It’s a long way to Mongolia
Mongolia is the destination of Gleb Maguire, Seán Noel and a 25-year-old Nissan Micra.
The guys plan to leave for the Central Asian country in July as part of a fundraiser for the Irish Kidney Association.
Gleb does not care about the 10,500 km journey they will have to undertake.
“It will take more than a month in total. Probably six weeks. It’s something different, something out of the comfort zone, you know?
The unusual fundraising idea will see them travel to Mongolia as part of the annual Mongolian Rally, which sees participants cross Europe into Central Asia. According to the rules, participants must raise funds for charity and can only use a car with an engine under 1.2 liters. No support teams are allowed and no racing is allowed on public roads.
Participants congregate in Prague, where the rally officially begins, and most take one of three routes, through Moscow, Kyiv and Istanbul.
Gleb and Seán plan to take the northern route to Mongolia, through Norway, Sweden, Finland and across Russia, to Mongolia and to the finish line in Ulan-Ude in Russia , just north of the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar.
Gleb is told there are many other ways, some would say less stressful and dangerous ways, to raise money for charity.
“Yes, we could shake buckets, but this is something different. It’s something you will never forget. It’s a certain experience. Basically, you’re on your own, there’s no backup. If the car breaks down, you have to fix it.
While calling it a rally conjures up images of Colin McRae drifting around a gravelly bend, the Mongol Rally is more about experience than racing.
Participants can travel alone or in groups, providing the moral support that would undoubtedly be needed as they traverse some of the most remote and disadvantaged regions of the world.
Although they are not expected in Prague until July 17, Gleb and Seán have already begun the fundraising effort. Just over €200 has been raised to date, out of a target of €2,500.
The money raised will go to the Irish Kidney Association, an important choice for Gleb.
“My dad had a kidney transplant and they do a great job in Dublin with all the organ donations so I decided to do it for them.
“Dad is fantastic. 100%, it flies.
The requirement for a car under 1.2 liters limits the choice, but the decision to go with a 1997 Nissan Micra will no doubt raise a few eyebrows; especially with a rough and difficult journey of more than 10,500 km ahead.
“It’s only got 40,000 miles, one owner from new. I got it cheap but it’s pretty solid. If we have a few spares then that’s fine.
Gleb and Sean plan to launch their fundraiser in July, no doubt hoping it will be a case of Genghis Kahn, rather than Genghis Kahn not.
They accept donations on their GoFundMe page.