Passing along some of the oldest continuously used paths in the world, the 650km long Jordan Trail traces a journey through the history and culture of the country. On November 17th, 2017, Alfie Pearce-Higgins, a British ultra-runner, and Mohammad Al-Sweity, one of Jordan’s leading trail runners, set off along the trail, aiming to become the first people to run its entire length. Starting in the North amidst the ancient ruins of Um Qais the two runners will make their way towards Aqaba and the shore of the Red Sea.
Alfie’s imagination was captured by the trail over a year ago, but health troubles have kept him from starting the run. “A chance visit to the doctor resulted in the unexpected discovery that I had a hole in my heart,” he said. “I therefore instead spent the time having open heart surgery. This year I was determined to compensate for the trip that I missed out on.”
Traversing high elevation desert, mountain plateaus and descending into the Wadi Mujib - the Grand Canyon of Jordan - the trail covers some spectacular but demanding terrain. Alfie certainly hasn’t set himself an easy challenge as he continues his return to the ultra-running scene, but at least the runners won’t be alone. “We have a support crew including a pair of Bedouins who have the remarkable ability to magic delicious meals out of thin air and brew tea from scratch in under five minutes,” he said.
Only established in 2015, after more than 40 volunteers mapped the route over seven years, the Jordan Trail could become the next big trail running destination. But not before Alfie and Mohammad have given it a test run!
Follow Alfie as he completes his journey: https://www.strava.com/athletes/6167887
And check out his latest post about the adventure: https://www.strava.com/athletes/6167887/posts/811266