The Next Adventure: The Mongol Rally

It is done.

The entrance fee has left my account.

All those days of idle speculation and wishful dreaming are finally over.

Replaced instead by unnerving focus on the task ahead fuelled by fear and anticipation, creating a cocktail of emotions that will hopefully carry me through to the leaving date.

The Mongol Rally launches on the 12th July 2013 and will see over 250 cars leave the racecourse at Goodwood, embarking on a 10,000 mile motoring marathon across the worlds largest landmass and ending in Ulaan Bataar, Mongolia.

It isn’t a conventional rally. There are no support vehicles, safety procedures or warm cozy hotels at the end of each day. Each team decides on a course and tackles it on their own and in a car that is completed inadequate when faced with the extreme terrain en-route. The car must have an engine size of 1.2 litres or less and be under 10 years old, leaving each team with a list of cars that can be found accumulating dust at the back of dealership forecourts across the nation.

But it is all for a good cause. The rally teams must raise at least £1000 each, half of which goes to that years official charity and the other half to a charity of their choice. Once the cars arrive in the Mongolian capital, they are sold at very reasonable prices to local families, with the proceeds also going to the charity. The event is a great way to drum up charitable donations and since the organisers (The Adventurists; see www.theadventurists.com), began the rally back in 2004, a grand total of £1,981,534 has been raised.

We are hoping to exceed the £1000 minimum and push for a realistic and extremely helpful £10,000. Our chosen charity is WaterAid (further details at www.wateraid.org/uk) who provide the world’s poorest communities with access to safe drinking water, what we feel is the most basic of human rights.

Our team name was conceived through much deliberation. After weeks of titles such as Lock Stock and Two Smoking Camels and Team Milan, my team mate Milan had a vision of us driving out of the steppe dust to The Rolling Stones’ famous song, Paint it Black.

It just seemed right. After adding a little Mongolian spice, we landed on Paint it Yak and we haven’t looked back since.

Our proposed logo looks a little like this:

A big thank you to Mo Rashid for putting this logo together for us and putting up with my constant amendments!

The next step will be to load out a website and blog, ready for taking donations. And then the fun begins.

Fund raising.

Not only will be grabbing peoples spare cash for the charities but also approaching companies and people to sponsor some of the costs of the race itself in return for advertising.

Apart from the usual incessant nagging of people we know, we want to raise money in a few different ways, like making and selling t-shirts, also helping to build awareness.

The trick will be making promotional videos and material about a trip, without having the media to do it! We have begun brainstorming ideas and I will keep you all posted on the progress. I will also be making more frequent posts to the blog about other things to keep it going but also link it to our team blog which should be up and running in a weeks time.

Thank you for your support so far guys and I will be needing more of it over the next year or so in preparation for the rally.

Some teaser material:

– U.Mirza

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