According to the CDC, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. At the present time, 12.5 million children, ages 6-19 in the United States are obese. Many more are overweight. Starting January 16, 2015, an international team of athletes will begin a 4 1/2 month journey, running the equivalent of 117 back-to-back marathons across the United States with the goal of inspiring a healthier generation. Join us as we run across the country. Apply for the core team, cross a state or run one of thirteen 4-day challenge events. If you are not a runner, you can sponsor, donate or volunteer! Teachers, please click here.
|David Warady – California, USA|
At age 22, while in college, David committed to becoming the best runner he could be. Over the next 18 years, he ran numerous marathons, ultra-marathons, and multi-day races, winning his very first ultra-marathon, the 1987 Southern California 50 Mile District Championships.
The zenith of David’s career came, at age 35, when he won the 1992 Runner’s World Trans America Footrace, a 64-day, 3,000-mile, footrace from Huntington Beach, California to New York City’s Central Park. David balanced his running career with a professional career, working for some of the biggest names in the Information Technology field, including EDS, FileNet, and IBM. He has written articles and book reviews for Ultrarunning Magazine and Ultrarunning Canada.
David has given countless motivational speeches for athletic organizations, college classes, a corporate sales conference, and the American Cancer Society. David has consulted with numerous 3,000-mile Transcontinental Footraces, including the 1993-1995 Trans America Footrace’s, the 2001 Trans Australia Footrace, and, most recently, the 2011 LA-NY, 3,000-mile Footrace, writing a portion of the runner’s handbook, giving the pre-race motivational speech, and acting as the official starter.
Today, David’s focus has shifted once again to a new challenge – professional poker. He finished in the top 1% in the 2012 World Series of Poker, Main Event Championship. David has degrees in Rhetoric from UC Berkeley and a MBA from California State University Sacramento.
|Ray Zahab – Ottawa, Canada|
On November 1, 2006, former “pack a day smoker” Ray Zahab and two friends, Charlie Engle and Kevin Lin, both accomplished runners, set out on an expedition to cross the Sahara Desert by foot. One Hundred Eleven (111) days and 7,500 km after leaving the coast of Senegal, they completed their journey by stepping into the Red Sea. The documentary film “Running The Sahara”, produced by Matt Damon and directed by Academy Award winner James Moll, was created in an effort to raise awareness for the drinking water crisis in North Africa.
Motivated by the Sahara run, Ray founded impossible2Possible (i2P) in 2008 – an organization that aims to inspire and educate youth through adventure learning, inclusion and participation in expeditions. Youth Ambassadors are selected from around the globe and then participate, at no cost, in all aspects of the expedition. Since its inception, i2P Youth Expeditions have included seven grueling expeditions: Baffin Island, Tunisia, the Amazon, Bolivia, India, Botswana, and Utah.
In early 2011, Ray ran the length of the “driest desert on Earth”, the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. Here he ran 1,200 km in 20 days with minimal daily re-supply and with his camping gear on his back. Thousands of students joined this journey, again under his i2P organization, via live web and video conferencing. In 2013, Ray ran over 2,000 km across Mongolia and the Gobi Desert. He was accompanied by both a film crew and photographer who recorded not only the expedition, but also created a robust film archive sharing the stories of the people and culture of Mongolia.
Ray has also found the time to write two successful books about his life and adventures. Ray speaks around the world at events such as TED, IOC World Conference, Idea City, The Economist World in 2010 and 2011, World Affairs Council, and numerous Apple Distinguished Educator events. He has been interviewed and appeared on several talk and news programs including CNNi, The Hour, CBC, CTV, BBC, Jay Leno, and Discovery.