Day SEVEN - Safari.

After a relaxing night at Doro Nawas, the team woke up this morning to go on a safari ride at sunrise. The crew loaded up into several trucks and headed out to the wilderness surrounding the lodge to search for animals.

The group drove a little down the road, and it wasn’t long before we started to see elephant tracks and droppings. After about an hour of searching and no animals seen, the group was beginning to lose hope when we saw a Steenbok. A couple of minutes later we came across a family of desert elephants. There was three adult elephants with one baby elephant. As soon as one of the trucks came up to the elephants, the baby elephant walked up and began to head butt the car and attempted to climb in the front seat. A broken mirror and dented side later, the truck drove away. The graduates watched the beast graze for the rest of the morning and were humbled with the conditions these amazing animals live in after enduring 6 harsh days in the Namibian desert. After coming to value perseverance and comaderie, the graduates came to respect these same value taking place in nature. Seeing these creatures in the wild was a life changing experience that none of the graduates will ever forget.

After observing the elephants, the team went back to the lodge for their first day of relaxation in a week.

The team ate lunch and relaxed by the pool for most of the afternoon before returning out for a second safari ride. This was the last time the graduates will get to explore this amazing African wilderness before returning back to their normal lives. This time the graduates saw even more of these incredible desert adapted animals. The group saw ostriches, wildebeests, Springboks, and the same family of elephants from earlier in the day. We couldn’t have asked for a better ending to our time here in Africa. All the graduates unwound together at sunset as the elephants drank water from a local village’s water tank, reminiscing on their journey together.

Written by: Chase, Thomas Neal, Cameron

Day SIX - Final stages

That last performance day started with leaving the Save the Rhino Trust camp. One last time getting up for running in the morning, one last time to pour out every bit of energy that is left in our bodies. 21 final km of running were ahead of us. The run started with a stunning path along a dry rocky riverbed alongside high hills right into the rising sun. Due to already sore muscles and worn out bodies the run began to be a game of counting single kilometres and looking forward to the next water stop. Nobody wanted to stop long during the run as the sun was rising higher and higher making it more and more unbearable. Small groups of runners formed themselves according to everyone’s “I can survive like this”-pace to help each other. It was rough. Also when having the change stop at the horizon in front of us with roughly 4 k to go, nobody showed overwhelming excitement. Just an even more focused almost intimidating silence made us concentrate on keeping the continuous movements and pace running.

The arrival was very relieving. Some even threw away their worn out shoes that they got when they started to prepare for this challenge. The spirit of the group was high, while getting a second breakfast. Everyone tried to recover as much as possible and to prepare for a long long ride.

The way to lunch was probably the thoughest ride we had. Head up winds, little cooling, the sun just wanted us to fail. Everyone’s water supply ran out much faster than expected which made people share water between the stops. Long sandy river beds made us loose a lot of energy in our upper legs which resulted in much unclipping and on-going sense of humour failure throughout all riders. When arriving at the lunch stop after 30 km everyone just rushed into the shades of the cars while the wind kept howling through the temporary camp. Pork chops and sausage on stick made us fuelling up fast but it took a while until people were starting to joke around to lift each other’s motivation again.

Fortunately, the kilometres after lunch were a pure ride of awesomeness compared to the one before. The windspeed went down so that we were even able to enjoy the beauty of the Damara grassland. Changing surfaces and technically challenging rocky passages became fun. The overwhelming combination of Namib desert and rocky grassland was topped by the wildlife meet up with two giraffes that blocked our road.

Finally, we were surprised by the organisation team after another 30 km by a final sundowner party. Riding all day long makes you loose the sense of time. You keep going and going from section to section, pushing through while constantly trying to keep your body running on a high level energy output. The surprise was great. You could almost grab the cheerfulness of the group. Achieving the final goal of IN-NAM18 makes you feel purely happy. At that point you just don’t realise what you have achieved the last few days. You just try to enjoy a cold beer in the middle of nowhere with others that you know are exhausted and happy as you…. And maybe finding seating position that doesn’t hurt too much.

So long.

Written by:  Francisco, Thomas, Marius

Day FIVE - Last push

With the high of completing the Brandberg still flowing through us, it was an early start for again a long and challenging day ahead. We set off walking into the desert to be greeted by a glorious Namibian sunrise…..and then the fun began. The group staying mostly together the first 21km around the base of the mountain sailed by; whilst also putting into perspective the feat achieved the day before. As the sun rose higher over the desert the heat began to weigh down on the group; while the pace may have slowed the spirits remained in fine form. From here on out it was one foot in front of the other, and despite some member of the team starting to dwindle like a polyethylene asset at bottom of cycle the group continued. Pressing of on through myriad of Namibian mining communities, we all reached the end of our desert marathon by lunch.
A fine feast of chicken dippers and burgers (what else would you eat post marathon) was devoured by the team before the afternoon ride. It was a rude awakening back into the world of cycling with an intense 2km climb, through deep sand and jagged rocks accompanied by tender legs and colourful language.
Through the rolling hills the INEOS herd progressed on. Finally cresting the last major climb, the team was rewarded by a gentle, long winding trail down through a sea of grasses gleaming in the afternoon sun. However, this was not the end of the story. The long daybegan to take its toll, with a couple of sense of humour failures left and right, we descended into a river bed more accustomed to Lion and elephant than our mountain bikes.
The front group continued down through the river bed, drier than the Rhine in 2015, and a few kilometres passed the turning to the camp. Luckily the middle group was made aware of the front group’s misstep just in time to cruise in to camp, becoming the first group to crack open an ice cold beer. After the trials of the day, everyone finished in daylight to enjoy the last evening camping beneath the Namibian stars.
Written by: Lewis, Kristof and Sarah

Day FOUR - Summit!

We began the the day feeling refreshed (and cold) at the base camp of Brandberg. The team reached the summit in about an hour, which started the day with breath taking views and a sense of accomplishment. Proud moment for all of us to remember. We proceeded to take InNam18 team pictures and some pictures with flags from home. After having breakfast at base camp, the team started the descent down the mountain. Going down was a different challenge – less aerobic, more slipping, but the team worked together to get down. Everyone made it down the mountain before dark and was greeted by cheering team members (with beer). Showers were amazing after two days of hard work and sweat on the mountain. Dinner was a delicious, fulfilling end to the day to get us ready for the marathon tomorrow.

Written by: Ben, Paige and Kathryn

Day THREE - The burning mountain

The team had to embark on a mountain the Brandberg which lives up to its name meaning the burning mountain…aka booties, calves, and thighs on fire!!!🔥🔥🔥🔥

This was how the journey began… Back packs were prepared for us by the amazing team here in Namibia which all the Gear and food needed for the entire 2 days including several litres of water. The grads were all able to sleep in (till 6 am) and we left the camp at dawn. The first part of the hike began with a gradual up hill with, what we thought at the time was difficult. When we finally reached the first uphill, we realised that was the warm-up.

This part of the hike was the most difficult part which included areas where robes were needed for assistance and we needed support from each other to tackle some of the larger rocks. We had to climb on our hands and knees and surprisingly the higher we climbed the more vegetation we saw. This including prickly bushes and even some flowers.

After an exhausting 5-6 hours we came to our lunch stop. We had not covered much distance on this part of the journey, but covered ~1900 meters altitude.This spot has in the past had little ponds, but due to the heat and lack of rain there were none. Luckily there was shade under a cave and this was where the grads were able to refill their water.

When lunch ended the grads continued up the mountain. This second part was a much gentler climb. Here we traversed river beds and gradual inclines. The group that first arrived at the mountain camp re-descended the mountain to assist the grads who may have needed more help. Eventually we all made it to camp before sunset.

After camp was made, the grads got a treat of steaks on the campfire. This was much appreciated after a great day of teamwork. The evening was ended with some music and jäger mister around the campfire. Amazing scenery was seen from the night sky of shooting stars and naming constellations. 💫💫When it was time to go to sleep, we all fell asleep gazing at the night sky. Looking forward to submitting tomorrow morning.

Written by:  Alex Bullard, Julien, Nicole

Day TWO - Half Marathon & 50 km Cycle Ride

The team had an early start on the second day of this adventure. Before dawn had broke, the graduates had a hearty breakfast and prepared their bags to take on the day’s mission.

The first half of the mission was a half marathon that started in the pitch black Messum. Equipped with head torches, the team navigated the first couple of kilometres with a brisk warmup pace. After the Namibian sun broke, the runners elevated to their half marathon pace. Water stations were staged every 7 km that the runners made good use of. As each kilometre was gained, the fierce Namibian sun and scorching desert wind fought the athletes every step of the way. After a gruelling 21 km in the desert sand, the graduates were met with their final water station and bikes. The athletes were in good spirit after the run. The soft sand made the task difficult but with the support of the guides and fellow graduates, the runners successfully finished the distance.

The reward for completing the morning desert run was a 50 km cycle ride to day 2 camp situated at the base of the Brandberg. By this point the sun was at its highest point and a gusty headwind made the task all the harder. A lunch stop 30 km from camp provided brief respite for the team and a chance to rest, refuel and take some priceless moments in the shade. After lunch, the riders continued on their way to the camp site. Along the way, the beautiful Namibian landscape revealed itself. The mountain ranges in the distance guided the graduates to camp. Wildlife in the area also made its presence known. Shortly before sunset, the last of the participants rode into the campsite.

The evening at the campsite was spent relaxing and recovering from the day’s exertions. After dinner, the guides gave a brief description of what’s to come. Brandberg mountain, the next day’s challenge, loomed overhead as the athletes prepared their bags to take on tomorrow’s quest.


Written by : Abenezer, Nick, and Jason

Day ONE - Le Grande Depart

On Friday 4th May, an eclectic mix of people including engineers, commercial graduates, Lewis Ankers and a former Olympian (guess who) assembled at Frankfurt airport for beers and vegetable Gyozas. The destination, Namibia, promised to be a mix of trail running, mountain biking and a small hill climb.

It wasn’t long before an unsuspecting member of the public knew everything there was to know about the ultimate Commonwealth games medalist. After a few night caps, some members managed to get a good nights sleep on the plane. Others did not.

Upon arrival the team were met by the ever enthusiastic Gregg Hughes and Phill Steffny before a jaw-dropping prop plane flight to Namibia’s Skeleton Coast. At this point Namibia showed its first hand, searing heat.

A short 4×4 transfer to the start where the team were provided with their gear for the day’s events, mountain bikes. The German meat at lunch was appreciated by all, in particular those of whom were given a reminder of a cooler home.

The afternoon’s bike riding started over-eagerly on the flat tarmac road with a gentle headwind providing a cool breeze. Upon turning right onto the first desert track, this changed rather abruptly.

5 hours, 4 water stops, 1 tube of chamois cream and a few choice words later, the team had covered the 47km to the Messum Crater.

Team spirits were boosted by plentiful liquid supplies, local meats (oryx steaks!) and a stunning night time view of the Milky Way. An early night is expected (except for party animal Alex Don) with a more respectful approach to tomorrow’s activities in this hostile but stunning environment.


Written by : Alex, Mat and Will