About the Actor
Matt Damon, Produced and Narrated Running The Sahara and focused on the film's ability to bring light to the water crisis in Africa. Matt's philanthropic interests have always been a part of his career. He was the founder of H2O Africa Foundation, the charitable arm of the Running the Sahara expedition, which merged with WaterPartners to create Water.org in July 2009. Along with frequent co-stars George Clooney and Brad Pitt, supports ONE, a campaign fighting AIDS and poverty in Third World countries. He has appeared in their print and television advertising. Damon is also an ambassador for OneXOne, a non-profit foundation committed to supporting, preserving and improving the lives of children at home in Canada, the United States, and around the world. Damon, along with George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Don Cheadle, and Jerry Weintraub, is one of the founders of Not On Our Watch, an organization that focuses global attention and resources to stop and prevent mass atrocities such as in Darfur. Charlie Engle, USA Expedition Team Leader / Expedition Originator A 42-year-old American father of two boys, a television producer, and one of the best ultra distance marathon runners in the world today, Engle has been a runner, climber, and adventure racer for more than 30 years. He recently finished first in both a race across the Gobi Desert and in a seven-day race through the Amazon jungle. He has crossed the Atacama Desert in Chile, charted the jungles of Vietnam and Borneo, climbed to the top of the volcanoes in Ecuador, summited Mt. McKinley, and has run across Death Valley. He sees running the Sahara as a personal quest to find fulfillment through both physical and mental challenges, believing that it will be an unparalleled journey of discovery. Ray Zahab, Canada Late in 1998, Ray made a life changing decision to leave a pack-a-day smoking habit and very unhealthy life choices behind him. On New Year's Day 2000, he decided to go hiking with his brother John and has never looked back. New to the sport of running in 2004, ultra-marathoning took Ray from the cold north of Canada to the Amazon jungle. But it was the Sahara desert that ultimately captured Ray's heart. After witnessing and experiencing the water crisis and malaria epidemic in Africa, Ray decided to dedicate his future adventures to raising awareness and funding for causes that he supports and believes in..Ray is a member of the board of Directors of the Ryan's Well Foundation, is the official Athletic Ambassador to the ONExONE organization, and is a representative of SpreadTheNet and the founder of Impossible2Possible. On January 7, 2009 Ray and two other Canadians, broke the world speed record from Hercules Inlet to the Geographic South Pole. In the process, Ray became the first person to trek to the South Pole on this traditional 1130 km route solely on foot. This expedition provided young people with an interactive platform and educational resources through a ground-breaking website. Kevin Lin, Taiwan 28 years old and living like a rock star in Taipei, Taiwan, Kevin is one of the most well known endurance athletes in all of Asia. A full-time graduate student, he recently won the first ever 150-mile (241-kilometer) race across the Atacama Desert in Chile, dancing across the finish line while more than half the field had to be rescued from the course.
Running the Sahara is a 2007 documentary feature film that chronicles Ray Zahab, Charlie Engle, and Kevin Lin's attempt to run across the entire Sahara desert. They traveled a total of 6920 kilometers, reaching the Red Sea on February 20, 2007.