The Last Desert (Antarctica) is held every two years and forms the final race of the iconic 4 Deserts series. Competitors must complete a minimum of two of the other 4 Deserts events to be invited to participate in the race.
The self-supported footrace is up to 250 kilometers with competitors having to carry a mandatory list of equipment, nutrition and water on each stage. 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 special zodiacs.
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 degrees C (4 degrees 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.
Poor weather conditions meant that Stage 4 could not take place on Friday.
16:14, 8 November 2014, Stage 5 has concluded at Telefon Bay in Antarctica with the coldest and windiest stage yet. Competitors began the stage just after 8 am and ran on desert-like landscape with seals and penguins by the shore. All competitors completed the stage around 2 pm. The winners were again Jose Manual Martinez Fernandez or “Chema” of Spain for the overall race and Isis Breiter of Mexico for the women.
Chema Martinez from Spain and Isis Breiter from Mexico were crowned the winners of The Last Desert and 4 Deserts Champions for 2014.
2nd places went to Ralph Crowley of United States and Beatriz Garcia Berche from Spain for the women, while 3rd place was won by James Edwards and Monique Muhlen.
In the team category the Old Misfits took 1st place with 2nd and 3rd places going to Grand Slammers the 3 Amigos and Corre 1km+ respectively (with team members aged 65, 46 and 29).
Megan Stewart from New Zealand was nominated as the receiver of the Spirit Award and Etsuji Otsuka from Japan with the Sportsmanship.
69 competitors from 28 countries took part
Stage update: http://www.4deserts.com/thelastdesert/stage_updates
About the 4 Deserts Race Series – www.4deserts.com