The Graduate Desert Challenge: Are you IN?

In May 2019, INEOS will be taking its 3rd year graduates on an African adventure of a lifetime – to test and expand their limits, build their fitness, and show them what they’re truly capable of when they say yes, prepare wisely, and dare to win. Over 50 INEOS graduates have now completed this amazing experience in years 2017 and 2018.

Here’s a taster of what this years graduates are going to expect…

For 7 days, the graduate team- supported by medical and fitness experts – will run and cycle through the untouched Namibian desert, enduring gruelling physical conditions and climbing mountains both real and metaphorical. The rewards will be huge – the satisfaction of having completed the rarest and toughest of teambuilding challenges, the enduring health and fitness gains of months of preparation, and lifelong knowledge that they can truly achieve anything when they “take the mental brakes off”.

This site is designed to support the team in their preparation for the event, and share the expedition’s progress with friends, family and colleagues when they finally take to the road.

Check back here for itinerary updates – and in the meantime, meet the expert team, the daring graduates, and find all kinds of practical training and preparation advice here.






The Highlights

Using a combination of hiking, mountain biking and running we will traverse the Skeleton Coast, Damaraland and Kaokaveld Wilderness areas of Northern Namibia.

We will pass over 3 ancient volcanic craters (calderas), climb Namibia’s highest peak, conquer the unforgiving basalt lavas of the Ugab on foot, bridge 2 major ephemeral river systems in one 100km desert day, and traverse the last frontier of the Big 3 – the Black Rhino, Desert Elephant and Dryland Lions of Africa.

Itinerary - Final

Arrival Day: 15th May

  • Team to arrive at Cape Cross Bay
  • MTB Fitting

Day 1

  • 45km cycle to the Messum Crater
  • Overnight camp at Messum Crater

Day 2

  • 21km run out of the Messum Crater
  • 51km bike ride to Brandberg Mountain
  • Self-built Base Camp on Brandberg Mountain

Day 3

  • 21km hike up the Brandberg (more than 2000m elevation gain). Team to carry own gear.
  • Overnight camp below summit

Day 4

  • Descent of mountain with kit- 8-9 hours

Day 5

  • 42km marathon run along base of the Brandberg Mountain
  • 35km cycle towards Ugab river
  • Overnight with Save the Rhino Trust

Day 6

  • 21km run through the Ugab Rock formations
  • 81km cycle past the Doros Crater and down to the Huab River

Day 7

  • Game drive, leisure time and reflection

Day 8: 23rd May

  • Team departure