Ultra-endurance marathon runner Kevin Lin (
Lin, 30, and his fellow ultra-athletes -- Charlie Engle, 44 and Ray Zahab, 38 -- reached the Suez Canal at Egypt's Red Sea on Tuesday night after running 111 consecutive days to cross the Sahara -- the world's largest desert.
The trio had traversed six countries, beginning with Senegal, followed by Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Libya and Egypt.
PHOTO COURTESY OF KEVIN LIN
Lin is scheduled to return to Taiwan on Saturday.
To celebrate Lin's achievement, the government will host a "welcome home" press conference on Monday, Premier Su Tseng-chang (
"I am very happy to see Lin, carrying a national flag on his back, complete this grand challenge. His performance not only went beyond human limitations, but also brought glory to the country," Su said when asked by the press about Lin.
Su said the public can learn a lesson from Lin: "everyone has his forte, and can make it as long as he perseveres in the quest for dreams."
The premier said he had asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help Lin solve his visa problem with the Senegalese government before he left on the journey and had also asked the embassy in Gambia to assist Lin when he had difficulties crossing Libya.
The trio endured strong winds, which can abruptly raise sand in every direction and extreme temperatures -- as high as 38oC during the day but freezing at night. The trek was originally scheduled to finish in 80 days.
They began in November, but had to run 200km under the surveillance of Libyan authorities, which at one point refused to grant them entry visas.
Lin, who has traveled the world competing in adventure races, said on the phone to his mentor on Tuesday night that the trek had tested his physical and mental limits.
He had to change his running shoes from size seven to eight-and-a-half because of swelling, but this had not forced him to rest for one single day, Lin said.
A film crew followed the trio, chronicling their desert journey for a documentary by actor Matt Damon's production company, LivePlanet.
Damon plans to narrate the documentary, which will be titled Running the Sahara.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
SOUTH WINDS: Taiwan’s southeastern region, as well as central and southern regions, would see regional showers and thundershowers, the Central Weather Bureau said Heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in the afternoon in the next two days might cause damage in affected areas, the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) said yesterday, urging people to stay vigilant. With the weakening of a Pacific high-pressure system and with a frontal system in the north moving south, the nation would come under the influence of southwest and south winds today, the bureau said. People in the nation’s southeastern region, as well as in central and southern Taiwan, are likely to experience regional showers or thundershowers, it said. Chances of afternoon thundershowers are high nationwide, and people in some regions