Despite its name it is an off-road endurance race, called a rally-raid rather than a conventional rally - the terrain the competitors traverse is much tougher and the vehicles used are true off-road vehicles rather than the modified on-road vehicles used in rallies.

Most of the competitive special sections are off-road, crossing dunes, mud, camel grass, rocks and erg among others. The distances of each stage covered vary from short distances up to 500 to 560 miles per day.

Denver resident Kevin Muggleton heard about this race in South America, and one week from Saturday, he will take off on his motorcycle on the 5,000-mile adventure that starts in Lima, Peru and ends in Santiago, Chile.