Monday, January 9, 2012

Sahara Challenge 2012: Solo Across The Sahara

While we're on the topic of very long runs today, an epic new run just got underway last week. Finnish ultrarunner Jukka Vilijanen is attempting to run solo across the Sahara Desert, covering 2000km (1242 miles) in just 35 days. Jukka calls this run the Sahara Challenge 2012.

The run officially began last Friday, with Vilijanen knocking off 50km (31 miles) in his first day. Since then, he's been maintaining a steady pace in widely varying conditions, and allowing us to track his progress as he goes. Jukka is using the Sports Tracker mobile app to broadcast his position, which is a very cool approach. Not only does it keep us connected to his run, it is something we could use ourselves in our own workouts.

If you recognize Jukka's name, it could be because we followed his Trans-Kalahari run back in 2010, when he a couple of friends ran across the Kalahari Desert in Botswana. This time he's going it alone however, which will make for a completely different, and more challenging, experience. Throughout the next month, while on the trail, he is expected to consume between 5000 and 7000 calories per day, and will be running 40 marathons in that time frame. It's always nice to have someone to chat with and share the hardships with, but for a solo runner, these long expeditions can be very lonely indeed.

Good luck to Jukka. We'll be following along!