Run 70 km a day in the Gobi Desert in Summer? Sure, why not?

Canadian Ray Zahab and Taiwanese Kevin Lin tackle 45 degree heat, giant sand dunes and meet nomadic peoples in 2300 km Gobi Desert run.

OTTAWA, June 13, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadian Adventurer and impossible2Possible (i2P) Founder Ray Zahab will take off on Monday for the Gobi Desert, on another extreme adventure.  This is the same guy who ran 7500km across the Sahara, broke the speed record for an unsupported team expedition to the South Pole and was the first to run the length of the 1200km Atacama Desert. What's on the agenda this time? Ray and his 'Running the Sahara' teammate, Kevin Lin, will attempt to run across the widest point of the Gobi Desert in 35 days by running an average of 70km a day in 45 degree heat.

"Mongolia is the least densely populated country on earth. Our plan is to run 70-80 km a day, a day across the Gobi Desert, to experience, share and learn about the culture of the nomadic people, the environment and all of the beauty and the challenges of the Gobi Desert. At the same time, we will be testing our physical limits across this incredible landscape," said Ray Zahab, Founder of impossible2Possible.

When Ray leaves Ottawa for Mongolia on June 17th, he will have 15 pairs of running shoes, a tent and satellite communication gear as part of his kit so that he can share the stories and pictures of what and whom he encounters along the way. He'll also pack the Canadian flag that has accompanied him on his 14 impossible2Possible expeditions and he'll wave it proudly on Canada Day from the Gobi Desert in Mongolia.

Ray and Kevin will be interacting with the nomadic Mongolians through a translator, taking their advice and eating "local".  The duo expects to meet up only once or twice a day with their support team, where they will replenish their water and food and upload video blogs of their experiences.  If they miss the drop or their crew, they'll be camping in the desert with the emergency supplies that they carry on their backs.

The runners will be filming with handheld cameras and the expedition will include members of an award-winning film crew who will document every milestone during their 2,300 km+ journey across the Gobi Desert.

Along the way, the two men will encounter giant sand dunes, rare archeological sites, and even dinosaur bones as they battle searing heat, fierce sandstorms, and endless fatigue while running directly into the ferocious and constant winds that whip down from the Altai Mountains. Crossing into China from Mongolia will have its own set of challenges, and likely the team will have to do a 700 km round trip to get their passports stamped so that they can go back to the point of crossing in the desert.

Ray's recent adventures have included several youth based programs through the organization he founded, impossible2Possible (i2P). Youth participate in running expeditions and share curriculum with schools during their adventures- all over the globe. The programs are 100% free. On the Gobi expedition, Ray and his team will be collecting video footage, photos and interviews that will be made available to students in the coming school year in advance of the next i2P Youth expedition to Peru with the theme of biodiversity. The story of desertification in the Gobi will be shared via live conferencing, and available post expedition for free download. There will as well be a live website to follow - and schools will be able to download all footage for free following the expedition.

"I know that crossing the Gobi will not be easy, but I look forward to learning from another region of the world while challenging my body and mind," said Ray Zahab, Founder of impossible2Possible. "People ask me what keeps me going on the long days...I always say i am so inspired by the young adventurers on our i2P Youth Expeditions. In the Gobi, i'll bring their energy and enthusiasm with me."

Quick facts about the Ray Zahab's Gobi Expedition:

Departure date from Canada:  June 17th
Arrival in Mongolia:  June 19th
Start date of run: June 23nd
Estimated end date of run: July 21st
Average Gobi temperature:   35-45˚c
Average distance covered daily: 70-80 km
Type of food consumed: Protein bars, rice, coconut oil, food indigenous to the Gobi desert
Weight of equipment:    10 kg
Pairs of running shoes: 15 pairs of running shoes with different treads for various terrains
Calories consumed:    6,000-7,000 calories daily
Calories burned:   7,000-8,000 burned daily
Video communication technology: Digigone
Time zone:    +12 hours EDT

About impossible2Possible:
Founded by Canadian ultra-marathon runner and adventurer Ray Zahab, impossible2Possible's (i2P) mission is to use the platform of adventure and technology to educate, inspire, and empower the global community to reach beyond their perceived limits and make positive change in the world. i2P adventures are designed to transport students to remote and contrasting locales around the world. To date, i2P has seen young adventurers trek among glaciers containing millions of liters of water in the Canadian Arctic, across the desolate sands of the Sahara, through the dense and lush jungle of the Amazon, traversing portions of the Bolivian salt flats into the mountainous Altiplano, venturing through the vast & expansive Thar Desert, and explore the Kalahari & Makgadikgadi regions of Botswana! As with all i2P Youth Expeditions, the team will push themselves beyond any perceived physical and mental boundaries they have ever placed upon themselves to discover that they are truly capable of achieving the impossible. -

SOURCE: impossible2Possible

For further information:

For more information or to request an interview with Ray before, during or after his Gobi Expedition, please contact: 

Susan Smith
(613) 241-3512 ext: 221

Codie Taylor
(613) 241-3512 ext: 228

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