It’s been claimed as a “World’s First”. Two trail buddies of mine have successfully taken on one of the toughest challenges to date, within their professional sporting lives!
Donnie Campbell, (Ex-Royal Marine, UVU athlete and Personal Trainer) and Doc. Andrew Murray ( Merrell Ambassador, Doctor, Speaker and Author) decided to once again team up and take on another grueling challenge – The Namib550!
The desert along Namibia’s coast has the world’s highest sand dunes, but that didn’t stop these two, running more than 50km daily for nine days, totaling 504.1km!
Scottish Expedition organiser David Scott (of Sandbaggers) sent Donnie and Andrew three pictures and a short email. “Run Across the Namib desert – some parts have not even been explored properly, here are some photos, sore feet and adventure awaits”. As Andrew said, “The pictures showed variously the desert night sky, a sea of massive sand dunes, and a ship wreck marooned in the middle of the desert. Pictures trump 1000 words. It looked incredible. Sold.”
Funding and support for the expedition was quickly secured from Scottish entrepreneur Bert Jukes of Lyprinol UK, a great believer in pushing boundaries and breaking new ground. Special permits were required to access the desert, and applications made to tribal chiefs to secure access to parts of the park rich in diamonds, that have not been accessed. Accurately planning a route would be impossible, but knowing roughly where the lads were going, and what to take would be key. Dave and his Namibian partners took great care in organising and arranging all logistics, to allow Donnie and Andrew to focus on the real challenge in hand – desert running!
I was fortunate to have played a very small part in the support for the Namib550 team. I was to be available for daily satellite phone calls, where David would leave a set of GPS coordinates, allowing me to create some info graphics and update all supporters through all social media avenues that I could. Now, anyone that knows me, knows that I just love maps! 🙂 So, to be asked to play a supportive role that had me receiving ‘live’ gps data from the lads location and then map it all out was “Bobbydazzler!” 😀 I couldn’t have been more happier to support my mates in any other capacity. A couple of hours every night, playing around on GoogleEarth and Photoshop, then having the excuse to blog, post and share the adventure as it unfolded…
Needles to say, the lads completed their awe-inspiring challenge. Running, exploring and pioneering into areas of the Namib Desert that were previously unexplored. These guys were hardcore and doing as us ultra runners say “Epic Sh*t!” 🙂
KUDOS LADS!!!!!! 😀
I’ve included a link to Donnie and Andrew’s blogs, to allow you to hear from their own personal experiences and show your support and admiration…