No more mashed potatoes for Zahab. The looong run is done! - Ultra-marathoner Ray Zahab completes the Canada Challenge



    OTTAWA, Aug. 30 /CNW Telbec/ - Mashed potatoes, perserverence and grit
are what it takes to run, non-stop over 400km of arctic terrain, Nfld crags
and BC rainforest in just nine days, ultra- marahoner Ray Zahab completed his
Three Trail Canada Challenge today, Thursday, August 30, 2007 after running
the West Coast Trail in just 16 hours.
    The wiry runner from Chelsea, Quebec ran the Akshayuk Pass in Baffin
Island, the East Coast Trail in Newfoundland and the West Coast Trail on
Vancouver Island in a total running time of 85 hours to raise awareness for
spreadthenet.org, an anti-malarial mosquito bednet initiative.

    Photos and video are available to download at www.rayzahab.com.

    "This was a big challenge - I knew when I set out that it would be tough.
We encountered a few surprises along the way, but mostly the people we've met
and Canada's beautiful scenery kept me going," said Ray Zahab. "It's been such
an amazing experience, and it's great to do a challenge like this at home in
Canada."
    Ray began the Canada Challenge on Wednesday, August 22, 2007 on Baffin
Island. Undeterred by a delayed start due to extreme fog, Ray started to run
the Akshayuk Pass and completed the 100km trail 27 hours later. Heading
directly out to Newfoundland, Ray began the East Coast Trail at 9:00am knowing
that he would likely be running for at least two days. Although Ray spends
most his running time virtually alone, for the first 70kms of the East Coast
Trail his wife, Kathy Adams, ran with him, and his friend, Chuck Dale from
Arkansas ran support legs with Ray throughout the Canada Challenge. Ray's
Canada Challenge was completed today when he finished the West Coast Trail in
just 16 hours - a trail most hikers take three or four days to complete.
    Having recently returned from Africa when he ran 7,500kms across the
Sahara Desert in 111 days, Ray Zahab is using his passion for extreme running
to raise awareness about the devastating effects of malaria and the lack of
clean drinking water in Africa. Since returning from his cross-Sahara
ultra-marathon, Ray has become a champion of causes working to improve the
lives for people in Africa suffering from the devastation of malaria and a
lack of clean drinking water.
    "On my many visits to Africa, and particularly when I ran across the
Sahara Desert this winter, I got to experience all of it - the incredible
people, the amazing scenery and the harshness of life in Africa - but at the
same time I also experienced the strength of the people as they struggle with
the devastation of diseases like malaria and the effects of no clean drinking
water. When I came back, I knew I really wanted to find a way to make a
difference," said Zahab. "When I heard about Spread the Net and its effort to
combat malaria by providing anti-malarial bed nets for children in Africa, I
immediately wanted to join them. One net. Ten bucks. Save lives. It's really
that simple."
    Ray Zahab is a Canadian adventure runner and motivational speaker.
Motivated by challenge, distance and discovery, he has won some of the world's
most difficult and challenging ultra-distance foot races from Canada's North,
to the Amazon jungle, to the Sahara Desert. Beginning his athletic career as a
professional equestrian competitor, it was not until the late nineties that
Ray competed in his first adventure race, started rock and ice climbing, and
left a pack-a-day smoking habit behind him. That began something new for Ray
and this dramatic awakening from a lifestyle of unhealthy choices uncovered a
deep passion for progressive challenge.
    Ray Zahab's Canada Challenge is made possible through the generous
support and sponsorship from the following: Matrix Helicopters, First Air,
Telus and Aqua Tabs.

    
           CANADA CHALLENGE COMPLETED - TOTAL: 85 hours of running!

                   TRACK RAY'S PROGRESS AT WWW.RAYZAHAB.COM
    




For further information:

For further information: Fiona Smith, Bluesky Strategy Group, (613)
241-3512 x224, Cell.:(613) 889-2464, fiona@blueskystrategygroup.com; Susan
Smith, Bluesky Strategy Group, (613) 241-3512 x221, Cell: (613)371-0624,
susan@blueskystrategygroup.com

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SPREAD THE NET

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RAY ZAHAB

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