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Running The Sahara.. A Must See Documentary!

Updated on January 21, 2009

Running The Sahara

"Running the Sahara" is a fascinating, inspiring documentary about three men who literally ran across the entire Sahara desert.. a total of 4,300 miles over 111 days across six countries. They ran the equivalent of two marathons, every day!

Some of us mere mortals can't even make it to the gym a few times per week!

Most of the film takes place, in the Winter of 2006, during the actual trek through Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Libya and Egypt. We get to see the runners through good days and bad, through injury, extreme weather and incredible fatigue.

Documentaries are usually not my cup of tea. I’m more of the Chick Flick, Action/ Adventure or Sci Fi type. I first learned about the film at my company’s sales conference back in January 2008. We had hired Charlie Engle, one of the three runners, as a motivational speaker to kick off the first day of events.

He shared his personal “True Hollywood Story” about how he had suffered from extreme drug and alcohol problems and then turned his life around through running and eventually “extreme running”. He gave us a sneak peek into his Sahara journey and we were all very intrigued. I never saw the movie make it to the big screen, but it’s now widely available for free on many cable channels.

Watch The "Running The Sahara" Movie Trailer

Running The Sahara Movie Poster
Running The Sahara Movie Poster

The Runners

The three runners in the film were Charlie Engle, 44 from the U.S, Ray Zahab, 38 from Canada and Kevin Lin, 30, from Tawain.

Charlie, the Sahara expedition leader, is a television producer, the father of two boys and considered to be one the best, ultra distance marathon runners in the world. In addition to his run across the Sahara, he’s run across the Gobi Desert and the Amazon jungle.

Ray is a personal trainer and lifestyle coach. Throughout the film Ray shared how we was just a “regular guy” who was sedentary and overweight a few years ago, then decided to change his life. If he can run the Sahara- than anything is possible.

Kevin is a full time graduate student and one of the most well-known endurance athletes in Asia. He recently won the first ever 150 mile races across the Atacama Desert in Chile,

Running The Sahara, Photo By Don Holtz
Running The Sahara, Photo By Don Holtz

What To Expect From The Film...

  • Lots of running through beautiful scenery and landscapes
  • Narration from Actor Matt Damon
  • Athletes pushing themselves to the absolute limit.. through pain, blisters, lack of sleep, significant wait loss and extreme fatigue.
  • Motivational Dialogue, Bonding, Teamwork
  • Education about Africa, their people and their water shortage struggles
  • An inspirational ending as they cross the Red Sea after 111 days and 4,300 miles


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    • profile image

      Ron 6 years ago

      Loved the Hub.

    • Reynolds_Writing profile image

      Reynolds_Writing 9 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thanks for the positive feedback Bruce. Glad you enjoyed it!

    • Bruce Elkin profile image

      Bruce Elkin 9 years ago from Victoria, BC Canada

      Excellent hub. Well written, beautifully laid out, and very interesting comment. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Dan 9 years ago

      Great review of a truly magnificent journey

    • Elena. profile image

      Elena. 9 years ago from Madrid

      Hi Reynolds_W! I heard about this on the news, it made (and makes) me wonder about how far will, disposition and perseverance can take a person. It's not just the miles they achieved, it's about overcoming all one's "presumed" limits. We humans can be the most amazing creatures when we let ourselves be. Great hub!