The 2009 Mongol Rally is Underway!

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The 2009 Mongol Rally got underway on Tuesday, when 400 teams of drivers set out simultaneously from England, Spain, and Italy on a road race that will span more than 10,000 miles as they drive toward the finish line in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

This is the sixth edition of the Mongol Rally, and each year it grows a bit in size and stature. The race is run for a variety of charities and the vehicles driven to Mongolia are donated to a charity there as well.

The rules of the race are simple:

1) Teams are on their own, there is no support of any kind.
2) The race is run for charity, and all teams need to raise a minimum of £1000 or roughly $1650.
3) Teams can only drive cars with an engine that is 1.2 liters or less.
4) The car must also be ten years old or less

In addition, teams are allowed to choose any route they want, and in the past they have ranged as far north as the Arctic Circle and as far south as Afghanistan. You can see some of the previous routes that have been taken on this map, which illustrates how free form the trip can be. You can also read updates on the teams as they travel on the Live Updates Page as well.

I’ve written about the Mongol Rally a few times in the past, and I remain intrigued by the “race”. It sounds like so much fun to me to hit the open road with good friends on an epic roadtrip across two continents. Talk about an adventure! Most teams will cross through a dozen countries along the way, and see some amazing things. Maybe next year I need to put together a team! 🙂

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