long distance combine to put even the best-conditioned athlete to the test. Not only does a competitor have to run 155 miles through the desert, he or she has to do so carrying a roughly 20-pound pack.
Mismanage this race, and you don't just risk losing. You risk your life.
To mitigate the risk to competitors, the Sahara Race organizers implemented basic safety guidelines. Competitors are required to carry certain things -- emergency medical supplies, a minimum of 14,000 calories (2,000 per day) in food and a supply of electrolytes, among other things -- and to enter and exit several checkpoints on each leg of the race. At each checkpoint, competitors have access to a ration of water (which is supplied for them throughout the race) and medical attention (which they decide to use or ignore).
After each stage, organizers supply competitors with tents in which to sleep, water with which to cook and access to the world outside the Sahara, via an Internet tent, with which to maintain touch with reality.
The race runs through the Sahara in Egypt on a rough northeast track from the Farafra Oasis in the White Desert to the Bahariya Oasis in the Western Desert. (Competitors are then bused to the final stage, a victory lap by the pyramids of Giza.) The course is marked off with small pink flags. At night, the course is marked off with glow sticks. This may seem simple, but in a race in which conserving every possible resource is paramount, the slightest unexpected expenditure can be incredibly costly.
After a lot of pain and stubbornness I reached the finish line and received my second 4 desert medal
Stayed two days in Cairo. Visited........
The Pyramids and Great Sphinx of Giza
Back in time at the "Egyptian Museum"
Salah Al-Din Al-Ayoubi Castle
city of the dead
The Hanging Church
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