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Bored with road races? Think you've done it all? Channel your inner Roald Amundsen the Norwegian explorer that won the race to the South Pole 100 years ago and sail to Antarctica. Here you'll find one of the most challenging races on the planet The Last Desert Race.
Yes, Antarctica is a frozen desert. Just a few inches of rain and snow falls here each year. It is also the highest, windiest and coldest continent on Earth, with a huge plateau covered by an enormous ice sheet.
But before you can experience the terrain firsthand, you'll have to complete three other desert challenges. We've got the details on these races plus two more runs across some of the world's harshest deserts.
Atacama Crossing ChileSlide 2 of 13
Atacama Crossing Chile
To qualify for the Antarctica race, you must conquer three other grueling desert races.
The Atacama Crossing race in Chile is first in the "4 Deserts" series, which was ranked second on TIME magazine's list of Top 10 Endurance Competitions in the world.
The Atacama Desert is one of the driest places on Earth and is the most lunar-like landscape on Earth. NASA tests its Moon rovers here. The Atacama Desert is 15 million years old and 50 times more arid than California's Death Valley. Keep your head on a swivel here: Some of the oldest mummies found on Earth come from the Atacama Desert, dating as far back as 7,000 years.
The race's elevation varies, but the entire race is held at least 1.4 miles (2.3 kilometers) above sea level and peaks at 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) above sea level. The race spans 150 miles (250 km), which is far enough to cross the width of Chile. Temperatures during the day are around 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius). At night, temperatures may drop to 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius).Slide 3 of 13
Gobi March ChinaSlide 4 of 13
Gobi March China
Next in the "4 Deserts" series is the Gobi March in China. Kashgar is the host city for the 155-mile (250-km), 7-day, 6-stage foot race. Along the course, runners will pass Shipton's Arch (Heaven's Gate to locals), which is a natural arch that is taller than the Empire State Building.
In the Gobi Desert, runners trek across dry, rocky riverbeds, dusty tracks, narrow ridge paths and green pastures. Average temperatures are between 95 to 113 F (35 to 45 C).
Twenty percent of competitors run the entire course; others split time running and walking. A few walk the entire course. This year's fastest completion time is expected to be around 24 hours and the slowest around 70 hours.Slide 5 of 13
Sahara Race EgyptSlide 6 of 13
Sahara Race Egypt
The iconic Sahara Desert, the largest non-polar desert in the world, is home to the third race in the "4 Deserts" series. This race is also 155-miles (250-km) long, but it's run across the hottest desert in the world.
During the event, competitors cross through The Valley of the Whales, where an ancient shallow sea once covered the land. Competitors pass fossils that are believed to be from whales with legs that died out 40 million years ago. The 2012 course will finish at the Pyramids of Giza.
The terrain is a mixture of hard-packed sand, soft sand and sand dunes. Temperatures on the course reach as high as 122 F (50 C). Bring plenty of water.
Up to 200 competitors from more than 40 countries are expected to compete in the Sahara Race 2012. The fastest completion time is expected to be around 26 hours and the slowest around 70 hours.Slide 7 of 13
Badwater UltramarathonSlide 8 of 13