At a glance

Location Antartica
Happening in: November
Race categories: Ultramarathon
Next on: November 18th, 2016
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The Last Desert
The race

Antarctica is the great last desert - a polar region with little precipitation, no lakes and no rivers. It is, in fact, the driest continent on Earth where visitors can witness vast landscapes of snow, ice, mountains, volcanoes and ocean.

The race uses a polar expedition ship as its base, traveling to the different course locations on the Antarctic Peninsula and offshore islands based on the prevailing sea and weather conditions, with competitors transferred from ship to shore by zodiacs. Since 2010, this segment has been held biennially to minimise its environmental impact, and usually takes place around the end of November.

The unique challenges of The Last Desert (Antarctica) include having to cope with the severity of the weather conditions that can include gale force blizzards and temperatures down to −20 °C (4 °F). Competitors also have to deal with the unpredictability of daily stage lengths and start-times, as the prevailing environmental conditions dictate where and when stages might begin.

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