Running Tunisia: A Bloody Wake-Up Call


This expedition has been a mix of pushing our physical and mental limits, learning more about water, and learning more about each other and ourselves. It has been an incredible experience that has definitely changed the lives of all of us i2P youth ambassadors.

Our sixth day began with Connor crawling out of his tent covered in blood. The previous night wasn't the best for him as he woke up in the middle of the night with a blistering headache, sore throat, congested nose, stomach cramps, and a bloody nose. Luckily, Doc was there to save the day! The bleeding was likely caused by the dry air and the incredible amount of sand inhaled/ingested the previous day in the dunes.

After breakfast, we all headed out on our run. We could really feel the aches and pains of the past 196 kilometers. We were really pushing our limits and decided to stop for lunch at 25 kilometers. After a delicious lunch and a quick nap, we threw our shoes back on and pushed for another ten kilometers to camp. We kept busy by singing songs, reciting poetry, talking about our favorite ice cream, movies, books, and everything in between. Not only was it a great way to get to know one another more, but it kept our minds off the pain.

The last five kilometers of the day were extremely challenging because we were running on very loose sand and our muscles were truly starting to fall apart. We made it to camp just as the wind really began to pick up, and we set up our tents and finally got some time to relax.

Two more days left of running! As painful as this expedition is, we're loving every minute of it!

–Andy Dilla, Jill Gilday, Connor Clerke, and 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.