Three men to run ultra-marathon across Sahara for documentary

Three men will attempt to become the first to run 4,000 miles (6,400 kilometers) across the Sahara as part of a new movie from actor Matt Damon's production company, according to a media report.

Charlie Engle, 43, of Summerfield, will be joined by Kevin Lin, of Taiwan, and Ray Zahab, of Canada, as he attempts to run 50 miles (80 kilometers) for 10 to 12 hours a day for 80 straight days across the Sahara Desert in northern Africa, the News & Record reported.

Engle got the idea for the Saharan run three years ago when he won a race across the Gobi Desert in northern China and southern Mongolia. Then he persuaded Academy Award winner Matt Damon's film company, LivePlanet, to do a documentary about it, the paper reported.

"I'm not satisfied with things that don't test my abilities," Engle told the newspaper.

Damon will narrate the film. Called "Running the Sahara" it will cover human endurance and the diversity of the Sahara, its 2.5 million mostly nomadic people and their daily struggle to find water.

Damon will officially announce the documentary Sept. 10 at the Toronto Film Festival, where it will premiere the same time next year, the paper reported. Shooting and running begin Oct. 25 in Senegal and should end Jan. 25 at the Red Sea in Egypt.

Engle, who kicked alcohol and cocaine addictions to become an ultra-marathoner, began entering such competitions in jungles in the Amazon, Borneo, Chile and Vietnam. His victories include the Amazon race. Twice he has placed third in a nonstop 135-mile (217-kilometer) race across Death Valley, reports AP.

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