Running Tunisia: Sand and Strain

Apr 24, 2010
Outside Magazine

Run2 This morning we awoke to a breeze traveling throughout camp. Connor, Jill, and I thought that perhaps we would need our goggles, and we were so glad we decided to bring them along (unlike Andy who was having sand-in-eye issues).

We started off through the dunes for a couple of hours with the sand continuously blowing against us--into our ears, noses, mouths, and just about everywhere else. The sand of the Sahara is so finely ground that it can find its way into any opening, be it pores, cameras, shoes, tents, etc. We noticed that none of us drank as much water today as we have in the past week because there was a constant cloud cover until about two o'clock. As soon as the sun came out from over the clouds, we were drinking like camels. The blaring rays have an enormous effect on your body: sweat increases, muscles become more aggravated, more water is necessary (but less satisfying), and it is much harder to carry on.

We completed 30 kilometers today through the dunes and the wind, with various muscles pains, headaches, ligament strains, and stomach problems. It has not been the least bit easy, but we are all staying positive, helping each other along, and hoping for bigger days ahead.

--Kajsa Heyes

After completing his record run across Lake Baikalwith Kevin Vallely to draw attention to the global clean-drinking-watercrisis, Ray Zahab will return to Tunisia. The first time around, he starredin the documentary Running the Sahara, narrated and executive-produced by Matt Damon.This time, he will lead a group of four young adults--Andy Dilla, JillGilday, Connor Clerke, and Kajsa Heyes--across the desert as part of an i2Pexpedition to help raise funds and awareness for the water crisis inAfrica. The group will traverse 200 to 250 kilometers total, and theyaim tomake it through in about eight days, with the goal of running 25 to 50kilometers per day.

Filed To: Adventure, Nature

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