January 25, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra
Today’s project is going to be hot, and not just because it features hundreds of adventurous ladies from around the world, but rather because those hundreds of ladies are pitted against one another in a race across the Moroccan desert.
As the blazing sun rises over the sand dunes, a Bedouin nomad leading his camel across the sand is startled to see two women poring over their maps. This team wears cargo pants, aviator sunglasses, and bandanas over their unwashed hair. To the nomad, they look like a strange breed of human. In reality they are a fierce breed of woman—throwing themselves into a fight against nature, battling their own limitations, against the very stereotype of what women are physically capable of.
This race is unique in a number of ways, beyond being a No-Boys-Allowed expedition. Speed isn’t necessarily the key here – accuracy in navigation is. The teams seek out over 50 checkpoints and must navigate across the open desert terrain with no more than the most basic tools. The rally’s mission is not only to empower and inspire the women taking part, but to leave a positive impact on the environment through which they travel. During the race, a medical caravan runs the course of Northern Africa, delivering free screenings, and the rally’s non-profit builds schools, supports orphanages, builds communities and trains local women to participate in their economies. Hard to cram any more good deeds into a single competition, don’t you think?
I’m a little jealous I can’t join in, but I’ll just have to live vicariously through the racers as they make their way across the African wilderness in a 9-day-long, charitable expedition. You can do the same by supporting their documentary on Kickstarter.