Not all running events get listed in the local news bulletin or have major sponsors promoting their existence. Not all running events are found on a calendar eagerly awaiting a registration fee. In fact, not all running events are even events. Some of the best runs, those that are born from pure desire and adventure, come to fruition because a person decides to create his own path and set out on a journey that means something.
No where is this ideal more apparent than in the story of three men who decided to run the Sahara Desert, a trek that took them over 4,300 miles and through Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Libya, and Egypt. Using handheld GPS navigation systems , the three-man team finished the expedition on the shores of the Red Sea some 111 days after they began.
As they traveled, they encounter picturesque beauty as well as pure poverty. They faced near impossible conditions only to realize that the human spirit can endure anything, as they watched small village children shout to greet them and run along side them. The true value of the event buried itself deep beyond mere running, and it unearthed itself at a finish line that was more symbolic than final. The three men emerged from the trip changed people whose cores became something of legitimate substance knowing that they had accomplished something no ordinary man would even dream to attempt.
The expedition, which will soon become a documentary film narrated by Academy Award winner Matt Damon, should send one simple yet clear message to all runners: Blaze your own path, one that is laced with passion and reason. You don’t always need to wait for someone else to create an event for you to run. Take your life into your own hands and use running as the vehicle to carry you to a far greater understanding of yourself and the life around you each day. Let your mind generate your inspiration, don’t just sit back expecting someone else to do it for you.