Friday, June 27, 2008

Hey Gang !
I hope this newsletter finds all of you well !

I hope all of you had the chance to check out www.canadaonexone.com during the expedition to see all of the incredible film footage of the run as it unfolded. Rogers provided us with the newest communications equipment so that we could blog, send photos and video live to our website so that everyone could follow the journey as it unfolded on the internet ! From 10 000 kids either running or participating in Saskatoon, to being joined on the runt by Assembly First Nations Chief Phil Fontaine to hundreds of other incredible stories...check out the website !

Our goal with this run is to raise awareness for Canadian born organization, ONExONE- and highlight the tireless work they are doing at home and abroad in helping to eradicate social issues that affect children. Check out www.onexone.org for more info. We also have the goal of inspiring young people into action- and we will visit many schools en route , get their opinions, speak with them- and blog their stories by video on www.canadaonexone.com

This goal to raise awareness and inspire people (especially youth) across Canada was achieved...and we in turn were inspired by this amazing generation of youth and from people across Canada who got on board with us !

Special thanks goes to our sponsor who made this expedition possible-without their ongoing efforts and belief in what we were trying to accomplish, we never could have made it ! Rogers Communications for their innovative technology which allowed us to broadcast this incredible and unique event to millions of Canadians and around the world via our live website, Air Canada for helping us to arrive each day in a new province or territory, Jeep Chrysler for lending us their latest cleaner diesel Cherokees for the runners to travel on the driving legs, Gatorade for making sure we could actually run 80 kms per day by keeping us hydrated !, First Air for getting us to Iqaluit and Yellowknife, and Crocs for keeping our toes comfy after 80 kms of running per day :0)

A super huge Thank You to Anton Stranc, Logistical Director for the CanadaONExONE and Impossible2Possible.
Thank Yous also go to the numerous volunteers across Canada who made this run actually happen. We are developing a section on the CanadaONExONE site which will have all of the names- but to just name a few from each province for now (in no order)- Stephanie Case- Vancouver (also ran 8 stages !), Dan Ouimette- Calgary, Shannon Loutitt- Saskatoon, Erin Carter- Winnipeg, Diana Smyth- Toronto, Claude Rossignol- Quebec, Armand Doucet- Moncton and PEI, Corey Robinson- Halifax, Ken Brophy- St. John’s, Meeka Kakudluk- Iqaluit, Linda Maljan- Yellowknife and The Mchales- Whitehorse. There are so-o-o many more I thank all of you- and we will post a big thank you very soon on www.canadaonexone.com

More news coming on www.impossible2possible.com , the 2008 and 2010 Polar Expeditions, and so much more !!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mia Sahara Zahab !!!

Kathy and I are proud to announce the birth of our beautiful daughter Mia Sahara Zahab on June 16th, 2008 !!!

Kath went through 24 hours of intense and insane labor, then had an emergency c section to give birth.
I have so-o-o much respect for my amazing wife already, but this took things to a whole new level. I promise I will never complain about a blisters or pain ever again !

In all seriousness, when i had Mia Sahara in my arms for the first moments i looked at Kath and we both expressed how lucky we are. How lucky our child is, and how much more passionate we are about supporting initiatives that are trying to help kids at home and abroad who are not so fortunate.

This is the greatest day of my life.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Canada ONExONE Completed !

Lots to come very soon.....stay tuned !

May Newsletter !

It's time !
The Canada ONExONE Run is about to begin !

So much has happened since the last newsletter that was sent out. Highlights have included speaking at the Climate Project in Montreal to a group of incredible individuals who are very passionate about the environment and how the shifting climate is affecting people worldwide. Among those in attendance were Dr. David Suzuki, Al Gore and a host of others ! It was truly inspirational as well to be invited among this amazing group of people to learn from Mr. Gore and Dr. Suzuki about climate change for this incredible weekend event.

I have been very fortunate as well to do a lot of speaking lately- both to corporate groups, and in schools- and get the opportunity to not only tell the story of Running The Sahara, but get the opportunity to relay the message of the need for clean drinking water in Africa- and worldwide ! Speaking of the schools- I cannot tell you how many AMAZING kids I have met recently. This is truly an outstanding generation ! These kids are tackling issues at an age that is so truly inspiring and hopeful. Heck, when I was their age I had no concept of social and environmental issues !

Starting this Sunday, May 11th, myself and a team of amazing runners (check the runner bio's on our website!) will attempt to run 80 kms per day in ALL 13 Provinces and Territories….whew, it makes me tired to even say it ! The goal will not only be to just run 80 kms each day- but visit schools, participate in community supported events and meet with kids, parents and just about everybody we can fit in ! This run has an objective well beyond the complicated logistics and extreme endurance. Our goal with this run is to raise awareness for Canadian born organization, ONExONE- and highlight the tireless work they are doing at home and abroad in helping to eradicate social issues that affect children. Check out www.onexonecampaign.com for more info. We also have the goal of inspiring young people into action- and we will visit many schools en route , get their opinions, speak with them- and blog their stories by video on www.canadaonexone.com

The fun doesn't stop there ! Rogers has provided us with some incredible equipment to track our journey live on the website, with text blogging, daily photo journals, and video stories from Canadians coast to coast to coast !

A multitude of activities have been planned in each Province and Territory- and we will be visiting with special guests too as we make our way across Canada ! Hayley Wickenheiser will join us at the start in Calgary, and we will also have the honor of visiting with Assembly First Nations Chief Phil Fontaine among others !

Incredible organizers and volunteers have worked tirelessly to make this expedition awesome- and I will make sure to thank them all both during (live ) on our website- and in future newsletters ! One incredible volunteer I will mention (again, all are AMAZING !), is Shannon Louttit of Saskatoon. What Shannon has accomplished in planning for Saskatoon is unbelievable. I don't want to ruin surprises- but suffice to say- she has created a series of events involving the WHOLE city ! Stay tuned to the website…..!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

March Newsletter !!!

Hey Gang !

Well, we have been hard at it preparing for 2 upcoming events/expeditions that I think everyone will be very excited about.

First is CanadaONExONE this May. I will attempt to run an ultra distance (80 kms) per day in each and every Province and Territory ! 13 days of running in our incredible country ! Many details about this will follow- and expect the CanadaONExONE website to launch very soon, with links from my website www.rayzahab.com. This run will be in support of the incredible work the ONExONE organization (Canadian born) is doing at home and abroad, and will be a celebration of our amazing country !!! Many people from across the country will run with me... I hope you can join me too ! As I said, more details to follow very soon !

I am writing this edition of my newsletter from one of the most incredible places in the world- Iqaluit, Nunavut. I am here meeting with all kinds of amazing people about the upcoming 2009 PolarRun (details on my website). The purpose of my visit here is to meet with the Premiere of Nunavut - Paul Okalik, Commissioner Ann Meekitjuk Hanson, Miali-Elise Coley (Premieres Office) and other Educators, Community Leaders, and local people to learn and gain a greater knowledge of this beautiful culture and people of the North. I as well had the great fortune of running (no pun ) into Will Steger and his team as they prepare for their epic expedition to dogsled Ellsmere Island. His team was very gracious and I spent an evening with them talking about their project, our expedition...and of course stories of Sahara and other adventures !!! For those of you who may not know the name, Will is one of the greatest adventurers of our time, and has many firsts to his credit. Our expedition expert Richard Weber- another legend- is friends with Will, and speaks very highly of him. I got out for a training run today, it was - 38 ...I better get used to it ! 785 kms from Ward Hunt to the Geographic North Pole in temps down below - 60, navigating open leads of water...climbing walls pressure ice, and being wary of polar bears... Yikes !
More to follow on this expedition, too...

I have been traveling lots these days, speaking alot about our run across the Sahara- and the water crisis in northern Africa, as well as raising interest for the Global Education Initiative my team and I want to create in conjunction with the PolarRun. Our goal is to "Inspire young people around the world to protect and appreciate the planet- and the many diverse cultures on it". This educational resource will be downloadable from our website, and we want to make it available to kids around the world- teaching them about the social impact globally of the changing climate. To this end, my team and I are creating an organization that will support and drive this mission!!!

My next newsletter will focus on this, and CanadaONExONE Run.

I will write again soon...please keep checking my website for updates on these projects, for news on the release of Running The Sahara and please visit and support the organizations from the "Difference" tab on my website.

Cheers !

PS: don't forget world water day, mar. 22 http://www.worldwaterday.net/

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Toronto Star Goes Polar !

Hey Gang !
Check out this link and read up on the Polar Run !


Cheers !

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Back On !

Hey Gang !

I apologize for the delay...I have been going crazy since the Canada Challenge !
I am in complete Polar "mode" and my team and I are planning like crazy to get ready for this incredible journey....more than just running. Check my website for details !

More to come.
Like running in 13 provinces in 13 days this summer. yay !