Running the Sahara


On February 20, Charlie, Ray and Kevin touched the Red Sea, just a few hours before sunset. Their quest had lasted 111 days and taken them through 6 countries: Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Libya, and Egypt. By the team’s daily GPS record, they had traveled over 4,300 miles (6,920 kilometers). They fought through injury and extreme fatigue to reach their goal, which changed them forever.

These last days of the expedition were emblematic of the entire expedition, with highs and lows, camaraderie and solitude, and encounters with both the natural wonders and teeming societies of Africa. Over their quest, the runners learned that it was necessary for them and their team to avoid fighting against the elements served up by the Sahara, because the immeasurable power of the continent will always win out. Instead, they learned how to adapt to their climate and surroundings as best they could, in order to make the steady progress that each of the 111 days required of their minds and bodies. Thus, they were able to save their energy for their physical achievement, which led to success as measured by their achievement and the depth of their experience.

Whether it was encounters with the Tuaregs of Niger or running through the wondrous Pyramids of Giza, the experiences endure. The children that received them with shouts of greeting and ran alongside them refreshed and renewed their vigor in every country. The lands they visited mixed natural beauty with the harshest living conditions: from the solitude of the Tenere Desert to the bustling heat of Dakar, Senegal, and the overwhelming crush of Cairo, Africa’s largest metropolis. Every location along the way provided its own challenge and held a unique reward for the three explorers and their team.

The Running the Sahara expedition is chronicled in a documentary film. The project is narrated by Academy Award-winner Matt Damon and directed by Academy Award-winner James Moll. A small film crew tracked the runners across the desert, capturing their incredible journey on camera, recording this landmark moment in athleticism, in humanitarianism, and in history.

The Running the Sahara documentary explores the physical and emotional impact of this tremendous test of strength and determination. The film allows each of us to relive the runners’ life-changing experience as we watch them brave the elements in one of the most extreme environments on Earth and meet the unique people of the Sahara, struggling with immense daily challenges.

The film’s narrative follows the runners on their quest, each step toward the finish line building in great anticipation of answering the question: Can this amazing human feat truly be possible? Through the documentary, their journey will become legend.

More than ever, the runners and their team are committed to the land and people they visited. The international media has turned its eye to the expedition’s achievement, including the attention and support that they are bringing to the water crisis in Africa through H2O Africa.

This fall, the film Running the Sahara will premiere to tell the story of this unprecedented quest. Be sure to look for Oakley eyewear throughout the film.

Learn more about the project at:


Staff Writer


October 25, 2007