The Jungle Marathon is organised by Irish woman Shirley Thompson, who originally hails from Belfast. Competitors have the choice of two distances: 200km or 100km. The longer distance encompasses six stages while the shorter distance includes four.
This race is very tough. It takes place in the Brazilian Amazon and competitors face the challenges of river crossings, swamps, steep ascents, technical descents, stifling heat & humidity, and the prospect of encountering domestic wildlife such as snakes, jaguars and wild pigs. There are ever-present and irritating ants to endure and the possibility of being up close and personal with tarantulas, scorpions and even piranha. You can start to worry when the vultures circle overhead.
This race is obviously not for the faint-hearted and you should have completed other demanding endurance events prior to entering. Competitors must be self-sufficient - only water will be provided - and they are required to sleep in hammocks at night.
Pacing, foot care and hydration are important. Even if you are not angling for a top position and just want to finish this race at a walk, it will sap you of energy.
The Jungle Marathon is very well organised and the mere operation of it is truly a minor miracle given the logistics required in the jungle environment. If you're looking for the ultimate footrace, dare to try this one - but only after completing other tough ones.
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