[3 November 2012, Pyramids of Giza, Egypt] – Vicente Juan Garcia Beneito of Spain has done it again. The 36-year old completed the 250-kilometer course of the Sahara Race today in a time of 25:56:12. This marks his third victory of the year.
The Spanish firefighter is on track to what could be a record-breaking year. Should he emerge as champion of The Last Desert (Antarctica) in three weeks time, he will be the first person to ever win all 4 Deserts races in one calendar year.
There was an equally incredible performance in the women’s division with German competitor Anne-Marie Flammersfeld taking a gold medal and fifth position overall with a time of 31:08:33. Flammersfeld is also heading for an historic year—if she triumphs in Antarctica, she will be the first woman to ever win all 4 Deserts.
“I’m so happy, it’s been an incredible week,” said Flammersfeld who is a sports scientist and owner of All Mountain Fitness in the resort town of St. Moritz, Switzerland. “The finish by the Pyramids is so overwhelming.”
The Sahara Race kicked off on Sunday October 28th with approximately 140 competitors who set out from the starting line making it through the dramatic course that ranged from sand dunes, to valleys, lakes and the protected
Against the stunning backdrop of today’s finish line, the second person over the line was Canada’s Simon Donato (36), one of the stars of the TV show Boundless, who finished the course in a time of 28:48:53. Belgian competitor Steven Sleuyter (40) took the bronze medal with an overall time of 29:08:14.
Mary Gadams, RacingThePlanet CEO and Founder, commented: ￼"It’s great to end in a such a spectacular site,” said Beneito as he came into the finish￼line amid the legendary Pyramids of Giza. “I’m so happy also to finally arrive with the￼other competitors, it’s a good feeling, not that I’ve felt alone this week. Now I’m going to￼rest with friends and family.”￼where ancient whale fossils still lie like museum relics on the sands.
Wadi El-Hitan, or Valley of the Whales, “It was a hot and sandy week but everyone persevered, mostly with a smile on their face. I’m so proud of￼every competitor.”
This is proving to be a landmark year for 4 Deserts where Grand Slammers—those who are taking on all four races in one calendar—are gaining compelling victories. The￼Team JDRF Born to Run consists of five Australians who are embarking on the 4 Deserts Grand Slam to raise funds for Type 1 Diabetes research.
They are Roger Hanney (38) who himself has Type 1 Diabetes, Jess Baker (30), Rob Schwebel (61), and father and son Matthew Donovan (22) and Greg Donovan (51). “We are all amazed at how vast and remote the desert is,” they said. “It was a special place to be. Born to Run is proud to finish three of the 4 Deserts, finishing first is the icing on the cake.”
For many of the competitors who are taking on the 4 Deserts Grand Slam, while today’s finish offered relief—it also marks the countdown to The Last Desert (Antarctica). There are just 19 days left to this spectacular event, the final race in the 4 Deserts series of 2012 that begins on November 22 amid the snow and ice of the planet’s southernmost continent.