From driving to Mongolia in tiny cars to crossing India in tuk-tuks, amateur teams on extreme unsupported adventures organised by The Adventurists have used the unusual format of the trips to raise huge sums for charity despite the gloomy financial environment.
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 financially turbulent times the teams are able to prise open the charitable pockets of their friends, family and sponsors and help with The Adventurists mission: 'Fighting to make the world less boring and save a bit of it at the same time.'
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 and others, with no back up, no support and no set route. Each team has to raise a minimum of £1000 for charity which is donated directly, while a separate entry fee is paid to The Adventurists covers the event costs.
The official charity for the Rickshaw Run India is Frank Water. Founder Katie Alcott said: “The extraordinary support from Rickshaw Run teams 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 Chrstina 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, 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 aguided tour up a mountain or staying in a hotel with less than four stars.
In 2004 six amateur 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 concept exploded in popularity with almost 1000 people in 400 teams expected to take part in 2012.
The Adventurists, based in the UK, was founded by Tom Morgan and continues to look for new adventures to help with the fight to make the world less boring.
In 2011 the first ASEAN Rickshaw Run took place in South East Asia and was recognised by the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) as an official event to highlight tourism and connectivity across the region. It was launched by the ASEAN Secretary General from the Secretariat building in Jakarta and finished in Krabi, Thailand.
In February 2012 the Pioneer edition of the Ice Run sees 10 teams driving Ural motorbikes with sidecars along frozen rivers in Siberia.
For more information about The Adventurists and to sign up for an adventure visit: