Adventure Run Through Namibia's Fish River Canyon Breaks Record

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One of Namibia's most iconic desitnations, the Fish River Canyon, is more than just a must-see travel destination. It is an adventure and a challenge. For years, the 84km trail that descends through the canyon has served as a race course for elite runners.

The Fish River Challenge Race invites athletes from all over the world to tackle extreme conditions and terrains. In 2003, Namibians Russell Paschke, Charlie du Toit and Coenraad Pool set a record time of 10 hours 54 minutes to complete the run.

Today, that record has been shattered by ultra trail runner Ryan Sandes who finished in 6 hours and 57 minutes. Read more about Ryan's accomplishment here.

Fish River Canyon is the second largest natural gorge in the world, and the largest in Africa. Set in a harsh, stony plain dotted with drought resistant succulents, such as the distinctive quiver tree or kokerboom, the canyon is a spectacular natural phenomenon.

Formed over 500 million years ago, Fish River Canyon was created by the collapse of the valley bottom due to movements in the earth’s crust. It drops vertically by half a kilometer without any warning. As with most rivers in Namibia, Fish River is generally dry except during the rainy season, from January to April.

Unlike Ryan, you may choose to explore Fish River Canyon at a more leisurely pace. The Fish River Canyon Hiking Trail is generally a four-day, 86km expedition open from May to September. Even if you're not planning on racing through, hiking the trail still requires a doctor’s approval. With no services except for at the beginning and end, it’s obviously not for the faint of heart. 

To book a trip to the Fish River Canyon, contact Namibia Wildlife Resorts.

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