May 29, 2008

Get the Facts & Get Involved – Atacama Desert, Chile

Expedition_2008_desertbprac01EMBRACE THE RACE
For the 2008 Atacama Crossing in Chile, competitors, volunteers and staff consumed more than 1,000 liters (264 gallons) of water per day crossing what is considered to be the driest place on Earth. The one hundred people involved each consumed about 2.6 gallons per day.

Expedition_2008_desertbpraFACE THE REALITY
This may sound like a lot, but it is actually less than 2% of what the average American uses in one day. What these runners drank in one day is what most people in developing countries have access to for everything they need to do in one day.
Get the Facts:
• In the developing world, the average person uses 2.64 gallons of water each day.
• This water is rarely safe and people must walk several miles just to collect it.
read more…

You can create the change these families need.  By donating just $30, you can provide safe drinking water to one person for life.

Expedition_2008_desertbprac03WALK IN THEIR SHOES
The average American uses about 150 gallons of water per day. Imagine you had just 2.64 gallons of water to do everything you needed to do at home. How would you cope?
Keep in mind:
• A toilet uses about 5 gallons per flush.
• A shower uses about 5 gallons per minute. (10-minute shower = 50 gallons!)
• Faucets use about 2.5 gallons per minute.
read more…

Expedition_2008_desertbprac04GO THE DISTANCE
Learn More:
Click here to view slide show.

Spread the Word:
Send the message to your friends and family. By sharing this email with others, you are ensuring that more people embrace athletes such as Dean, learn more about the water issues we all face, and potentially save lives.

Donate Now:
Click here to give a tax-deductible donation to water projects that save people’s lives. Just $30 provides safe drinking water to one person for life!

The North Face® is dedicated to supporting the people and communities where we and our athletes explore. As many of these communities are much less fortunate than us, we take responsibility in helping to provide them with the basics for human health & prosperity. Ensuring communities have clean drinking water is at the core of community needs. Therefore, partnering with the Blue Planet Run Foundation’s peer water exchange program provides us the vehicle to efficiently and effectively fund clean water delivery systems to these communities. We are thrilled to provide a $5000 matching grant that will ultimately effect several projects. We encourage you to think about your water use and then contribute to this important cause.

For more info about the "4 Deserts", please visit www.4deserts.com and www.racingtheplanet.com.

June 2, 2008

Get the Facts & Get Involved – Gobi Desert, China (June 6 – June 14)

Expedition_2008_desertbprgc03EMBRACE THE RACE
During the run across the Gobi Desert, each runner must carry his or her own gear, food and clothing. The average backpack weighs about 20 pounds (9 kilos).

Expedition_2008_desertbprgc04FACE THE REALITY
Children worldwide start the day by walking miles to fill up jugs of water weighing up to 20 pounds. This takes time away from attending school as they must return to the water source throughout the day. Imagine all this effort to bring potentially unsafe water to your family.

Get the Facts:
• 1.8 million children die each year of waterborne diseases.
• In Africa alone, women and children spend 40 billion hours each year collecting and hauling water.
learn more…

You can prevent such a tragedy.  By donating just $30, you can provide safe drinking water to one person for life.

Expedition_2008_desertbprgc02_2WALK IN THEIR SHOES
Imagine you have no running water.
Where would you need to travel in order to fetch your family’s water?
What type of container would you use, how would you get to your water source? Imagine having to carry all that water home.
Also, how confident would you be serving it to your family?
Keep in mind:
• 1 out of 6 people in the world lack access to safe drinking water.
• The average distance that women in Africa and Asia walk to collect water is six kilometers.
learn more…

Expedition_2008_desertbprgc01_2 GO THE DISTANCE
Learn More:
Click here to view slide show.

Spread the Word:
Send the message to your friends and family. By sharing this email with others, you are ensuring that more people embrace athletes such as Dean, learn more about the water issues we all face, and potentially save lives.

Donate Now:
The North Face® is dedicated to supporting the people and communities where we and our athletes explore. As many of these communities are much less fortunate than us, we take responsibility in helping to provide them with the basics for human health & prosperity. Ensuring communities have clean drinking water is at the core of community needs. Therefore, partnering with the Blue Planet Run Foundation’s peer water exchange program provides us the vehicle to efficiently and effectively fund clean water delivery systems to these communities. We are thrilled to provide a $5000 matching grant that will ultimately effect several projects. We encourage you to think about your water use and then contribute to this important cause.

Click here to give a tax-deductible donation to water projects that save people’s lives. Just $30 provides safe drinking water to one person for life!

For more info about the "4 Deserts", please visit www.4deserts.com and www.racingtheplanet.com.

June 18, 2008

Notes From My China Visit (June 4-17, 2008)

I would venture to say that most of you reading this column are like me, you’re drawn to extremes. Moderation bores you. You seek challenges and adventures that dwell on the outer edges. The path of least resistance is not a route much traveled.

In reflecting on what compelled me to take up The North Face Desert Grand Slam this year, I realized that it was largely this attraction to extremes which evoked the urge for exploration. It’s not just extreme human endurance that captivates me, but also extremes in geography and climate. The deserts are radical, and the Gobi exemplifies what makes them such intense places. Temperatures in this region can fluctuate by as much as 75° F a day; from searing daytime heat in the hundreds, to below freezing temps at night. Just being in such an environment—let alone running through it—can be an all-engrossing experience.

- Dean Karnazes

INTERESTING FACTOID –
Of all the racers, the medical staff reported that I was the sole participant without a single blister or aliment during the six days of racing. I attribute much of this to my North Face gear (no, I’m not just saying that, I really mean it, the gear worked fabulously).

RACE RESULTS –
Total Entries: 190
Total Finishers: 147
Total Countries Represented: 30
Top 25 Placers

For more info about the "4 Deserts", please visit www.4deserts.com and www.racingtheplanet.com.

June 18, 2008

4 Men Enter, 2 Men Return…

Now that it’s over, I can stop repressing the ominous nickname of the Gobi March (aka: “The Race of No Return”) Of the four athletes attempting to be the first to complete the entire 4 Desert race series in a single calendar year, the Gobi March consumed a second contender. Kenneth “Tintin” Johansson of Sweden was forced to discontinue after encountering cramping and severe blistering on his feet. He endured the condition for an agonizing five days, even having his toenails drilled to relive the pressure. A full-time adventurer and consummate pro, he is no stranger to the rigors of extreme endurance racing. Tintin persevering through more pain and suffering than anyone could ever imagine. His powers of perseverance and resolve were truly remarkable; no one could believe he was still trying to forge onward given his deteriorating condition. Finally, in the end, it was too much for even him. The Gobi won. It was a valiant effort on his behalf, and in my eyes Tintin is a real champion for truly giving it his all. There is always valiance in doing so. Even if he fell short of his goal, he can reflect back on his effort and truthfully say to himself that in the end, he gave it everything he had.

Left in the race to be the first to complete all 4 Desert races in a single year is South African Ironman Paul H. Liebenberg and myself. There are still plenty of miles left to cover, so anything can happen. Paul and I have developed a lively friendship over the miles, and a healthy rivalry, too. We have many things in common, including our mutual love of surfing. Hopefully we’ll both make it to the end and can share a few waves together afterward. That is, if we’re still standing.

My primary goal is to finish all of the five races in The North Face Desert Grand Slam, while my ultimate goal would be to finish in the Top 10 position in each of the individual events. So far, so good. However, the final finish line in Antarctica is still months away. Until then, I’ll just keep putting one foot in front of the other, racing to the best of my ability, and thoroughly enjoying every step of the journey.

Best wishes from the Silk Road,
Dean Karnazes

For more info about the "4 Deserts", please visit www.4deserts.com and www.racingtheplanet.com.

June 30, 2008

Get the Facts & Get Involved – Death Valley Desert (July 12 – July 16)

Expedition_2008_desertbprdv01EMBRACE THE RACE
Recognized as "the world’s toughest foot race," this event pits up to 90 of the world’s toughest athletes against one another and the elements. Covering 135 miles (217km) from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, California in temperatures up to 130F (55C), it is the most demanding and extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet.

Expedition_2008_desertbprdv02FACE THE REALITY
While the athletes are competing with each other to win, desert communities worldwide are often competing with each other to live. Obtaining clean drinking water in such inhospitable conditions is a requirement for human survival.

Get the Facts on Water:
• The human body is 70% water, so is the Earth’s surface!
• Only 3% of the Earth’s water is fresh water.
• Less than 1% of the Earth’s water is drinkable.
• While many people lack physical access to water, many more lack the necessary monetary means to utilize an adequate source of water. 
More facts…

You can create the change these people need.  For every $30 you donate, one more person can receive safe drinking water for life.

Expedition_2008_desertbprdv03WALK IN THEIR SHOES
It’s easy to take water for granted – we are rarely without access, unlike 1 out of every 6 people on the planet.
Knowledge is power, so ask yourself:
• How many taps do you have in your house alone?
• Where does this water come from?
• Any chance of it going away? (You might be surprised!)
Learn more…

About 30 million people in growing cities such as Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and Las Vegas depend on water from the Colorado and its tributaries. So does agriculture and hydroelectric industry. The Colorado River basin is in the throes of a record drought and no longer reaches the Pacific Ocean.

Expedition_2008_desertbprlogo GO THE DISTANCE
Learn More: View our slide show.

Spread the Word:
Forward this page or send a message to your friends and family. By sharing this story with others, you are ensuring that more people embrace athletes such as Dean, learn more about the water issues we all face, and potentially save lives.

Donate Now:
The North Face® is dedicated to supporting the people and communities where we and our athletes explore. As many of these communities are much less fortunate than us, we take responsibility in helping to provide them with the basics for human health & prosperity. Ensuring communities have clean drinking water is at the core of community needs. Therefore, partnering with the Blue Planet Run Foundation’s peer water exchange program provides us the vehicle to efficiently and effectively fund clean water delivery systems to these communities. We are thrilled to provide a $5000 matching grant that will ultimately effect several projects. We encourage you to think about your water use and then contribute to this important cause.

Click here to give a tax-deductible donation to water projects that save people’s lives. Just $30 provides safe drinking water to one person for life!

November 3, 2008

Get the Facts & Get Involved – The Sahara Desert

EMBRACE THE RACE:
The Sahara Desert in western Egypt, North Africa, is the world's largest subtropical desert. 1600 kilometers wide (1000 miles) and 5000 kilometers long (3125 miles) East to West, it is also the largest non-polar desert in the world.
Sahara Race competitors face a land of contrasts: rocky mountains give way to gold, red and white sand dunes, stony expanses, the occasional palm-filled oasis and dried-up river beds. The heat is fierce with almost no relief, yet temperatures fall abruptly making evenings very chilly. Strong winds and sandstorms are common.

FACE THE REALITY:
Many African countries face severe climate conditions resulting in water crises. Let's examine two very different scenarios:
Egypt reports very encouraging statistics despite the fact that two-thirds lies in the Sahara Desert.
• 96% of the rural and 99% of the urban population has access to improved drinking water sources.
• Almost 100% of the urban and 96% of the rural population has access to improved sanitation.
• To control water pollution, Egypt established new legislation to increase organic farming, limit use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.
• Nile basin countries cooperate on protecting and managing the river’s water
• Bilharzia, a common disease in rural Egypt, has greatly decreased with the provision of improved drinking water to most rural areas.

Tanzania reports major environmental problems due to inadequate water management, inadequate monitoring, and inadequate involvement of stakeholders:
• Lack of accessible, good quality water for urban and rural inhabitants • Deterioration of aquatic systems
• Pollution and poor management threatens the productivity of lake, river, coastal, and marine waters

You can create the change these families need.

By donating to the Blue Planet Run water fund just $30, you can provide safe drinking water to one person for life.
https://blueplanetrun.org/ext/donationformR2/g_donation_stp_new1.php?lang=en&dedicate=DesertGrandSlam

Sahara_race_camel 
WALK IN THEIR SHOES:
The Blue Planet Run has dedicated thru the month of November to help bring safe drinking water to 1,200 students, and their families, in Tanzania.

Currently, these students leave valuable classroom time to walk long distances and collect water from a hand-dug, open water pit. This water source is used by animals and people for all purposes. It's a source of mosquito breeding and is not reliable drinking water. The community uses it very sparingly.

Based on reports of other communities in the region that have received wells, a well can greatly impact lives. Children attend school more regularly. Communities can grow gardens which impacts health and commerce. Life becomes hopeful.

Sahara_tanzania 
GO THE DISTANCE:
Athletes all over the nation and beyond have committed to running, walking or cycling 30 miles in 30 days thru November 1 to raise funds for the three school communities in Tanzania. By pledging $1 per mile, people can make their miles matter. Make Your Miles Matter! http://blueplanetrun.org/30-mile

Learn More:
View the Blue Planet Run Foundation slide show and see for yourself the change you can make! http://www.blueplanetrun.org/desert_grand_slam

Spread the Word:
Send the message to your friends and family. By sharing this email with others, you are ensuring that more people embrace athletes such as Dean, learn more about the water issues we all face, and potentially save lives.

Donate Now:
You can give a tax-deductible donation to water projects that save people's lives. Just $30 provides safe drinking water to one person for life! Donate on-line. https://blueplanetrun.org/ext/donationformR2/g_donation_stp_new1.php?lang=en&dedicate=DesertGrandSlam

 

Sahara_tanzania_2

December 2, 2008

Get the Facts & Get Involved- The Last Desert, Antarctica

Antarctica (Nov 19 – Dec 5)

EMBRACE THE RACE:

Bpr_water_and_ice

The final leg of the Grand Slam Desert takes place on the coldest, driest, and windiest continent. Antarctica has the highest average elevation of all the continents. Since there is little precipitation, except at the coasts, the interior is considered the largest desert in the world, composed of 98% thick continental ice sheet and 2% barren rock.

By this point, the runners have put themselves through some of the most grueling conditions on the planet. One former Desert Slam Challenge runner gave this advice to future runners about how they would feel by the time they reach Antarctica: "Think about something to flavor your water. Adding some powder can make water much more palatable. We learned in Sahara that putting a flavored tea bag in our water bottles made drinking more enjoyable."

FACE THE REALITY:

Bpr_glacier_sun_screen

For over a billion people around the world, the taste of clean, safe drinking water would be a delight. Many rely on local, open water sources or resign themselves to hand-dug open pits that are sometimes shared by humans and animals. Surface water can contain microbial contaminants or industrial pollutants and can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Through projects funded by Blue Planet Run, experts can provide education and community-based evaluation and problem solving. Implementers work with local communities to build systems to trap rainwater or tap into groundwater and keep it clean. For only $30, you can provide one person with a lifetime of safe, clean drinking water.

WALK IN THEIR SHOES:

Bpr_drip_line

An enormous amount of fresh, potable water is used to water lawns and gardens. This places an unnecessary burden on local water sources and municipalities. It also assumes reservoirs will continue to be able to replace what is pumped out. Do your part to

conserve water using these simple tips. They will save you money!

•Replace water-thirsty lawns with native plants.

•Install water-saving drip systems.

•Water during the coolest part of the day to reduce evaporation.

For real savings, some people divert their grey water (water used in showers, sinks, etc.) to feed their thirsty outdoor plants! In some regions, rainwater catchment systems can be installed to collect water from rooftops and gutters.