Top Contenders, Interesting Stories and Race Stats


The Special Edition of RacingThePlanet: Georgia gets underway in the foothills of the Caucasus on Sunday, 19 June.

Here we take a look at some facts and figures – and also the ones to watch for the podium as well as those with inspiring stories.

  •  Racers are representing 21 countries from Zambia to the Philippines
  • The most represented countries are Canada, Japan, South Africa and the United States
  • The oldest racer is an impressive 79 years old!!!! Moo Woong Lee from Korea joins his 10th RacingThePlanet Ultra
  • The youngest racer is 24 year old Seung Ju from Korea
  • There are four 4 Deserts Club members meaning they have completed all 4 Deserts Ultras
  • 10 racers are into their second leg of the 4 Deserts Grand Slam or Grand Slam Plus
  • 35% are female / 65% are male
  • 63% have done a RacingThePlanet Ultra before – 37% are first-timers

 Some of these athletes are at the Georgia for the experience, challenge, fun, adventure, travel and friendships they will make, and all the amazing experiences these races entail. But others are there to push themselves and are looking for a podium finish.


The favourites this year are




Terumich Morishita (Mori Mori) 🇯🇵

Anim Swart 🇨🇦

Florian Vieux 🇨🇭

Magadalena Paschke 🇩🇪

Jeff Pelletier 🇨🇦

Fiona Oakes 🇬🇧

Matthew Cavanaugh 🇱🇷



The Men

It is going to be an exciting race for the podium with many talented athletes:

 Terumichi Morisita from Japan finished 2nd in the Namib Race 2022 which was just 8 weeks ago.

 Florian Vieux from Switzerland won the Namib Race in 2019

 Jeff Pelletier from Canada finished 4th in the Namib Race 2021. He filmed the race while running and created an incredible 9 episode series. He will be doing the same in Georgia.

 Matthew Cavanaugh from the United States finished 4th in the Namib Race 2022 definitely proving that you can still compete with only one kidney.

 Others to watch who have had fast finishes in recent races are Michele Ufer from Germany, Ahmed Al Katheeri from the UAE and John Bezou from the United States.


The Women

Anim Swart from Canada finished in 2nd place at the Namib Race 2022 – and has several finishes just off the podium at other RacingThePlanet Ultras in 2019.

Magadalena Paschke from Germany changed from being a dedicated hiker to a true contender under the influence of her husband who she met the RacingThePlanet Ultra in Jordan in 2014. Most recently she has finished 2nd or 3rd in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 roving races in Ecuador, Sri Lanka and Patagonia.

Fiona Oakes is a vegan runner from the United Kingdom has many accolades to her name and continues with a consistent pace throughout.

But there are always plenty of surprises to look out for on the course.


A special mention needs to be made for the following people:

Matthew Cavanaugh from the United States – donated a kidney in August 2021 and is racing to demonstrate that you can live a full life with just one kidney.

Christopher Lewis from Wales / Japan – has not only completed all 4 Deserts but also every roving race location. This race is his 18th RacingThePlanet Ultra

Dr. Rob Ripley is medical director for the race. Rob was a racer in the Namib Race 2021 won the race!!! He will be racing in the Atacama Crossing in September.

Many charities will be supported through the race including The Ability Experience, The National Kidney Registry, Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary, We Can Run, The Children's Surgical Centre (CSC) and Pomoc Małym Nóżkom in Poland.


4 Desert Grand Slam Contenders

The 4 Deserts Grand Slam is a competition within a competition to complete all 4 Deserts Ultras in a year. To take that one step further you can also aim for the 4 Deserts Grand Slam Plus which is all 4 Deserts PLUS the roving race (which this year is in Lapland) – only 7 people in the world have ever achieved this feat!

 There are 10 contenders for this title in Georgia. They are representing 7 countries.


4 Deserts Grand Slam

4 Deserts Grand Slam Plus



Michele UFER

Seungan JU








Follow the race live for the action as it happens: