Marathon athlete finishes Kalahari Desert run in 3rd


TAIPEI — Taiwanese ultra marathon runner Tommy Chen finished third place at an extreme marathon in the Kalahari Desert by completing the race in 36 hours and 16 minutes, his spokesperson said late Friday.

According to Nicole Chiang, Chen almost gave up on the sixth day of the 250-km, seven-day Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon. He took eight hours to finish the 37-km route on that day.

“We couldn’t find the route signs while running. The signs could have been carried away by wind or animals in the desert, but many runners couldn’t find their way out,” Chen was quoted by Chiang as saying.

“I wanted to hurry on my way, but I really couldn’t find the checkpoints. I thought if I kept going, I would have died in the desert of dehydration,” he said.

Chiang said the organizers later realized something was not right and escorted all disorientated runners back on the right track.