10,000 miles through 21 countries over 75 days, in a twenty year old hatchback, with no support, guidance or set route. Sounds like a geffing buzz, right?
Well that is exactly what is in store for Team Mad Manx.
A group of self-proclaimed naive and totally unprepared friends will take on the unfathomably long and uncomfortable adventure known as the Mongol Rally all in the name of Charity!
We’ll come on to who they are later but let’s discuss the RALLY.
What is the Mongol Rally?
It is an intercontinental car rally that begins in Europe and ends in Ulan Ude, Russia.
Picture Mad Max on steroids with a global appeal where motoring stupidity and genius meet at a harmonious equilibrium, and that’s the Mongol Rally.
If the TT races is Heavy Metal Rock, and Formula 1 is a Symphony Orchestra, then the Mongol Rally is Reggae Trance, if that’s even a thing? It’s the most organised, unorganised rally out there and requires competitors to drive from A to B following any route they see fit.
Border bureaucracy, civil wars and poor road infrastructure may make things slightly complicated along the way but it is these “bumps in the road” that create the best stories.
Side note – it used to finish in Mongolia but in 2015 they changed the finish which saved approx. £1,000 per team on shipping the bastard cars home. You’ll still vomit, cry, laugh and drag your sorry ass across the Mongolian steppe so don’t think it’s gotten easier!
The organisers pride themselves with this sense of “Seize the Chaos” attitude, Carpe Diem? NAH, Carpe Chao morelike, but alas, there must be some rules.
Rule 1: It would be a bit of doddle if you could complete the journey in a 4×4 Range Rover with your arses sweating from the heated seats. So the journey must be done in small vehicle with an engine size of 1.2L or less, or in other words, “small and sh*t.”
Rule 2: You’re on your own. No road back up, no support. If you breakdown or stuck then it’s bloody tough.
Rule 3: Raise a minimum of £1,000 for charity.
Sounds swell? Well these are the rules that Team Mad Manx will have to abide by.. But who are these nomadic warriors? Enough of the background info let’s profile these peeps!
Team Mad Manx
Well, they’re a group of friends who just ooze adventure.
From our very own Isle we have Adam Callister, Fern Callister (you may remember them two love birds from the Magical Manx Wedding) & Katharine Watling. They are also joined by Aussie, Daniel Simpson. Together they are Team Mad Manx.
The team will set off on their adventure around the 14th of July in their Toyota Starlet which is branded with their many sponsors supporting the worthy cause.
The Starlet, not famed for its comfort or speed, but it will be cruising with the loving and care that was once bestowed upon it from its previous owner, a 104 year lady. Fitting the bill, the starlet meets the criteria and will take to the asphalt, dirt, sand and whatever else that will come their way.
Their journey will take them through Europe and into Turkey before heading into Iran! They’ll be cruising through all the “Stan’s” before surging into Mongolia and Russia. The team will need to make the destination by the 14th of September, to do it in the time limit.
The creative guys at Team Mad Manx as stated before were part of the genius that formed Wed-fest for Fern and Adam’s wedding last year so it is only fitting that they have decorated the sh*t out of their chariot Starlet. Hours upon hours of paint, sweat and glue have gone into the vehicle to make sure it stands out from the crowd and looks the business, and I think we can all agree that it’s like Cookie Monster has overdosed on skittle cookies.
The premise for the whole event is to raise money for charity. A minimum of £1,000 needs to be raised with half going to the organisers charity (Cool Earth – a climate change/deforestation charity) and the other half going to the teams chosen charity (Hospice IOM).
A part of me is jealous of these guys for just going for it, and another part of me is happy I will not have to endure the cramped squeeze into that delicate Toyota.
The Mongol Rally is, to be frank, bucket list stuff. They’ll experience the joys and woes of winging it and also have stories to share that are so f*cking excellent that I, and others will be in awe for decades to come.
If you fancy supporting the guys on this journey you can here at their JustGiving page.
Good luck from everyone at Gef!