Day-to-day life in a hot, arid place like Saudi Arabia can be uncomfortable. Running can be punishing. From personal experience, we know that fluids are lost extremely quickly, the throat becomes raw from breathing dust, and the risk of dizziness, disorientation and heat stroke is very real. Thirty minutes of running in the heat is all it takes. We avoid such problems by trudging through the desert with at least 1.5 litres of water on our backs. On event days, we rejoice at the sight of the finish line, where cool containers of iced water are waiting for us to enjoy and pour on our sweaty heads.
Water. We really take it for granted. We gasp for water after a mere thirty minutes in the desert. Yet, in today’s world, the daily reality is that 1 in 9 people lack access to safe water. 1 in 3 people lack access to a toilet. In fact, more people have a mobile phone than a toilet. With this knowledge in mind, an idea was born.
In the name of water, we take on the Kingdom’s second multi-day Ultramarathon - the Hejaz Overload (expertly organized by Mr. Fabrice Laborie, race director of the Hejaz Ultra trail running association). Starting on the 6th of December, we will cover 136 km (~ 85 miles) over Arabian Desert dunes over the course of 3 days. We know we’ll suffer for these 3 days. But we also know we’ll have water. We just can’t imagine not having access to water on a daily basis. Yet for millions of people over the world, this is reality.
Who are we supporting?
The fully transparent, non-profit organization Water.org (https://water.org). These guys provide families with access to clean water through charity and sustainable financial solutions. For 60 US dollars, one family in a developing nation gets access to clean water and sanitation. With your help, we want to provide clean water to a target of ten families. But of course, the more we can help, the better.
Some thoughts on last year run:
Thanks to our 37 supporters from last year, we raised 1600$. Thank you so much! This money was used to provide water and sanitation to families in African, Asian and Latin American countries.
Because we had such a great experience last year, we decided to give it a second round and we signed up again to our "desert therapy" so called the Hejaz Overload. During our run we had great moments, ok moments and pretty dark moments. The mind wants to quit, the legs want to stop... lost in the dark... but we kept going, and for the first time in our lives we accomplished around 110km in 3 days, out of the original goal of 130km.
The cause gave us some extra commitment during those moments that we wanted to quit. The simple yet powerful thought "Some people don't have water..." This kept us going. This year we go stronger, our team of two became a team of 10 runners and we are going full steam. We owe you all those last 20km from last year! :)
Some people will be running in the dunes 10km a day for 3 days, others 21km or 43km everyday. Each person is pushing their own limit, the effort is the same no matter the distance... we are in this together.
Thank you! And whilst you think it over, we’re going for a run.
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