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Heads-up: Ray Zahab and Ferg Hawke to run Baffin Island and Gobi Desert

Posted: Aug 23, 2012 04:41 pm EDT

(Newsdesk) On August 24th, Canadians Ray Zahab & Ferg Hawke will attempt a non-stop crossing of Baffin Island, through the Akshayuk Pass - a total distance of 100km/60miles.

This is in preparation of their attempt to run across the Gobi Desert at its widest point in winter, approximately 2,000km. Ray says on his website the reality is they will have to run with very limited support, as few as one drop or re-supply per day. Along the way Ferg and Ray will visit and learn from the Mongolian people about desertification, and life in the harsh desert environment. Live broadcasting to schools and constant communication with students/website will round out a 'desertification' based program, and in the final days Ray and Ferg will be joined by two i2P Youth Ambassador Alumni.

About this Baffin Island crossing run Ray says, “It will certainly provide difficult miles underfoot and the chance to test gear in extreme conditions in preparation for next March's attempt at running across the entire Gobi Desert!”

Ray and Ferg leave Thursday morning, Aug. 23rd, from Ottawa, Ontario to Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut, with layovers in Iqaluit and Pangnirtung. Once arriving, they will get their gear ready, and then on the morning of the 24th take a cold, wet 100km boat ride across open water to the start. Immediately after arriving on the coast the run begins.

Follow their Baffin Run tracker.

Earlier this month Kevin Vallely told ExplorersWeb about his and Ray's Northwest Passage rowing plans.

Below is a trailer of a film about Ray’s run across the Sahara:

Ferg Hawke (born 1957) is an international ultra-distance runner, residing in South Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.

Ray Zahab was born in Ottawa, Canada on February 11th, 1969. He grew up on a hobbyhorse farm in Carp, Ontario with his brother John, now a fitness instructor, and his parents. “Fast forward 39 years to today, and I now live with my incredible wife and soul mate Kathy and our 5-month-old 2 daughter in Chelsea, Quebec,” says Ray. He is very passionate about the impossible2Possible organization he works with.

Ray’s ultra-marathons:
- 2004 Yukon Arctic Ultra, 160 km
- 2004 Jungle Marathon, Amazon, 250 km
- 2004 Trans 333, Niger, 333 km
- 2004 & 2005, Marathon des Sables, Morocco, 250 km
- 2005 Sahara Race, Egypt, 250 km
- 2006 Gobi March, China, 250 km
- 2006 Libyan Challenge, 190 km
- 2007 Running the Sahara, 7500 km, 111 days
- 2007 three extreme coastal trails of Canada, back to back, 100, 210, 75 km
- 2008 Canada, in each province and territory, 80 km per day x 13 days
- 2008-09 Hercules Inlet to Geographic South Pole
- 2010 Lake Baikal, Siberia
- 2011 Atacama Desert
- 2011 Bolivia Salt Flat
- 2011 Death Valley
- 2012 Andes, South America

Related articles:

Debrief Ski crossing of the Barnes Icecap

ExWeb interview with Christian Iversen Styve: Baffin Island vs. Greenland

#Trek #Polar

Ray: “No substantial trails, lots of glacial rivers and streams to cross [on Baffin Island, through the Akshayuk Pass].” Image of one of Ray’s previous Baffin Island expeditions.
Image by Ray Zahab courtesy Ray Zahab
Ray: “[My] previous crossings included 27 hours in 2007 (and then ran East Coast Trail, and West Coast Trail right after), then in 2009 in 8 days with i2P Youth Ambassadors.”
Image by Ray Zahab courtesy Ray Zahab
“This photo is the water leading into the Akshayuk Pass, several hours by boat.”
Image by Ray Zahab courtesy Ray Zahab