Three Dunbar skaters are planning an amazing trip to Mongolia in aid of their skate park.
The trio are taking part in the 2012 Mongol Rally, driving a third of the way around the world from Britain to the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar.
Given that Gary Dunham, Max Schonwalder and Gary Muldoon are going to be spending the best part of five or six weeks cooped up in one car, they say it is a good job they are friends.
The funds raised by the trip are going to be split between two charities. Some goes towards The Lotus Children’s Centre, which helps vulnerable children in Mongolia. The rest is going to The Space, the skate park in Dunbar that the three friends helped set up three years ago.
The three are well aware that this is not your average charity trip. Before signing up, they were warned by the organisers: ‘This is not a glorified holiday. It’s an unsupported adventure and so by its very nature extremely risky.
‘You really are on your own and you really are putting both your health and life at risk.’
But Gary Dunham says they cannot wait for the experience: “It will be great to see all these countries, and the different cultures. The most difficult part so far has been getting visas to get us through Russia and Kazakhstan.”
And he’s not letting his lack of off-roading experience faze him.
“I’ve driven in a field, and that’s about it!
“But in Romania there’s a road called the Transfagarasan, which was voted as the best road in the world on Top Gear.”
The Transfagarasan should test the driving skills of the 300 teams from all over the world, as it snakes along the summits of the Carpathian Moutnains.
Gary Muldoon stressed that it was not a race, and he just wants to enjoy the sights and the challenge, but “there’s already been a bit of banter with some other teams.”
The boys will be doing all this not in a 4x4, but a Skoda. Muldoon said: “A garage in Dunbar made us a roof rack and modified the exhaust, but it’s not souped up really. It’s still a Skoda Fabia!”
After finishing the trip, the Fabia will be auctioned off for charity and the three will fly home.
If you want to donate or provide sponsorship, head to the team’s justgiving site at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/genghiskhannyskate, or e-mail directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.