Tuesday, July 26, 2011
The 2011 Mongol Rally Has Started!
One of my favorite annual events, the Mongol Rally, has gotten underway this week, with 311 teams setting out on the ultimate road trip adventure. They'll now drive more than 10,000 miles across Europe and Asia, in vehicles more suited for commuting around town, before hitting the finish line in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.
Of the 311 teams, 224 started on Saturday in the U.K., while another 87 set off from the Czech Republic. They'll now tackle grueling deserts, snow capped mountains, and roads that can barely described as roads as they race for days on end to reach the Mongolian capitol. Along the way, they'll have all kinds of adventures, explore a dozen unique cultures, and have the time of their life doing it.
The race is quite an event in and of itself, but it is also a great fundraiser for charity as well. This year's charity of choice is the Christina Noble Children's Foundation, which is based in Mongolia. The CNCF is an organization dedicated to helping improve the lives of underprivileged children living in developing countries, and each of the teams in the Mongol Rally has pledged to raise at least £1000 (about $1640) for the foundation. The goal is to raise more than £400,000 total before the end of the race.
As is typical with this rally, there are a number of unique entrants into the race this year. The press release that I received said that there is a group of racers dressed as Stormtroopers from Star Wars who are driving an ambulance. (I'm already rooting for these guys!) There is also a team of Vikings, a group driving an old fire engine, and even a school bus from the U.S. As you can imagine, it makes for quite the wacky scene, and you can check out some of the images from the start of the race by clicking here.
So? Who's up for a major road trip from the U.K. to Mongolia next year?