A Nice Long (Hot, Dry…) Jog Across the Desert

Expedition Gobi runners prepare for a 1,200-mile journey across the world's biggest desert

Covering nearly 1.3 million square kilometers (500,000 square miles) in central Asia, the Gobi is one of the largest deserts on the planet. Its arid climate and trademark rock formations make it a difficult and demanding place, even for the hardiest of explorers. Naturally, those challenges give the desert an allure that is hard for many adventurers to resist. In fact, in June of this year, two men will set out in an attempt to run across the Gobi at its widest point.

The newly announced Expedition Gobi will send endurance athletes Ray Zahab and Ferg Hawk on a 2,000-kilometer (1,242-mile) journey through the heart of the desert. Right now, the two men are busy preparing for their run, which will see them covering approximately 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) per day in one of the harshest environments on the planet. The expedition will be supported, although the Gobi presents some logistical challenges that will likely only allow for one or two resupply points each day. That means other than getting fresh water from time to time, Ray and Ferg will mostly need to be completely self-sufficient while out on the trail (which, to be fair, isn't a trail at all).

Both Ray and Ferg are part of the impossible2Possible team, which means they will weave an educational element into this great adventure. In this case, as they run across the Gobi, they'll interact with local people who've learned, through the generations, to make the desert their home. The Mongolian people have lived in the Gobi for centuries and have adapted well to the harsh living conditions there. They'll teach the two runners about desertification and, in turn, those lessons will be shared with students in classrooms around the globe. As global climate change continues to have an impact on our planet, desertification is a growing concern that we should all be familiar with.

No firm start date for Expedition Gobi has been announced yet, but more details on the run will be released soon.

This story was first published on The Adventure Blog.

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