This is one competition that is definitely not for the adventure posers. You know, those whose idea of an adventure is hitting up the local creek for a 4 hour paddle in their sticker clad SUV with Starbucks in hand. Forget it. To compete in this event, competitors must be willing to deal with prolonged pain, complete ambiguity, hostile border police, mud soaked living quarters and extreme discomfort in exchange for stunning scenery, outrageous experiences and the adventure of a lifetime.
Overland from the UK to Mongolia
Imagine taking the Gumball 3000, and multiplying the distance threefold, then adding in 1,000 miles of off-road that would make a Land Rover shit itself. On top of that, take the race and plop it down in some of the more unstable countries of the world while limiting the budget to say a few thousand dollars. Intrigued?
The Mongol Rally has three classes but for the sake of adventure, participants are encouraged to tackle the race with the biggest rolling jalopy, turd of a vehicle they can find. The organizers say “We miss being able to fix the cars with chewing gum and a baked bean can. We don’t understand diagnostic systems, we prefer hammers.”
Choose your Class
4 Wheels of Semi-Wonder – Cars with engines no larger than 1 litre. Think Ford Fiesta or an orginal Mini Cooper. Here’s a list of cars that make the cut.
2 Wheels of Destiny – Take on the 10,000 mile course on 2 wheels of your choice, as long as its engine is less than 125cc. Mopeds are preferred. Here’s a site with some Bad Ass Mopeds
Comedy Exemption – For those that have found a vehicle to take on the world that is completely stupid. Maybe a 3 wheeled Bat Mobile or a solar powered Pinto disguised as an elephant. Here’s some Goofy Inspiration from Pinterest.
The Mongol Rally is “10,000 miles of feral, unsupported adventuring chaos from the UK to Mongolia in cars the size of lawnmowers.” You are completely on you own and unsupported, no chase trucks, no fan parties and for much of the race, no cell phone coverage. The race is organized by the Adventurists, an outfit out of the UK who run a series of extremely creative, dangerous and insane adventure competitions. The Mongol Rally is “not clever, not safe and you might not finish but it is the greatest adventure on the planet.”
No Car Left Behind
Potential racers should also beware that there is a strict “No Car Left Behind Policy”. So if you make it to the finish in the Mongolian capital city of Ulan Bator, you must also arrange for a way of getting your vehicle home. You can either ship it home, or for an extra pat on the back, do the entire race in reverse. Getting your vehicle home is on you but the policy is enforced by a refundable vehicle deposit to be sure no one leaves their car in Mongolia.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Time: At least six weeks off of work from July 19 – August 30, 2014
Entry Fee: £630 per car or £350 per bike (in USD that’s ~$1,000 per car or $600 per bike)
Vehicle: Variable cost but Turds are usually pretty cheap. See classes above.
Other Stuff: Money for fuel, food, incidentals, £1,000 (~ $1700 US) to ship your vehicle home, visas, passports, insurance (good luck with that one)
2014 will be the 10th annual running of the Mongol Rally. Here is some advice from the brave and fortunate few who’ve taken on the challenge.
“Once you’ve done the Mongol Rally you stop waiting for life to come to you and you start running head long at it.” — Neal Parsons – 2011
“Because everyone deserves to do something truly stupid once in their lives.” — Kurtis Beacroft – 2009
“Don’t do the Mongol Rally, you will get addicted to adventures and freedom, bad things will turn in good things and you will find out what really matters… And after the wonderful toilets on the way, no showers and sleep in tents or in the car, you will be back at work and nothing will make sense again, and you will look for the next adventure and ask your self what is going to be next, how long will it be to drive again on those insane roads?”— Fabio Diez – 2013
There’s still plenty time to sign up and save up for this year’s event. Go to The Adventurists site at www.theadventurists.com for more information. We’re sure there will be some special experiences for the 10 year anniversary.