Four Day Run through the Sahara Skip to content

Four Day Run through the Sahara

Arnaldur Birgir Konráðsson, manager and co-owner of Boot Camp Iceland, and Ágúst Guðmundsson, fireman, have become the first Icelanders to finish a 112 km run in the Sahara. Around 160 people participated in this year’s race. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />


runners_goRunners in Iceland. Photo by GO.

The route lay between two villages in Tunisia and took four days to complete. On Tuesday, the first day of the race, the runners completed 23 km and they ran another 23 km on Wednesday. On the third day, participants ran an entire marathon and on Friday, the fourth and final day, they completed the last 23 km.

In an interview with mbl.is, Arnaldur says that this was an amazing experience. They experienced all kinds of weather in very demanding conditions. Temperatures dropped to -4° C and rose to +35° C. Arnaldur and Ágúst had accounted for these extremes, but how do you prepare for a run in the desert in Iceland? Laughing, Arnaldur says that preparing physically was not an issue but preparing for the extremes, for the heat and the sand, was basically impossible.

But how did it occur to two Icelanders to participate in a race through the desert? Arnaldur says that after running a marathon in Scotland, the two buddies had the urge to try something new and exciting and they found the Sahara race through the internet.

The weather can change very quickly in Iceland, but the same goes for the desert. They sometimes felt like they were running on the moon. A sandstorm hit them and the wind sometimes felt like an Icelandic storm. They slept in open tents and woke up with sand everywhere.

Arnaldur says that he and Ágúst are tired from the ordeal but happy to have completed the race. Arnaldur adds that he is definitely going to try more new and exciting things but he is not sure that he will run this particular race again, even though it was an amazing experience.

For those who desire to follow in their footsteps, they will not have to wait long, because the organizers of the Sahara race are coming to Iceland this August to prepare a 250 km run around the highlands of Iceland, which will take place in the summer of 2013, visir.is reports.

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