Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ray Zahab: 'Running for my life'

Ray Zahab is known for running the Sahara - all of it. That's what it says on the back cover of his book Running For My Life

Also highlights this achievement above others in its Product Description: "Zahab, a thirty-eight-year-old reformed pack-a-day smoker from Chelsea, Quebec, successfully completed that test in February 2007 when he dipped his hands into the Red Sea. It marked the end of 111-day, 7.000-kilometer marathon across the searing North African desert, from Senegal to Egypt."

Without further ado I got the book. I was dying to learn more about this amazing achievement. But not so fast - ultrarunning requires patience. Let's start the story from the beginning.

The first 65 pages of the book described his childhood, school years and boring life filled with smoking and drinking. 

Then it goes on about 35 pages how in 2000 he turned his life around. Ray quit partying and started to train seriously. Hiking, jogging and mountain biking lead him to ultrarunning.

The rest of the book - about 130 pages - consists of several short stories, mainly about crazy races in exotic places. 

The book ends in August 2006, when he got married with Kathy. 

Now that's a happy ending right there, but I can't help feeling a little disappointed. There is nothing about his epic crossing of Sahara with his buddies Charlie Engle and Kevin Lin. Not even one chapter. 

Come on, Ray!

Fortunately, according to Matt Damon the movie Running The Sahara is finally going to be released this fall.

Meanwhile, Ray has been busy running around Canada - and more recently as a proud father of his baby girl Mia Sahara


rzahab said...

Hey Paleo Runner !
I am very sorry to disappoint ! I didn't want to give away the story of Running The Sahara until you could enjoy the film ! I was hoping others might relate to my story before RTS... Thank you very much for your comments, please feel free to contact me with any questions you might have. You have an awesome blog !

Paleo Runner said...

Thanks for taking time to comment Ray. Please don't take it personally. I always find the beginning of biographies boring. My expectations about the ending were mainly caused by marketing mistakes. Let's hope the Sahara film will find its way to Finland. Dogs bark, but the caravan goes on! All the best, keep on running.