Ultramarathon woman wins gruelling five-day desert run – despite NEVER doing it before
A Polish woman has won the gruelling Desert Ultra marathon, running 250 km through the blazing Namibian desert, despite never having run an ultramarathon before.
Kasia Orzechowska took on scorching desert temperatures of 35°C to complete the five-stage-marathon in first place in the women’s category and third place overall.
Making their way across a terrain of sand dunes, dry river beds and baking scrubland with temperatures dropping to 5°C - 10°C in the evening, runners have to carry their entire kit, from safety equipment to at least 2.5 litres of water.
The scorching desert temperatures make the race an endurance test, even for experienced ultra-marathon runners.
The race in Namibia was organised by Beyond the Ultimate, which also offers an ice race through Arctic Sweden and a jungle one through the Amazon Rainforest.
“Kasia gave everything today and has seemed to get stronger as the race has gone on. Not bad for a runner taking part in her first ever ultra-marathon,” wrote the organisers on social media, beside a photo of Orzechowska wearing sunglasses, two water bottles and a big smile.
Orzechowska completed the entire race in 32 hours and 57 minutes, setting a new course record.
She was almost an hour faster than the record set by Kristina Madsen of Denmark last year. She also came first in the fifth, final stage of the race, 11:31:00, faster than all the other runners, male or female.
“Kasia Orzechowska started the race strong, but held back a little pace in respect of this new ultra distance. She got stronger as the week went on though,” wrote the organisers in the race commentary on their website.
When not running, Orzechowska works as a doctor and lives in Vienna. She gave birth to a son earlier this year.