Ultra Marathon : Running The Silk Route

    The Silk Road, as we recall from our schooldays , is the most well-known trading route of ancient Chinese civilization. Trade in silk grew under the Han Dynasty ( 202 BC – AD 220) in the first and second centuries AD. Now an elite group of runners is preparing to take part in this great challenge.

    Running The Silk Road is organised by http://www.thehomeexpedition.org. The Home Expedition (THE) is an institute devoted to promoting a sustainable earth, long term solutions for deprived peoples/regions and a sense of responsibility among privileged groups by means of expeditions throughout the

    world. THE hopes to inspire everyone into taking action.

    This is one of the most significant running events this year raising awareness of the well water crisis along the route. Physiotherapy is paramount to the four ultra-marathon runners at different points through the expedition. Although the only physiotherapist, Ireland’s , Dr Stephen McNally ,currently working

    in Kent, will be part of a team of world-wide experts that will assist the runners while they run approximately 70 Km per day for 150 days along the famous Silk Road. Nobody has previously run the Silk Road and part of this expedition will not only raise awareness for the well water crisis but will be life

    changing for all involved. There will also be two Doctors among the support team on the trip as well as various other specialists but McNally’s role will be a key one as he will manage their hydration and nutrition. .

    The expedition commences on April 20th and runs until September 17th, from Istanbul to China. Among those taking part is leading Ultra Marathon runner, Kevin Lin . Kevin has decided to conquer the Silk Road. In doing so he will challenge himself to run its full 9,600 km in just 155 days. The Home Expedition

    invites you to join Kevin on the final stretch of his journey from Lanzhou to Xian, China. Another well-known competitor is 40 years old Bai Bin – an experienced runner and adventure racer who has completed a 50-day marathon from Guiyang (Guizhou) to Lhasa (Tibet) in 2000. He was the first-placed

    Chinese runner for a 100km race in Beijing in 2010. Chen Jun is a long distance runner who completed an 18 day solo ultra-run in 2010 to encourage more Chinese to adopt low-carbon lifestyles. Aged 26 Chen Jun speaks English. Completing the team is 24 years old Judi Bloomer , who was one of the

    youngest ever participants in the Gobi March and Atacama crossings. Jodi is also a sports scholar (rowing) and competed in the Dubai Adventure Challenge. A highly experienced Management team is also heavily involved in the organisation, among them A.I.B.A World Boxing President, Wu Ching-Kuo

    from Taiwan who has appeared on “SportsNewsIreland” on the many occasions during his Presidency that he has awarded Katie Taylor the accolade of “Female Boxer of the Year” or presented her with a Gold Medal when winning the 60kg title. He is also a key executive member of the International

    Olympic Committee and was one of the prime movers for the inclusion of Women’s Boxing in the Olympic Games.

    If you feel like becoming an Ambassador and joining the last leg of this great Challenge, you can find out how on the website : www.thehomeexpedition.org or by email : ambassador_service@thehomeexpedition.org

    This final journey will begin in Lanzhou, the Han Dynasty’s “Golden City” where other ethnic groups historically crossed paths with the Han along the Silk Road. Participants will head to Yuzhong County, famous for the severe drought that began in the winter of 2009 and continues to devastate the region,

    before passing through the remains of the Qin Great Wall in Tongwei County. Further along, the course will pass through Dadiwan, considered one of China’s best archaeological sites and bastion of 8,000 years of cultural history, and then carry on to see the famed Maijishan Grottoes. This example of rock

    architecture, a series of 194 caves cut in the side of a hill in Gansu Province contains over 7,200 Buddhist sculptures and over 1,000 square meters of murals. Those on this journey will continue on, getting a chance to explore the source of the Yellow River while passing through Baoji Gorge on the Wei River,

    the largest tributary of the Yellow River. After seven demanding but inspiring days, the expedition will be completed as participants enter into Xian, one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, home of the celebrated Terracotta Army and eastern terminus of the Silk Road.

    We wish them well in the challenging days and months ahead.

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