Running the Atlas Mountains
Starting in October 2017 I will be attempting a world first expedition to run solo and unsupported across the High Atlas Mountains. The journey will be a distance of approximately 1000km off-road, right across the stunning and mountainous centre of Morocco. My route will begin on the edge of the Sahara in the east of Morocco, and take me up through the High Atlas Mountains, where I will rely on Berber villages as the only civilisation to support me, before finishing on the coast of the Atlantic. The expedition is solo and self-supported, so I will be carrying on my back my wee tent, cooking equipment and all that ultralight good stuff. I will be following ancient trails, created through a long history of trade and nomadic Berbers, navigating with their help and my GPS to find my way. The run will be at the beginning of winter, adding an extra challenge with snow in the high passes already. While ultra runners go to Morocco every year for famous races like the Marathon des Sables, the trails of the Atlas Mountains remain relatively unexplored, and I hope to learn as much as I can about the region and the people who have called it home for centuries.
Travelling solo and unsupported provides obvious logistical challenges, forcing my dependence on the local villages for food and trail finding, so the story of this adventure is as much about cultural interaction and discovery as it is an extreme physical challenge in an extreme environment. I will be filming the expedition as well as sharing on my social media channels en route, with an aim to produce a feature-length and a festival-length film to share the story. This run will be my second continent in my bigger challenge to run across a mountain range on every continent (I completed a 1000km run across the Tien Shan mountains in Kyrgyzstan last year).
Through this world first expedition, I hope to inspire adventurers, both young and old, around the world to push their own comfort zones and go find adventures. I will be sharing the journey through social media as I go, and creating a film about the expedition that will be distributed through adventure film festivals around the world as well as online. For all partnership enquiries, please get in touch, I would love to chat!