Covering nearly 1.3 million sq. kilometers (500,000 sq. 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 and in June of this year, two men will set out to 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 2000 km (1242 mile) journey through the heart of the desert. The two men are busy preparing for their run which will see them covering approximately 70 km (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.
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 the people who have learned 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 becomes a bigger issue and something 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. With just two months to go until the start of June, this is already shaping up to be another great adventure to follow this summer.