Wed, Feb 21, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Taiwanese nears end of 7,300km Sahara marathon

STAFF WRITER

Taiwanese ultra-marathon specialist Kevin Lin, center front, poses with endurance athletes and running partners Ray Zahab of Canada, second left, and Charlie Engle, second right, on the Libyan border, at a point in their 100-day marathon approximately 20 days from their destination.

PHOTO COURTESY OF GAMANIA

Taiwanese ultra-marathon specialist Kevin Lin (林義傑) arrived in Cairo on Monday as he nears the end of a 7,300km run across the Sahara from Senegal. The challenge will end on the Red Sea coast 200km from Cairo near the Suez Canal.

Lin was running with endurance athletes Charlie Engle from the US and Ray Zahab from Canada in what is thought to be the first crossing of the Sahara from coast to coast, starting in Senegal on Africa's west coast, passing through Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Libya before finishing in Egypt.

Lin has an international reputation for completing other established desert ultra-marathons, including crossings of the Gobi, Chile's Atacama, the Sahara in Egypt and Antarctica. The coast-to-coast crossing is being filmed by Hollywood documentary filmmaker and Academy Award winner James Moll.

The runners and their support team have had to negotiate treacherous terrain, including minefields, as well as risk of disease, war-torn regions and bureaucracy.

A series of detours added more than 800km to the route, which had originally been estimated at 6,500km.

According to Chinese-language media reports, Lin was expected to cover the last 320km of the run in three days, resting for a total of only five hours in that time.

Lin has kept a blog of his progress through the 100-day run across Africa at www.kevin-life.com/newsall.php.

Lin is expected back in Taipei on Saturday.

The National Council of Physical Fitness and Sports is expected to hold a press conference to welcome him back on the following Monday.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top