[http://active.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2007/05/08/egyptmap.jpg]Many of us in the endurance sports world appreciate when an athlete accomplishes something that has never been done before. For example, this past October, Kit DesLauriers became the first person to ski the Seven Summits and the first woman to ski Mt. Everest. This news rocked the industry and raised the bar to a whole new level, way to go Kit!
More recently, a team of 3 ultra distance runners became the first modern runners to cross the 4,000 mile Sahara Desert. This was only made possible by running an amazing average of 2 marathons a day for 111 days!!!
American runner Charlie Engle, 44, Canadian Ray Zahab, 38, and Kevin Lin, 30, of Taiwan crossed the world’s largest desert while running through six countries: Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Libya and Egypt. Their ultra effort was established to raise funds for H2O Africa, the charitable organization of Running the Sahara. These runners were able to prove the impossible was possible all while raising awareness of the world-wide water and sanitation crisis that, according to UN news officials, “causes nearly 2 million child deaths every year and holds back countries’ development, especially in Africa.”
A web site was implemented to track the progress of these runners while taking pledges and donations on a per mile basis. This epic journey was captured on film and will be made into a documentary by narrator and executive producer, Matt Damon. The film is scheduled to be released late 2007.
(Photo provided by the Associated Press, Photographer Jennifer Thermes)