More than 15.000 kilometres or 200 hours of driving. On tour from Kilkenny (Ireland) to Ulan Ude (Russia), one of the most remote places on earth. Across some of the worst and highest roads in the world, over mountains and through deserts.
In the smallest space, in an unsuitable car and without any support with e.g. GPS or assistance from the organiser. Through about 20 unique countries, that couldn’t be more different to western cultures. To collect at least 1300 Euros donations.
Sounds crazy? Sounds like the Mongol Rally.
The rally is all about adventure and charity. If you cross the finish line in first place, you will neither be rewarded nor will you be declared the winner. Not at all. Real winners are those who experience the most. Since the first rally took place the teams donated more than 1.9 million pounds until now. When the rally took place for the first time in 2004 only six teams entered it, now more then 400 teams from all over the world participate.
If nothing goes wrongeverything has gone wrong.
The official rules of the Mongol Rally include that every participating team has to donate 500 £ to Cool Earth and another 500 £ to a charity of choice. It is especially important for us to support organizations which have personal meaning to us, so we decided to donate to "Autism Ireland". Sean's nephew has autism, so he knows what great and important work is done by this organization and supporting it is a very personal matter to him.
Cool Earth is a UK-based Organization that protects the endangered rainforest.
90% of the earnings from donations are spent on local people and towns in the rainforest.
Autism Ireland supports families with children that suffer from autism. It is a charity that is personal to Sean. His nephew and god child is autistic. Sean knows exactly with which problems affected families have to deal each and every day. Organisations likes Autism Ireland help the families to ease daily routines and at the same time raise society’s awareness for autistic people.
We will donate every single € that we raise through fundraising to the organisations mentioned above. EVERY EURO counts! Please support those wonderful organisations that do such great work for the children in need.
Alongside Autism Ireland, we also support the "Salzburger Kinderkrebshilfe", an Austrian organisation that supports children who suffer from cancer. The donation counter and more information on this can be found on our german website.
Some years ago, Sean Maher, from Tipperary, Ireland, came up with the idea of participating in the Mongol Rally. Since he heard about the rally for the first time, he couldn’t think about anything else anymore than taking part. Teamwork, thirst for adventure, guts and pure madness, that’s what each and every participant should have.
Those are characteristics that pretty much describe Leo from St.Veit im Pongau, Austria. Sean and Leo first met each other when they used to work together in England in 2011. Until then they became close friends and travelled a lot. The team is completed by their friends Johannes Pirnbacher (Hansa) and Sandra Rettenegger (Sunny).
You might have guessed it – Sean is our lovely Irish guy. He will ensure that we will always have a good laugh. We hope that we won’t lose him in the white deserts due to his camouflage colour. Because of his keen interest in cars and his skills as an entertainer he will be very valuable for the team.
Leo, who speaks sarcastic fluently, couldn’t stay in one place for more than 2 weeks in the last few years. The skilled mechanic and globetrotter will ensure that the team won’t get stuck for a long time during the adventure.
Sandra alias Sunny is the pinch of womanliness and rationality in the team. The student, who likes to make (travel) plans, will keep you up-to-date through the blog during the rally. Her linguistic and negotiation skills should help crossing one or another border.
Whenever Johannes alias Hansa, a teacher and mechanic, sees a potential opportunity to climb things up, he won’t think about IF he should get up but HOW. His logical reasoning and technical skills make him a perfect problem solver.
Let us introduce you to Barbara. She will take us to Ulan-Ude for sure. We chose a red Toyota Starlet from 1988 because we wanted to have a car our age. Further criteria were the 1 litre engine size, that is fixed by the organiser and due to the fact that we are crazy enough to go in a group of four – 5 doors. Barbara has massive 52 hp and doesn’t need any electronic luxury so that every component can be repaired by Russian methods.