On July 16th Michael Silvester (29), an Engineering draftsman from Palmerston North will be joining 345 competitors at the start line for the 2017 Mongol Rally, racing in support of the Men’s Health Trust.
The race spans over 10,000 miles from Chichester, England to Ulan Ude, Russia, across mountains, deserts and the steppe of Europe and Asia. It will take Michael and his team, the Battered Sav, across 17 countries in a journey expected to take between 45 and 50 days.
If that wasn’t enough of a challenge, there’s a key requirement for all vehicles in this race – organisers stipulate that they be less than 1000cc and preferably as farcically small as possible.
“There’s no backup, no support and no set route. If nothing goes wrong, everything has gone wrong. Bollocks to tarmac, ABS and gadgets that help you find your navel. The Mongol Rally is about getting lost, using your long neglected wits, raising shedloads of cash for charity and scraping into the finish line with your vehicle in tatters and a wild grin smeared across your grubby face. Neither your car, nor your life, will ever be the same again.”
Michael admits that he hasn’t been a role model himself in terms of getting regular health checks but he believes the Mens Health Trust message is important.
He’ll be joined by a small but multinational team, Lauren Thomas (26) an Exploration Geologist from Perth, and Richard Thalmann (28) an American Financial Project Manager working in London. They’ve sourced a 1997 Nissan Micra for the journey, and visas for 7 countries. They expect to cross France, Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Krygzystan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia then back into Russia to the finish line in Ulan Ude.
There are no prizes for winning this one. It’s all about the adventure.
Michael will be posting pics and videos all the way. Follow the journey on the “Battered Sav” Facebook page.
CLICK TO DONATE to Michael’s Mongol Rally Give-A-Little fundraising page. All funds raised will be split between the Men’s Health Trust and Cool Earth.