Namib Desert Challenge Multistage Race | 5 Days

March 2011 – *photos credited to David Montgomery

The Namib Desert Challenge has been described as “hot, hard and awesome”. The race has become increasingly popular over the past six years with ultra runners from all over the world.

Participants are responsible for all their food supplies and compulsory safety/survival equipment for the duration of the race. Tented accommodation is provided in the race village/campsite. Water is provided and distributed during the race.

The race is now in its seventh year and takes place within the Namib Naukluft National Park in Namibia. Taking place over five days, the NDC is 220 kilometers long and separated into five stages of between 34km and 58km. Stages cover some of the most beautiful and diverse scenery, from rocky mountains to the famous Sesriem Canyon and the two highest sand dunes in the world, Dune 45 and Big Daddy.

The event has changed slightly over the years with the race organisers, Kinetic Events, adding to and improving all the time what is already a fantastic event. Being one of the early days competitors we had to carry all our own food, equipment and nutrition. The race village moved with us as we ran across different parts of the desert. Fortunately our tents, sleeping bags and pillows were taken care of for us.

The different distances of the 5 stages were: 42km, 44km, 43km, 58km 35km making up the 220km race, give or take – slugging your way across the soft sands of Dune 45 and Big Daddy adds considerably to the tiredness and ache in the legs so who’s counting.

Jon O’Hanlon