Ambulance team close in on Mongolia

A TEAM of Essex boys have nearly made it to Mongolia in an ambulance as they continue on an inter-continental charity rally.

Elliot Furniss

A TEAM of Essex boys have nearly made it to Mongolia in an ambulance as they continue on an inter-continental charity rally.

The Gobi Ambulance team have been driving across Europe and Asia for the past month, taking part in the Mongol Rally in a bid to raise cash for a number of organisations, and are close to reaching their final destination.

The event - a cross between 1960s cartoon series Wacky Races and TV's Scrapheap Challenge - has seen the quartet travel in a 1978 former St John Ambulance.


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Made up from old school friends Matthew Booth, 28, Russell Nunn, 28, and Stuart Garnham, 29, as well as work colleague Mark Logan, 29, the team started preparations back in February and have covered thousands of miles on their journey.

They have also been keeping an online “blog” of their progress and have uploaded pictures as they make their way to Mongolia via Uzbekistan, Iran, Russia, and a host of other countries.

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Writing on his blog from the Altai Mountains in Russia, Mr Booth said: “Sixty miles to go until our final country and as the beginning of the end of our epic journey is upon us, we're all in very high spirits and looking forward to the challenges Mongolia is about to throw at us.”

The men, who went to school together in Chelmsford but now live in Surrey, aim to rendezvous with other racers in Ulan Bator by August 23 in time for a welcome party.

They have had some close encounters with local law enforcement officers in some of the more remote places they have travelled through and have taken part in a number of activities including sky-diving.

At the end of the race the vehicles will get auctioned off for charity - in order to enter in the first place the teams had to raise at least £1,000 for their chosen causes.

As they travel, the team are raising cash for the Mercy Corps, the Farleigh Hospice Hope and Homes for Children and, of course, the St John Ambulance.

The rally started in Hyde Park on July 19 and the ambulance has already passed through France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Russia.

For more information about the event or to sponsor the friends visit www.gobi-ambulance.org.uk.

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