In 2006, Ray Zahab, and two friends, Charlie Engle and Kevin Lin, set out on an expedition to cross the Sahara Desert by foot. 111 days and 7,500kmsafter leaving the coast of Senegal, they completed their journey by stepping into the Red Sea. The expedition had the trio running an average of 70km a day without rest days. National Geographic tracked the expedition by web, as well as the documentary film ‘Running The Sahara’ was filmed to capture the expedition, and raise awareness for the drinking water crisis in North Africa.
In 2008, Ray foundedimpossible2Possible(i2P) (impossible2possible.com) an organization that aims to inspire and educate youth through adventure learning, inclusion and participation in expeditions. There is zero cost for students and classrooms to participate, and there is no cost to youth joining the expeditions as i2P Youth Ambassadors.
His adventures and expeditions have taken Ray all over the world. Ray was the member of athree manteam that broke the record in 2009 for fastest unsupported expedition by a team to the Geographic South Pole, he also ran over 2,000 km to cross Mongolia and the Gobi Desert, 1200km across thew Atacama Desert in 2011 and ran 1000 km across the Patagonian Desert in 2015, and many more.
Ray is always on the look out for new technologies, equipment and even food that can help him succeed. This is where Ray’s relationship withxactnutritioninformally began, during a local fundraising trail run Quebec. The real test ofxactnutritionproducts happened during theArctic2Atacamacompleted March 2016, where Ray and his team relied onFRUIT3bars as well as beta versions of new products as they fat-biked through ice, snow and temperatures below -50.
In 2015 Canadian Geographic recognized Ray as one of Canada’s Top Explorers. In December 2015 Ray was presented with the Meritorious Service Cross of Canada.
He continues today with life as an adventurer and as a volunteer with impossible2Possible. ‘Running The Sahara’ would begin a lifelong journey of learning that some of the largest barriers to success are the ones we put upon ourselves. By breaking these down, Ray has learned that we are all capable of achieving truly extraordinary things.
Ray's most recent expedition was his July 2019 Transect of Death Valley with team-mate Will Laughlin.