The Desert Ultra
Namib Desert, Namibia
About this event
This is the Namib Desert, one of the oldest deserts in the world, a vast region of Southern Africa which has been dry for more than 50 million years. Day time temperatures at this time of year can reach 50+ degrees but as night begins to fall, and the sunset turns the landscape into something other worldly, the temperatures can drop to near freezing.
You’re standing in baking heat and dust, surrounded on all sides by sand and scrubland. The Spitskoppe Mountains loom over you, bare rock rising nearly 2 kilometres from the desert floor. You’re a dot on the landscape as you stand on a trail that winds it’s way through the rocky ground around you and off into sand dunes that shimmer in the heat haze on the horizon.
This is the Desert Ultra.
Follow us to Adventure.
- Location: Namib Desert, Namibia
- Terrain: Sand Dunes, Scrub Land and Dry River Beds
- Cost: £2500
- Payments: In full or monthly instalments.
- Distance: 250kms
- Stages: 5
- Red Jersey Stage: The Damara Dash
- Base Camp: Spitzkoppe Mountains
- Finish: Save the Rhino Outpost
- Daytime Temperature: 35°C - 55°C
- Evening Temperature: 5°C - 10°C
A 250km race split into 5 stages of sand dunes, dry river beds and baking scrubland in the shadow of rocky, martian mountains.
Runners should expect sweltering heat in the long days and freezing nights. There may be periods running in darkness, following a marked route by head torch, under skies free of light pollution and filled with stars.
As a self-sufficient race you are responsible for carrying your entire kit, including food, safety equipment and a minimum of 2.5 litres of water which can be re-filled at checkpoints along the stages. You’ll need some specialist gear to take on the world’s oldest desert.
Accommodation each night is provided by way of campsites built by our race team.
First and foremost, the chance to race through a remote, beautiful and challenging area where few tourists ever get the opportunity to go, under the watchful eye of a highly qualified team of medics and guides. You’ll also get your race t-shirt, finishers medal, digital copies of photos taken by our intrepid race photographers, transport and storage of your luggage, an organised transfer to and from the race, and a celebratory meal and drinks after the race with a hotel stay. Please note flights to the race are not included.
Each runner is responsible for carrying all items listed on the mandatory kit list (which can be found in the Race Pack) throughout the event. That means all your clothes, medical supplies, food and sleeping kit will be on your back (N.B. in the Ice Ultra, your sleeping bag is carried by the race team). This doesn’t mean you’re on your own, though. There’ll be a constant supply of clean drinking water, and boiling water for the preparation of freeze-dried meals, at every camp, as well as drinking water at each checkpoint. Checkpoints are placed approximately every 10km, and there you will find a small shelter, a qualified medic and another supply of clean drinking water.
At BTU, we’re determined to be as open as possible in our entrance criteria. We believe everyone should have a chance to take on one of these life-changing challenges. That said, a significant level of physical fitness is needed to take on races like ours in relative safety. Therefore, we ask that anyone entering one of our races has, at least, finished a marathon-length event with 12 months of their chosen race.
Once you’ve clicked ‘Enter…’ above, and filled in the short registration form, you’ll be contacted by one of our team. You can pay via PayPal or BACS transfer. You can pay in full or make stage payments. To read our full terms and conditions of entry, please click here. To learn more about what your deposit payment is for, click here.
Beyond the Ultimate has a decade of experience in organising multi-stage ultramarathons in remote locations. Our expertise spans health and safety in extreme sports, T.V. stunt work, mass participation events and more. Our team includes the full roster of ultra-runners from elite podium winners through the mid to the back of the pack. We consider the race experiences and safety from all participants’ perspectives. We recruit and develop teams local to each race to help manage our events, utilising their priceless local knowledge and logistical know-how. You’ll find a team of qualified medics at all our events, all recruited from within the British NHS. They watch over all our competitors and race team members throughout. All runners also wear a GPS tracking device monitored throughout the race and allows 2-way conversation between the runner and our team wherever they need it.