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Maheta Ram. One of perhaps five remaining fully tatooed Ramnamis _COPYRIGHT_UntamedBorders 2015

Winter 2016 

In this issue:

  • A note from James - The Marathon of Afghanistan
  • Upcoming trips with Untamed Borders
  • Meet the Untamed Borders Team

A note from James Willcox, Founder

Happy New Year!

Looking back, my highlight of 2015 was being involved in organising the first ever international Marathon in Afghanistan. 120 runners took part in the marathon or the associated 10km run and it has been one of the most rewarding things we have ever done.
Londoner Keith MacIntosh or Cake Miktash (as he was referred to in some of the local press) finished first with a very impressive time of 2 hours 55. Given that the entire race was run between 2500 and 3000 metres above sea level that is no mean feat.
The race was not really about who finished on the podium but about competing and running. We were proud that in addition to a handful of international runners, the event had competitors from many of the different ethnic groups of Afghanistan as well as a number of female runners. Seeing the first woman to ever complete a marathon in her own country was a great moment.
The event provided some financial benefit to the community but the lasting impressions were of the international and Afghan runners competing, chatting, inspiring each other and making new friends. This camaraderie is what sporting events are all about.
To see the Marathon of Afghanistan photo gallery on our Facebook page, click here.
  • The Guardian covered the Marathon of Afghanistan in two articles, see here and here.
  • Also the Daily Mail did an article with lots of photographs, see here.
  • Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty produced a video on the Marathon of Afghanistan and its participants, see here.
If the photos and reports inspire you then contact us for packages to the 2016 Marathon or contact the Marathon of Afghanistan website to ask how you can support the event by buying merchandise.
Happy travels for 2016

Upcoming trips with Untamed Borders

We have a full list of our fixed date trips for 2016 on the website. A few of the highlights are below:
  • There are still a few spots left on our Afghan Ski Challenge package. The Afghan Ski Challenge is a ski touring race held high in the peaks of the Hindu Kush. See this link to photos from last year's trip.
  • Our Horn of Africa trip to Ethiopia and Somaliland. We recently guided a trip to the inhospitable Danakil, home to the hottest inhabited place on the planet where temperatures reached 47C. Our guest visited one of the few permanently active lava lakes in the world at Erta Ale and spent time with the Afar tribes people. We will be returning with a group on our Horn of Africa trip in March 2016.
  • In May we return to the mighty mountains of Northern Pakistan on our Karakorum Valleys trip. To catch a glimpse of what this ultimate road trip is like, have a look at these photos of a tailored trip we organised last September.

Meet the Untamed Borders team

There will be a few opportunities to meet the Untamed Borders team over the next few months.
  • Meet James, Kausar and Jan at the Adventure Travel Show in Olympia in London on 23rd & 24th January 2016. On Saturday 23rd James will be talking about Somalia at the event. It is a ticketed event but you can get your tickets to The Adventure Travel Show 2016 for only £4 when booking in advance! Just quote ‘UNTAMED’ when booking tickets online at or when calling 0871 230 7159 .
  • James has also been asked to talk at the Royal Geographical Society as one of their microlectures on 16th March 2016. He will be talking about Puntland. Note that this talk is yet to be confirmed. Contact us or the RGS for details.
  • If you find yourself in St Moritz over the winter then do make sure you pop into the Bamiyan Ski Club bar and restaurant. Every drink sees some money go towards the Bamiyan Ski Club in Afghanistan and do ask about Ali Shah and Sajjad – two Afghan skiers currently in Switzerland being trained at the resort of St Moritz with the aim of competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
If any of the above sounds tempting or you want to meet one of the Untamed Borders team for a chat then please get in touch.

The Untamed Borders Team
January 2016
Copyright © 2016 Untamed Borders Ltd, All rights reserved.

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