Kevin Lin, Charlie Engle, and Ray ZahabThis afternoon, three runners finished running across the Sahara Desert. The entire Sahara Desert. They ran from Senegal to Egypt, 44 to 50 miles per day, for 111 days. Did I mention that they did that in the Sahara Desert?

American Charlie Engle, Canadian Ray Zahab, and Taiwanese Kevin Lin ran across the desert in an effort to raise money and awareness for H2O Africa.

At several points in their trek, the athletes stopped near sparsely populated wells to talk with villagers and nomads about the difficulties they face finding water.
“We have seen firsthand the need for clean water, which we take for granted in North America. It’s such a foundation for any community,” Zahab said during day 108’s lunch break.
“It started off as a huge motivator, especially as we passed through countries where the water wasn’t clean,” Engle said.

Sam Thompson and (more recently and with more publicity) Dean Karnazes both ran a marathon per day in all 50 states last year. This is a similar sort of feat, except that these gentlemen ran twice as far and in much tougher conditions and for more than twice as many days.

I am looking forward to some of the websites actually getting updates once the athletes recover. Everything seems to be around a week or a month or three months out of date, which is pretty easy when you are just struggling to survive out there and you are spending the better half of a year in the endeavor.

For the record, as much as I enjoy reading about these sorts of events and feats of endurance, I do not foresee myself ever taking part in one. I see myself sticking to single day or single weekend types of events. I will certainly be getting my hands on a copy of the documentary at some point after it is released.

(Sources: ESPNNational Geographic – Blogs: Charlie EngleRay ZahabKevin Lin)