nehst_logo 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.

Image: The runners embrace hands in strength at the starting line of the expedition.
The runners embrace hands in strength at the starting line of the expedition.
Photograph by Don Holtz

Image: Charlie Engle meets the children of a local village.
Charlie Engle meets the children of a local village.
Photograph by Don Holtz

Image: The runners using a Magellan GPS device
The runners using Magellan GPS devices to navigate their way across 4,000 miles of the Sahara Desert.
Photograph by Don Holtz
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.

And now the expedition has concluded.



Incredible, but true.

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. Until then, come back to this site to see more about the runners' story.

About the Film

Image: the film crew setting-up a shot in Senegal.
The film crew setting-up a shot in Senegal.
Photograph by Don Holtz

Image: director James Moll and camera operator Mark Kneyse on location.
Director James Moll and camera operator Mark Kneyse on location.
Photograph by Don Holtz

Image: the film crew shoots a discussion between the runners and Tuareg expedition guide, Mohammad Ixa.
The film crew shoots a discussion between the runners and Tuareg expedition guide, Mohammad Ixa.
Photograph by Don Holtz
The Running the Sahara expedition will be chronicled in a documentary film. The project will be 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 will allow 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.

Running the Sahara is a documentary in the truest sense: The director and his crew documented the expedition, observing without interfering or influencing it in any way.

Running the Sahara is a LivePlanet and Allentown Production, presented by Independent Producers Alliance with financing support from Stanford Financial Group.

James Moll, Director
Matt Damon, Narrator
Larry Tanz, Producer
Marc Joubert, Producer
Keith Quinn, Producer
Rick Eldridge, Producer
Matt Damon, Executive Producer
Jim Van Eerden, Executive Producer
Paul Brooks, Co-Executive Producer
Jack Gilardi Jr., Co-Executive Producer
Daniel DeLiege, Co-Executive Producer
Mark Koch, Co-Executive Producer
David Salzberg, Co-Executive Producer
Christian Tureaud, Co-Executive Producer

  Map: Northern Africa. Track the Journey
Products and Pre-sales
Running the Sahara DVD
Click here to purchase the DVD of Running the Sahara.

Screenings and Events
Running the Sahara
Nehst will be holding theatrical event screenings for Running the Sahara at which you can meet the runners, Director James Moll or Producers Matt Damon, Larry Tanz, Keith Quinn or Jim Van Eerden. Click here to see the current schedule.

People and Places
Image: camels walking across the desert
Discover the vibrant cultures of the Sahara from Senegal to the Suez with maps, photos, music, and more.

Magellan Navigation
Logo: Magellan
The expedition team and the athletes rely on a number of Magellan Navigation devices in the field to guide their run.

Image: Toyota logo
Toyota high-tech SUVs transport the expedition and film crews over mountainous sand dunes and uncharted terrain.

Champion Athletic Apparel
Logo: Champion
Champion is the official apparel sponsor of Running the Sahara, providing apparel for the athletes and expedition crew.