People Who Kick Buts: Ray Zahab
Limitations are 90% mental, the other 10% are in your head.
- On November 1, 2006 former “pack a day smoker” Ray Zahab and two other runners set out on an epic expedition to cross the Sahara Desert by foot. One hundred and eleven days and 7500 km after leaving the coast of Senegal they completed their journey stepping into the Red Sea.
- The epic expedition had the trio running an average of 70km’s a day, without a single day of rest. National Geographic tracked this epic expedition by web, and the documentary film ‘Running The Sahara’ ― produced by Matt Damon, directed by Academy Award winner James Moll ― was filmed in an effort to raise awareness for the drinking water crisis in Northern Africa.
- In 2007, Ray ran the three coastal trails of Canada, back to back and non-stop.
The Akshayuk Pass on Baffin Island, East Coast Trail Newfoundland and West Coast Trail in British Columbia.
- Motivated by the Sahara run- Ray conceptualized the CanadaONExONE Run in May 2008.
Along with a team of runners, Ray ran an average 80 km per day in each of Canada’s 13 Provinces and Territories in so many days. Schools were visited, students participated, and communities became engaged in many of the child based issues ONExONE is addressing.
- Two years after touching the Red Sea, Ray, and two other Canadians, broke the world speed record for an unsupported expedition by a team to the South Pole,
In the process, Ray trekked this traditional route from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole solely on foot and snowshoes- without the use of skis.
- In 2008, Ray founded impossible2Possible (i2P), an organization that aims to inspire and educate youth through adventure learning, and inclusion and participation in expeditions.
- Ray is a proud member of the board of Directors of the Ryan’s Well Foundation, is the official Athletic Ambassador and a board member of the ONExONE organization, and is a representative of SpreadTheNet.
- Throughout 2009 and 2010, expeditions have included: an unsupported 13 day run the length of frozen Lake Baikal, 3 Youth based expeditions to Baffin Island, Tunisia and the Amazon.
All of these expeditions supported various initiatives through an Experiential Learning program in which thousands of students participated as active team members during the expeditions, from classrooms all over the world.
- Ray has appeared multiple times in the media, including CNNi, The Hour, CBC, CTV, BBC, Jay Leno, Discovery, etc