A former “pack a day smoker,” Ray Zahab ran across the Sahara Desert in 111 days; he ran the three coastal trails of Canada, covering 400 kilometres; he and two others broke the world speed record for an unsupported expedition by a team to the South Pole; he ran 1,200 kilometres in 20 days in the Atacama Desert; and in 2013, he took on his most grueling journey yet when he ran over 2,000 kilometres to cross Mongolia and the Gobi Desert. The founder of impossible2Possible, an organization that inspires and educates youth through adventure learning, and the host of television’s The Projectand To The Edge, Ray’s high energy and visually stunning presentations showcase his challenging adventures, focus on his philanthropic endeavours, and–most importantly—relay that the impossible is possible.
National Geographic tracked Ray’s journey across the Sahara for their documentary Running The Sahara, produced by Matt Damon, and directed by Academy Award winner James Moll, showing not just Ray’s incredible feat, but also raising awareness for the drinking water crisis in North Africa. After this experience, Ray decided to leverage his future adventures to raising awareness and funding for causes that he supports and believes in. Running The Sahara began a journey of discovery: that we ALL can truly achieve extraordinary things.
Ray founded impossible2Possible (i2P) in 2008. Throughout 2009 to 2012, “Youth Ambassadors” completed six grueling i2P Youth Expeditions to Baffin Island, Tunisia, Amazon, Bolivia, India and Botswana. All expeditions include various challenge-based initiatives through Experiential Learning Programs in which thousands of students participate as active team members during expeditions, from classrooms worldwide.
A member of the board of Directors of Ryan’s Well Foundation, an Athletic Ambassador and Board Memberof ONExONE.org, and a representative of SpreadTheNet, Ray received the 2007 ONExONE Difference Award and the 2010 Torchbearers Award. A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and Canadian Geographical Society, his media appearances include CNN, The Hour, CBC, CTV, BBC, Jay Leno, and Discovery. Ray has spoken at events such as TED, IOC World Conference, The Economist World, and World Affairs Council, spreading the message that we are all capable of the extraordinary in our lives and that in fact, the impossible is possible.
TED Talk: Ray Zahab treks to the South Pole