EY partner Christoph Harreither first discovered his passion for extremes when he participated in a stage run through the Alps in 2008. Ever since he is looking for challenges in extreme races such as the “Trail du Mont-Blanc” or multi stages races through the Gobi desert.
Harreither dedicates his next run to our new education project “Desert Flower gives your power”. Every donation will go to a first reading book for Little Desert Flowers.
What is your personal motive for participating in such extreme races?
In short: Extreme landscapes, exciting encounters with locals and the major challenges, adding the unpredictable component, makes the adventure complete. You can’t simulate jungle trails with a high humidity in Vienna. You could run in a sauna, but that is not the same. The chance to meet a jaguar or a cobra outside the zoo in our surroundings is very low. Those kind of adventures you can only experience locally. That’s the essence of an adventure.
The race through the Antarctica is one of the thoughest in the world, how and how long did you prepare yourself for this race?
My whole life. The physical training is one thing, but the mental training, which I have been doing my whole life now, is a different one, which is essential to the success. Countless times my body told me that I have reached the limit, but had a different plan. It was my mind, who brought me to the finish line.
In real life this means: I wake up at 4 am and think about the race. During the week I run about 100km and before I go to bed on a sunday I think about the race again. It’s pretty simple but it works.
Why did you choose to support the Desert Flower Foundation?
Most of my competitions took place in deserts. Whether it is the Atacama in Chile, the Gobi Desert in China or the Kalahari Desert in South Africa, all of these landscapes and their inhabitants perform a great attraction to me. Wheter these are the dry deserts or as in this case an ice desert- these are the most beautiful regions in the world for me.
The Desert Flower Foundation has its origin and focus in the desert. Waris Dirie’s books inspired me very much and I want to contribute my part in order for the desert to bloom. The foundation’s new education project has my full support.
Why do you think education is the key to empowerment and the way out of poverty?
The main problem of underdeveloped countries is the lack of education. I can only come to water when I know how to build a well. I can only stop bad traditions, if I know that there are other options. Without education there is no development and therefore no improvement.
Between 19. and 28. november Christoph Harreither will cross the Antarctica. We wish him good luck and thank him very much for his athletic support!
You can also support Harreither’s race by purchasing a first reading book for a Little Desert Flower and give them a key to better education!