Races of the week - March 28 - April 3

Each week, ITRA proposes to discover trail-running races around the world. This week, we are going to travel from Morocco to China, but also Australia and Italia. The world is trail ! 

 Marathon des Sables / Morocco

The Marathon des Sables is, no doubt, one of the most difficult race in the world. Six stages in the Sahara desert. 250 km to run under the sun. But this is also all of these difficulties that make the beauty of this race. This year, they'll be more than 1 200 runners at the sart line, with the dream to reach the finish line.

This year, it will be the 31st edition of the race. In 1984, at the age of 28, Patrick Bauer made a run of 350 Km, during 12 days, throught the Sahara desert, without any assistance. The idea of the Marathon des Sables was born. Two years later, in 1986, 23 runners will be present for the first edition. Three years later, they were already 170 runners. 

Since the beginning, each year, the Marathon des Sables is growing, with an organization always increasingly effective in terms of security and race developments, but in the same time, with the permanent goal to respect the environment and local people. 

Some best world elite runners will be at the start line. For the men, if historically the moroccan runners have won the title of "Kings of the desert", the race will be very thoug for the front of the race with the participation of Sondre Amdahl, Erik Clavery, Franco Colle and Rachid El Morabity, who already won the race three times. For the women, the level will be high with the first participation of Nathalie Mauclair, who won a lot of prestigious races around the world, Fernanda Maciel, Elisabet Barnes and Laurence Klein, who already won three times.

Elite runners or normal runners, each of them will hope to reach the finish line at the end of this unforgettable adventure...

(Copyright : Cimbaly/V CAMPAGNIE MDS 2015)


Duncan's Run Hundred 

Before his life was tragically cut short in an accident in 2013, Duncan Orr, a keen ultra-marathoner with a love for trails, had an ambitious plan to sage a 100 Km race, on the scenic Gippsland's Grand Strezlecki track.

Though running expeditions with his wife and fellow ultra runner, Anna, had led Duncan to some remote pockets of the world, he’d acquired a particular affinity for the iconic Gippsland track in his home region. In more recent years he had encouraged others, many of them fellow Traralgon HtGSarriers, to join him in exploring its beauty.

Though the shock loss of Duncan - who packed his 31 years full of accomplishment and experiences -still weighs heavily on family, friends and fellow club members, the successful staging of Duncan’s Run Hundred over the past 2 years has bought some solace. This weekend’s race was meant to be held in December 2015, however due to extreme weather conditions it was postponed.

The event holds a 28km, 50km and 100km race, as well as a 100km relay. This year there is also a 6km event.

In the words of Duncan himself, as he once reflected on the ultimate challenge of the ultra : " When you enter an ultra of this distance most people ask ‘why would anyone want to run that far?’ and I would have liked to have replied ‘because I can’, but for me it was more along the lines of ‘because I don’t know if I can’ ".


Nirvana 50 / China 

Nirvana 50 is a long-distance trail running event at Zhuhai, one of the most beautiful coastal garden city in China. Runners will have the choice between two races to try their own limits : a 50 Km, 4300D+ in less than 15 hrs or a 32km, 2900D+ in less than 12 hrs. At the same time, as one stage of Salomon regional Elite Selection in China, the elite winners would have the chance to go to trail running races in other countries on behalf of Chinese elite runners.

Why the race is called Nirvana 50 ? In eastern cultures, the phoenix, the messenger of happiness, would burst into flames and get reborn after suffering great physical and mental pain, is called Nirvana. So phoenix's Nirvana is the perfect metaphor of the trail runners - “dies in fire, reborn from ashes”, as to become a stronger  person. 

The track also covers diverse road conditions surrounded with incredible seascape, also passes the ancient villages and three historical trails dating back from Song Dynasty. 


Vibram Maremontana / Italia 

The seventh edition of the Vibram Maremontana - Memorial Cencin De Francesco will take place on April 3rd.

This year the event will offer to runners three distance options, a 60 Km (3370 D+),a 45 Km (2514 D+), and a shorter race of 20 Km (986 D+).

All the three races start from the beach of Loano, a popular tourist resort on the Ligurian Riviera, and continue through a beautiful mountain environment with wooded areas, long single tracks and mountain ridges with spectacular views of the nearby sea.


Other races also this week on the international calendar : http://itra.run/page/290/Calendar.html

Organizers, to promote your race on ITRA - Trails of the week, feel free to share with us your details (pictures, resume...) : contact@itra.run 

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