-In the United Arab Emirates there was a race for the longest distance in the history of marathons. 270 km in five days. Runners from 36 countries took part in the race. The route passed through the reserve Al Marmum in Dubai. The park covers almost 10% of the total area of the Emirates. The ultramarathon prize fund is $80,000. U.S..
But according to experts, it is far from the most difficult race in history. What tests the athletes pass beyond the Arctic Circle, in the lifeless desert and impassable Amazon. Why do people go for it? And why can’t Barkley Marathon participants reach the finish line?
– Any race over 42 kilometers is called an ultramarathon. In total, there are about 15 such competitions in the world each year. Organizers do not just give professionals and recreational runners the opportunity to test their fitness. Participants challenge their endurance, and sometimes their health and even their lives.
-The ultramarathon is usually just the distance. From there, the invention of specific venues and places begins. Vertical running. Extreme low, extreme high temperatures. The man himself must be at least somehow prepared for this moment.
-Dmitry Voloshin is one of the most famous ultramarathon runners in the world. His athletic experience is only six years. But during that time he took part in almost all the most extreme races.
-I’ve run a lot of marathons around the world. More than 20 classic marathons. There were Comrads ultramarathons in South Africa. There was the Marathon des Sables in the Sahara, where I ran 230 kilometers through the desert with a backpack, with my own food. With sleeping bags. I ran across Lake Baikal, I ran at the North Pole.
-The North Pole marathon has been held for 12 years already. Athletes have to run 42 km. Voloshin took part in the race for the first time. The organizers built the route right on a drifting ice floe. Dmitry managed to come to the finish line second.
– Two, one, go!
-And last year the athlete went for a marathon to one of the coldest settlements on the planet – Oymyakon settlement. Dmitry ran 50 km in 60-degree frost.
-I had chemical warmers on my feet. But they stopped working by the end of the distance, too. My fingers started freezing. And in my hands, when they took my gloves off, I had frost inside my gloves.
-The athlete says the most important thing about running in the cold is to avoid frostbite, unconsciousness from lack of oxygen and exhaustion. Voloshin was helped by proper equipment and diving experience. But he did not think the marathon was that difficult.
– One of my best races was in Sweden. The so-called Swimrun World Championship. 85 km. Of these, 10 km are swimming and 75 are running. They go through 26 islands in the North Sea and the water temperature is 12 degrees. And you run in neoprene shorts and a tank top.
-Truth be told, running in the cold is much more familiar to Voloshin than in the heat. In these shots from two years ago, Dmitri is a participant in one of the most famous sand races in Morocco. It is a six-day 250 km super marathon.
-Leaving his watch on the sand – it showed 60 degrees in the sun. But… And it’s very hard to hide from such heat.
– According to the athlete, the most exciting marathon is the one where participants repeat the famous escape from the former prison “Alcatraz”. First, they swim 2.5 km in icy water. The second stage of the distance is a bicycle race. The third is a run. This legendary triathlon in San Francisco usually attracts more than 2,000 athletes from all over the world.
But there is a marathon in the world that is simply impossible to prepare for. It’s the famous Barkley. It takes place every year on Fool’s Day in Tennessee. The route is almost 200 km long and consists of 5 laps. “Barkley” is famous for the most unpredictable route with climbs, descents, thorny bushes and fallen trees. And part of the route takes place in an abandoned prison.
– Anything that doesn’t count as an essential will have to be thrown away. I have everything laid out here. And I’m taking a headlamp with me. I’ll run in the dark with it. I’m gonna have to run very fast.
-The flashlight is needed to find the hidden books even in the dark and tear out each page that corresponds to the number of the participant. It takes 60 hours to cover the entire distance. Last year, no one was able to reach the finish line.
– One of the most incredible dishes that Chinese leader Mao Zedong gave to his friends from the Communist Party Central Committee was a boa constrictor, which he got from his personal chef by sticking his leg down a hole. It was with this boa constrictor on his leg that he made his way from the burrow to the kitchen, where he boiled the snake for the distinguished guests.
Our story is full of the most incredible and shocking facts. Oleg Shishkin was with you. And you were watching the program “Mysteries of Mankind.