Where were you this past Friday at 7 AM? Were
you fast asleep and ready to dropkick anyone who wakes you up that early on a
weekend? Were you up and getting ready to set out for a weekend trip? Were you
having breakfast after a Thursday all-nighter adventure? No, this is not the
promo script for a terrible spoof of I
Know What You Did Last Summer – we’re just seeing if anyone else had a
weekend as incredible as ours.
Despite a bright and early 6 AM call time on a Friday morning, we were super excited to get set up at Wadi Degla Protectorate and await what was about 200 people showing up at 7 AM all geared up and ready to run anywhere up to 25 km throughout the protectorate as part of our El Wadi Trail Run, co-hosted by The TriFactory. With three self-supported runs to fill the morning – 5 km, 25 km, and a 1 km kids’ run – we had an eclectic turnout of males and females, adults and children, and even some families who came out to run together.
If you don’t know what a self-supported run is, that basically means that you carry your own supplies throughout the trail – water, nutrition drinks and gels, hydration packs, or whatever other basics you need to complete the run. Mind you, when we suggested that the runners bring ‘just the basics’, we weren’t expecting Abe’s flamingo shorts to make the cut! After diving into a freezing cold lake during our Everest Base Camp trip earlier this year, wearing nothing but his swim shorts, we’d be wrong to expect anything less than flamingo shorts. This guy could singlehandedly add the ‘wild’ to our Wild Guanabana tribe.
Through rocky terrain and twists and inclines, runners pushed ahead on their 1, 5, or 25 km trail while taking in the beautiful natural landscape that is Wadi Degla Protectorate. Not sure if most of you know this, but Wadi Degla is actually just one of 30 natural protectorates across Egypt. From North and South Sinai through Giza and Cairo and down to Aswan and Assiut, our natural protectorates cover everything from deserts and oases to lakes and even a petrified forest. That's why we ran in the first place – not just to take on another adventure, but to shed light on these incredible places and on the concept of sports tourism.
At the end of a long morning where #AdventureMeetsEndurace, we had to show a little extra love to those who made their way across the finish line ahead of everyone else. The top three men and top three women from each run got the royal treatment during the closing ceremony of the morning, walking away a medal, giant smiles, and quite a bit to gloat about.
In more adorable news, our kids’ 1 km run saw
little ones as young as five years old taking on the terrain alone, or with a
little help from mom or dad. We’re pretty big on getting kids started with
their adventuring when they’re still young – actually, we have an entire branch
named Muricata dedicated to making sure kids learn how to embrace and adventure in nature.
What made the first El Wadi Trial Run so incredible wasn’t just the beautiful natural landscape of Wadi Degla Protectorate. It wasn’t just the challenge of running self-supported for long distances and trying to make the fastest time. It wasn’t just the invigorating me-time of being alone with nature while listening to music or exploring the corners of your mind while pushing your body to its limits. It wasn’t even the fact that we all went out for some well-deserved lunch afterward.
It was all of these things, and the fact that we could come together as a global tribe to take on this adventure.
With about 300 people coming together from around the world – from Egypt and the Emirates to South Africa and France – our daily lives may look so starkly different, yet we’re united by one factor: adventure. Here, adventure meets endurance. In our everyday lives, adventure may look like venturing through Sri Lanka or climbing Mount Toubkal to kick off the new year, or it may look like getting up every morning and choosing not to let our comfort zones limit us in body, mind, or spirit.
The contagious energy that filled Wadi Degla Protectorate on Friday morning was just that – a tribe of people from all walks of life with a relentless passion to adventure beyond their comforts. It was the contagious energy of the #WGtribe.
Looking for the rest of the photos from El Wadi Trail Run? They're right here.