Event Detail

1
Dec
2009

Running the Antarctic

Ray Zahab
Tuesday, 1 Dec 2009
British Council
Mr. Zahab speaks evocatively of the expedition, with its highs and lows, camaraderie and solitude, and the natural wonders at every location along the way, which provided their own challenges and held a unique reward for the three explorers and their team.

(Please note that because this lecture is expected to be very popular, it is being run twice on the same evening. Please reply to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book, stating for which of the two lectures. You’ll receive a confirmation of your place from our administrative office. Please do not send any money; all registration is at the door as usual.)

Lecture 1: Drinks Reception 6.00 pm; Lecture 7.00 pm

Lecture 2: Drinks Reception 7.30 pm; Lecture 8.30 pm

We are delighted to welcome again Canadian adventure runner and philanthropist Ray Zahab to lecture on “Challenge, Distance, Discovery", his 7 year journey from a sedentary lifestyle to running in some of the most unforgiving places on the planet. Following his sellout lecture on his legendary run across the Sahara from the Atlantic to the Red Sea, on this occasion Mr. Zahab is speaking on his world record run to the South Pole in 2009. Known as an entertaining and inspiring speaker, the lecture includes a number of his feats, including extraordinary photographs and images from Mr. Zahab’s races and expeditions.

The presentation takes the audience from the team’s initial preparation all the way to the epic journey to the South Pole, a story told with dozens of photographs and high definition dramatic video footage. A film trailer for an upcoming documentary of the expedition being produced by Academy Award winner James Moll is also being featured. Mr. Zahab speaks evocatively of the expedition, with its highs and lows, camaraderie and solitude, and the natural wonders at every location along the way, which provided their own challenges and held a unique reward for the three explorers and their team.

On the expedition, the team broke the previous record of unsupported travel to the Pole by 5 days and Mr. Zahab became the first person in history to make the journey from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole solely on foot and snowshoes. The expedition was unsupported and they dragged everything they needed to survive for the month on Antarctica. After leaving Hercules Inlet in early December 2008, Ray Zahab and teammates Richard Weber and Kevin Vallely made it to the Geographic South Pole unsupported, and in a new record time of 33 days, 23 hours and 55 minutes. The team broke the previous record of unsupported travel to the pole by 5 days with Mr. Zahab trekking the entire 1,100 km journey from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole solely on foot and snowshoes, without the use of skis.

New to the sport of running in 2004, ultramarathoning initially took Mr. Zahab from the cold north of Canada to the Amazon jungle. But it was the Sahara desert that ultimately captured Mr. Zahab’s heart. After racing 200 miles across Niger, Egypt and Libya, the idea was born to cross the entire Sahara on foot out of a love for the terrain and its people, especially the Tuareg. Already winner of some of the world’s most difficult and challenging ultradistance foot races, Mr. Zahab was motivated by challenge, distance and discovery. This feat consisted of 111 consecutive days of running in extreme desert conditions through six countries, totalling 4,300 miles.

Now in worldwide demand as a speaker, Mr Zahab splits his time between running, speaking and environmental protection. In 2010, he plans to run and trek 35 kms per day from Ward Hunt Island to the North Pole, to bring awareness and funding to find and provide solutions to the social impact of climate change; over 10 major media organisations have already agreed to follow the expedition. Mr. Zahab speaks worldwide to some 100 audiences a year, most recently including PowerWithin, Johnson and Johnson and Pepsi. Mr. Zahab was the recipient of the ONExONE Difference Award in 2007, together with Sarah, Duchess of York and Richard Gere.

Members and their guests are most welcome to attend these lectures, which are HK$100 for Members and HK$150 for guests and others.

See other events in 2009