Saturday, April 30, 2005

Madman in the Gobi

Following in the footsteps of Marco Polo, my Tokyo based cousin Ben Ferguson spent last week in China’s Gobi Desert.

He and his Gobi colleagues are all certifiable.

Over the course of seven days they ran 158 miles across China’s hottest region. Each competitor was self-supported, carrying their own food and gear. Water and tents were provided by the organizers. Ben had to subsist on 2,000 calories a day.

In essence he ran five marathons back to back, and oh, in addition to the five marathons he also ran a double marathon, well almost: 56 miles.

Can the human body even do this? With that little food?

What the x!#???

His mother relays the message that his feet are hamburger after this undertaking.

Imagine that? He's lucky to still have feet.

I’ve run one marathon in my life. Honestly the run wasn’t that hard, but I hurt my foot and could barely walk for a couple of weeks. I “hurt” my foot, running a mere 26 miles . . . poor me.

Ben announced that he was doing this because as a child he had asthma and was told he could never be an athlete.

Pssst . . . don’t tell your kid he can’t be an athlete, or he may morph into a madman.

It's official, Ben Ferguson, is a world class athlete. Competing at a level beyond Olympian he came in sixth place out of a hundred competitors.


Who was that Greek wimp that keeled over after running 26 miles from Marathon?

The Gobi March was organized by RacingThePlanet “to inspire people from all walks of life to explore cultures in the four corners of the earth through participation in world class outdoors events which take them beyond their physical frontiers.”

In addition to proving that he could, Ben ran this race “to help UNICEF raise funds to help other kids around the world realize their dreams.” Please donate a few dollars to his UNICEF fund at

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