Who Is Racing in Antarctica at The Last Desert 2022

The 2022 edition of The Last Desert (Antarctica) has been long anticipated, but it is worth the wait!


We have a full capacity of 43 racers representing 23 countries from Guatemala to Wales.  The United States is the most represented country with Japan second.


The youngest race is 26 year old Elise Zender from Germany and the oldest is 76 year old Shogo Imanishi from Japan!


All racers have completed RacingThePlanet / 4 Deserts Ultramarathons before as this is a pre-requite to qualify to race in Antarctica at The Last Desert.  Michael Williams and Anim Swart have each completed a mighty 7 races so far!


  • 25 people will join the 4 Deserts Club after The Last Desert which means they will have completed all 4 Deserts Ultras (over any period of time).
  • 5 people are completing the 4 Deserts Grand Slam
  • 3 people will complete the true 4 Deserts Grand Slam Plus having completed all 5 RacingThePlanet and 4 Deserts Ultramarathons in 2022. These are

o    Anim Swart

o   Rena Mutaguchi

o   Terumichi Morishita (Mori Mori)


  • A further 5 people will complete the 4 Deserts Grand Slam Plus according the revised criteria due to COVID disruptions.

 Only 8 people have ever completed the 4 Deserts Grand Slam Plus so far and only 20 people have completed the 4 Deserts Grand Slam. While there are 279 members of the 4 Deserts Club!


 There is some tough competition at the top




Anim Swart

Szilvia Lubics

Lara Reynolds

 Ben Dame

 Terumich Morishita

 Matthew Cavanaugh

 Radmir Bikmentov



There is also the 4 Deserts Champion of 2022 in contention which is for the male and female racer who has the lowest cumulative ranks from each of the 4 Deserts. Find out more about who the top contenders are for this – and the ranks they need in order take this title.

But don’t under estimate the rest of the field. There are also strong and consistent racers who will also be racing for the top spots. Ones to watch include Elise Zender, Beth Whitman, John Bezou, Michal Gawron, Michael Williams, Jamie Lowe and Nyikolaj Roskovics.


Apart from the top spots every racer has their own story.

  •  Doreen Hoffman is a breast cancer survivor who has taken on a
  • Matt Cavanaugh donated a kidney in 2021 and is using the platform of the 4 Deserts Grand Slam to demonstrate that you can live a full life with one kidney
  • Ahmed Al Katheeri from the UAE is raising awareness of health, well being and organ donation which is something that rare in his country.


Many are using The Last Desert to raise money and awareness for good causes to change the lives of others including Julita Ilczyszyn who is supporting women and children who are unwell in Poland – selecting a different family for each of her 4 races this year, Elise Zender who is racing for the charity “We Can Run” to help women and girls in Senegal to find a new way through running, Suan Lam Koh who has already raised $37,00 of $100,000 goal for the Presidents Society of Singapore, Eyal Shimoni supporting Yadid Lachinuch & Perthes in Israel and Matthew Cavanaugh representing the National Kidney Registry.