The Namib Race 2020 will take place in the country of Namibia in April / May. It is a 250km / 155 mile, seven-day, six-stage ultramarathon.
The Atlantic Ocean waves crash onto the desert shores of the Namib Desert for the full length of Namibia.
Competitors use laptops and tablets in a specially designated Cybertent to write blogs and exchange emails during the race. This is the only contact they have with the outside world during the week.
The Race will begin on Sunday, 26 April and conclude on Saturday, 2 May. Have a look at the full itinerary for the race.
The climate in Namibia in late April/early May (early winter) is typically dry and sunny with temperatures of around of around 35°C / 95°F during the day but can drop to 0°C / 32°F at night. However, on the coastal parts, it is general cooler during the day (10-25°C / 50-77°F).
During the race, competitors, volunteers and staff are expected to consume approximately 15,000 liters of water.
The coastal desert sections can experience deep fog which has caused many accidents at sea evidence of which can be seen in the form of ship wrecks. This is the reason for its name, the "Skeleton Coast".
Competitors are required to pass through up to 30 checkpoints throughout the seven-day race before crossing the finish line.
The Namib Race is part of the 4 Deserts Ultramarathon Series, named by TIME magazine as one of the Top 10 Endurance Competitions in the world.
Namibia is one of the least populated countries in the world (with only Greenland, Mongolia, Falkland Islands and French Guiana have a lower population density). Despite the small population it retains a great cultural diversity resulting from its many colonisations over the decades.
The Namib Race replaces the Sahara Race. The original 4 Deserts Race in Africa was the Sahara Race in Egypt which started in 2004. It has since been temporarily moved to Namibia due to the instability and safety concerns in North Africa and the Middle East. Namibia is holding this race for the fifth year in 2020.
The coastal desert town of Swakopmund is the host town for the Namib Race – it is sandwiched between Atlantic rollers and the Namib Desert – the town is a surreal colonial remnant.
90% of Namibia is classed as desert, arid or semi-arid giving rise to the most beautiful and varied desert landscapes you can imagine.
Up to 150 competitors from more than 40 countries are expected to compete in the Namib Race 2020.
The Namib Desert is regarded as the oldest desert in the world; it spans a distance of 2,000 kilometers / 1,300 miles along of the coast from South Africa, through Namibia and into Angola.
The world's biggest sand dunes can be seen (and climbed) in the Namib Desert. There are many over 300 meters / 1,000 feet high and stretching more than 32 kilometers / 20 miles long.
Approximately 20% of competitors run the entire course, 60% combine running with walking, and 20% walk the entire course. The fastest completion time is expected to be around 25 hours and the slowest around 70 hours.
Namibia possesses some of the most stunning scenery in Africa.
The Namib Race is a self-supported race; competitors must carry everything they need for seven days on their backs. The average backpack weight is 9 kilograms / 20 pounds.
Highlights of the Namib desert include sand seas, gravel plains, scattered mountain outcrops, huge expanses of massive sand dunes, moon-like landscape, Atlantic waves crashing against the sandy desert shoreline, many ship wrecks along the Skeleton Coast, small settlements, lone trees and a fascinating array of plants and animals, many of which are endemic to the area as a result of the age of the desert.
Many competitors are raising money for charities around the globe through their participation in the race.