Tuesday, February 20, 2007

He Made It!

Charlie Engle (NC '84) has succeeded in running the 4000 mile Sahara desert in 111 days.
Three ultra-endurance athletes have just done something most would consider insane: They ran the equivalent of two marathons a day for 111 days to become the first modern runners to cross the Sahara Desert's grueling 4,000 miles.

"It will take time to sink in ... but this is an absolutely once in a life time thing. They say ignorance is bliss, and now that I know how hard this is, I would never consider crossing the Sahara on foot again," said American runner Charlie Engle, 44, hours after he and the others completed the run at Egypt's Red Sea.
[...]
"We touched the water in Senegal at the beginning, and we touched the water in the Red Sea at the end. They were the bookends of our journey," Engle, of Greensboro, North Carolina, said on the telephone from a hotel room in Cairo.

In less than four months, they have run across the world's largest desert, through six countries — Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Libya and finally Egypt.

A film crew followed them, chronicling the desert journey for actor Matt Damon's production company, LivePlanet. Damon plans to narrate the "Running the Sahara" documentary.

The trek is one of extremes. The relentless sun can push temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, but at night it sometimes dips below freezing. Strong winds can abruptly send sand swooping in every direction, making it difficult to see and breathe.

We thought it was crazy when we first heard of it. Still do. But you have to admire the spirit that kept him and his partners going through some of the harshest terrain on earth.

There will be a National Geographic Special on the feat. Check your local listings, or look here for more information.

Charlie has a website with more information on his journey and his cause.

3 ultra-athletes run across Sahara - Yahoo! News

(We wonder if he will be selling a book at Conclave?)