£3.5 million raised for charity
In 2001 founder of The Adventurists Mr. Tom and his adventuring chum Mr. Joolz woke up with a hangover and discovered they had bought a car for cash in the Czech Republic.
There really was only one thing to do. They set out to try and drive it to Mongolia.
In true adventuring style they failed to reach their destination but an adventure was had and the seed for what would become the Mongol Rally had been sown.
In 2004 six teams set off to try and drive to Mongolia in tiny and unsuitable 1-litre cars with no back up, no support, no professional drivers, no set route and not a clue what would happen.
Four succeeded and the idea exploded in popularity with almost 1000 people in 400 teams expected to thunder to Mongolia in a tiny car in 2012.
Mr. Tom realised that the Mongol Rally wasn't enough, so he founded The Adventurists to launch a gaggle of other no-back-up adventures. Each team would have to raise a minimum of £1000. The adventures would make anyone who was remotely sensible snort their tea out of their nose in disgust at the improbability of it all. This simple combination would fight to make the world less boring and save a bit of it at the same time.
After 8 years and 8 different adventures, 6639 people from more than 25 countries have now raised £3,534,790 for charity between 2004 and the end of 2011.
More than £850 000 of the total was raised in 2011 alone, apparently demonstrating that even in the midst of global financial Armageddon the teams are able to prise open the charitable pockets of their friends, family and sponsors.
The adventures include the Mongol Rally – a 10,000 mile drive from UK to Mongolia in 1-litre cars; the Rickshaw Run - driving 3000km across India in a tiny tuk tuk; the Mototaxi Junket – riding mototaxis across Peru and others, all with no back up, no support and no set route.
All the charity money is donated directly, and a separate entry fee paid to The Adventurists covers stuff like finish lines and vehicle hire. Find out more about How charity works.
The official charity for the Rickshaw Run India is Frank Water. Founder Katie Alcott said:
“The extraordinary support from Rickshaw Runs over the past few years has raised almost £500 000 in support of our clean water projects in India, which provide guaranteed clean water to rural communities who suffer from both biological and chemically contaminated water.
“Over 100 000 people now have access to clean, fluoride free drinking water, making a profound and lasting effect on lives. Without doubt, this calls for an enormous THANK YOU to all Rickshaw Run teams past and present - incredible!”
The Mongol Rally – the original and largest adventure - has raised just under £2 million overall for charity. Fiona Geoghegan of Christina Noble Children's Foundation (CNCF), the official Rally charity until 2011 said:
“Since 2006 the Mongol Rally teams have raised a stunning £695 000 which has contributed substantially to the running cost of the Blue Skies Ger Village in Mongolia, and will in fact allow us to continue to provide the high standard of care we pride ourselves on for the next couple of years, making The Adventurists one of our most valued donors.”
The Adventurists have launched a total of eight adventures since 2004, all designed to be intentionally difficult in response to the world becoming increasingly dominated by a hermetically sealed health & safety culture. Using a ladder is considered unacceptably dangerous and “adventure travel” means a guided tour up a mountain or staying in a hotel with less than four stars.
If you're keen to wander off the edge of the map and raise some money for some fine charities at the same time, we have several boredom-fighting solutions for you:
The Mongol Rally is going strong and still has a few spots left. The Rickshaw Run September invites you to wobble across India in a glorified lawnmower. The Mototaxi Junket in Peru brings you the Andes mountains and Amazon Jungle in a three-wheeled motorbike.
Over in South East Asia the ASEAN Rickshaw Run (now called the Bajai Rally) brings more lawnmower on three wheels action. If you like the cold, and you have a passion for driving on frozen rivers, then the Ice Run is for you; follow the Pioneers Run launching in February and look out for 2013 details.
And if semi-wild horses is more your adventuring bag, then the world's longest horse race 1000km across Mongolia is just the equine ticket for you.
How It All Works
One of our main principles is to not blur the line between giving money to charity and having a bloody good adventure.
Its not us, but rather the teams that raise all the funds. The charities have sent in their appreciation and thanks.
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