Hassan Esufally takes on the Big Five Marathon in South Africa

Posted On 16 Jun 2018
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Hassan Esufally will take on his fifth continent in his goal of completing marathons in all seven continents, when he competes in the Big Five Marathon in South Africa in June.

Runners from all over the world are gearing up for this exclusive Marathon, which will be held on June 23. The Marathon takes runners through spectacular game reserves in South Africa, through the savannah and wild habitats of Africa’s “Big 5” species: Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Lion and Leopard. No fences, no rivers, nothing at all separates the runners from the African wildlife!

The magnificent surroundings and the thrill of running alongside giraffes and other wild species does not alter the fact that the Big Five Marathon is considered the most grueling marathon on the African continent.

The challenging course takes competitors through valleys and plateaus, over hills and through rivers, often running in scorching heat and in dusty terrain. The cut off time for this extremely challenging, full marathon of 42.195 km is only 7 hours.

Hassan Esufally aims to become the first Sri Lankan to complete one of the world’s most grueling marathon feats – running a full marathon in all seven continents of the world. Achieving this feat will propel him into a unique and exclusive club of the world’s greatest marathon runners – the 7 Continents Marathon Club™.

“I have been doing both training and fasting due to Ramazan and it has been a very challenging month for me physically,” Esufally says. “But I have managed to adapt and change my training, eating and sleeping schedule accordingly.”

I also want to add that given my previous experience in Boston due to adverse weather (something out of my control) I will have a contingency plan in place.

Esufally has already completed marathons in the continents of Australia (Melbourne Marathon in 2014 and 2016), Europe (Stockholm Marathon in June 2017), Asia (Colombo Marathon in October 2017) and North America (Boston Marathon in April 2018).

His next two marathons are unique and Hassan will be the first Sri Lankan to attempt both of them. In August, he will be in South America where he will participate in the INCA Trail Marathon, which is the toughest marathon in the world. Finally, in December this year, he competes in the 14th Antarctic Ice Marathon in Antarctica.

The 7 Continents Marathon Club™ is an exclusive club of elite marathon runners who have completed some of the most grueling marathons in the world. At present, there are less than 300 members worldwide. The Club is extremely exclusive and reserved for athletes who are carefully vetted to prove they have run a marathon within the Antarctic Circle on the Antarctica continent, as well as on the other six continents.

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