Dr Georgios-Ioannis Tsianos has become the first person to complete three of the World’s toughest physical challenges whilst simultaneously raising awareness for the Operation Wallacea Trust.
UK based doctor Georgios-Ioannis Tsianos, from Greece, has become the first person in history to complete the world’s highest climb on Everest, swim the rough waters of the English Channel, and successfully run the Marathon des Sables. Generally considered to be the toughest footrace on Earth, the Marathon des Sables covers 250km in six days across the Sahara Desert of Morocco, and Georgios completed the race and made history.
The race was the culmination of years of intense training for Georgios, who has run up to 100 kilometres per week in preparation for the event, whilst even turning his spare bedroom into a Saharan furnace by installing heaters to help his body prepare for the 50°C temperature he would need to endure in order to compete in the race.
Talking about his achievement, Georgios-Ioannis Tsianos commented: “What a privilege it is to be the first person in history to have achieved the Ice Water Fire challenge; the personal stories and experiences along the way, are simply invaluable. The Marathon des Sables turned out to be a rollercoaster of an event during which I had to get through adversity to get to the finish, and by doing so I proudly carried with me the Opwall Trust’s environmental message”.
Georgios ran the Marathon des Sables in support of the Opwall Trust, a UK-based charity working with local communities in developing countries to provide commercially viable enterprises linked to the conservation of biodiversity. Environmental degradation and natural resource overexploitation, particularly in the tropics, are widespread. However, the underlying stimulus is seldom greed, but instead is due to desperation and a lack of alternatives amongst communities already living below the poverty line. The Opwall Trust designs and implements the alternative income streams they so desperately need to protect local wildlife for the long term.
Speaking about the trust, the founder, Tim Coles OBE says: “If you live in a poor rural community in a developing country then wildlife conservation is often not top of your agenda compared to the daily struggle to feed and educate your kids! What the Opwall Trust does is to design and invest in small local businesses that are linked to the whole community agreeing not to deforest or hunt in the adjacent forests so there is a direct link between wildlife conservation and raising living standards.”
For more information about the Ice Fire Water callange, visit www.icewaterfire.com