EngineerIndia, Resident in United Arab Emirates
Gene Georgia is an engineer with Emirates National Company. Originally from India, Gene currently lives in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Gene easily adapts to any environment whether sweltering heat or cold. At ease at in any capacity, Gene is eager to meet people and excited to see places that he could possibly never have experienced if not for races like the Gobi March in Mongolia.
Travel Consultant (Bhutan)Singapore
Mee (MeeMee) Ong is Singaporean and a travel consultant for Druk Asia Pte Ltd of Bhutan. She enjoys meeting like-minded people. She has been involved in many volunteer initiatives ranging from beach clean ups to sports clubs to guiding to personal hygiene lessons. MeeMee has already been across Mongolia on a 23-day trip in 2022..
Operations ManagerUnited States, Resident in Mongolia
4 Deserts Club member Jacqueline Eastridge returns to the volunteer team for Gobi March (Mongolia) 2023. Jacqueline is not only an impressive careerwoman and a successful endurance athlete but she most recently was Peace Corps volunteer in Mongolia followed by a teaching stint at an international school also in Mongolia. In addition to completing the 4 Deserts Ultramarathon Series, Jacqueline has finished RacingThePlanet: Iceland 2013, Primal Quest Race and the Trans Alpine Run as well as high altitude climbs in Switzerland, France and Germany and a 16-mile swim in Tampa Bay, Florida. She was a member of the Team USA Dragonboat Team which competed in the World Championships in Shanghai, China; Berlin, Germany; Sydney, Australia; and Szigid, Hungary. Fluent in English and German and adept at working in international locations and under pressure, Jacqueline will no doubt be a valuable team member this year assisting with operations at the Gobi March.
Janka Dolezal from Cologne, Germany is a life coach who helps people to heal their childhood trauma and live a prosperous life. The Gobi March in Mongolia is her fourth experience at a RacingThePlanet Ultramarathon. She has supported her boyfriend, Ivan, who will also be competing at the Gobi March, in Transgrancanaria, Bluetrail, Vulcano, Ultracostarica and Island ultramarathons. She is full of energy, funny, positive, strong, supportive and not afraid of really hard work.
Artist / IllustratorUnited Kingdom
We are excited to welcome Jo Scott back to her fifth RacingThePlanet Ultramarathon. Jo also has lots of experience providing support for runners in other ultramarathons too - usually in colder and wetter conditions in the north of England. Jo is a full-time artist and illustrator who used to work with software providers for the arts and sporting industries, managing customers as diverse as the Tate Galleries and Silverstone Race Circuit. She has herself competed in triathlons and running events, and is a long-distance hiker. Jo designed the special poster given to finishers of the 4 Deserts Grand Slam (Plus).
Recently retired, Sandy Kondo of Japan is a natural organizer with a flair for multi-tasking. She previously worked for South African Embassy in Tokyo while also overseeing the RacingThePlanet office in Japan. Kind and generous, Sandy has assisted dozens of RacingThePlanet competitors in preparing for the races. One of our best-known cheerleaders, she has volunteered to support runners at six RacingThePlanet events before she joined them to race on her own competing at RacingThePlanet: Jordon 2012, and also in Madagascar in 2014. Sandy's also got a track record in event volunteering, having worked at the Comrades Marathon in South Africa, Tokyo Marathon in Japan and, most importantly, multiple RacingThePlanet Ultramarathons.
Competing with he son Dan, John Bonallack of New Zealand has completed the Sahara Race (Egypt0 and the Atacama Crossing (Chile) as well as seven other ultramarathons – the Marathon des Sables, the Jungle Marathon, the Himalaya Run & Trek, G2G, Greenland Adventure Race, Arctic Circle Race, and the World Future Cycle Challenge (Australia). He's completed every race he's started, ranking from mid-field to last place (in the Arctic Circle Race). His last ultramarathon was the Atacama Crossing in 2015 when he turned 70! Now aged 77, John is healthy and continues to stay fit still doing a lot of hiking and biking. As a rural teacher, he served in the local volunteer fire brigade and as an ambulance driver and paramedic.
Head of Conservation MarketingUnited Kingdom, Resident in United Arab Emirates
Hannah Hall, originally from the United Kingdom, currently lives in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. She is Head of Conservation Marketing for the Arbor School as well as an ambassador for Free to Run, an NGO that provides outdoor opportunities for women in conflict zones such as Afghanistan, South Sudan and Iraq, among other countries.
Doctoral Student (Psychology)Germany
Lena Sasse of Germany is a 25-year-old doctoral student in psychology. Lena has wanted to go to Mongolia since she was a child –she loves to travel and see different landscapes and cultures. During her time at university, she met people from all over the world, which was an experience she really enjoyed. She thinks volunteering at the Gobi March in Mongolia will be a great opportunity to combine her likings and to give something to other people while also growing as a person.
Loic LE JANNOU
Trekking Pole InstructorFrance, Resident in Hong Kong
Loic Le Jannou is originally from France but has lived in Hong Kong since 1993. Loic has been involved in sports his entire life and started trail running in 2007 running in Hong Kong, Nepal, Mongolia and China but has switched to being a sweeper in 2014. Loic still runs races occasionally but has swept 84 races so far (and still going) and started marking races mostly recently. He has friends who just completed RacingThePlanet: Lapland 2022 and told him at once that RacingThePlanet was for him! Loic loves to help the runners and the atmosphere of trail races and competition. Loic invented an original universal method (for all levels) to use trekking poles and has been teaching it for nearly two years which is his main activity now. Loic is outspoken, extraverted and loves to make people laugh and be happy. You may see Loic playing the guitar and singing at camp.
Malaysian Arthur Chin recent retired as a partner after a 30-year career with KPMG in Malaysia. Arthur is an active member of Lions Clubs International providing him with great experience with volunteerism and humanitarian endeavors. Arthur is physically fit and an active long distance runner and trekker.
Charlie Latham from the UK is passionate about writing, running, and events. He has worked at 60-80 events as both a volunteer and in paid positions over the last decade. Most of these events were music festivals but he has also worked on Ironman events, a couple of marathons, sports events, dog shows, and other events. He has experience in almost every aspect of events and loves every part of putting on an event and making the best experience possible for everyone attending. He is also a qualified counsellor and has worked in a residential mental health house for six months with people who had been in hospital for multiyear periods and were unable to care for themselves. Before the pandemic he was on a mission to go around the world without flying, and after 2.5 years he had made it from London to Panama but unfortunately had to end the trip due to the pandemic. He has extensive travel experience and this has helped him to be adaptive to different experiences and he gets along with almost everyone. Charlies is a runner, but nothing as crazy as the Gobi March and he looks forward to bringing smiles and positive energy throughout the seven-day race.
Ai ling LEE
Graduate Student CounselingMalaysia
Ai Ling Lee is from Malaysia. Ai Ling's life is driven by a quote from George Bernard Shaw, "I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”. Ai Ling enjoys learning and constantly seeks new opportunities. Ai Ling is looking forward to the Gobi March to support and witness runners as they achieve their goals. Ai Ling knows it is going to be a uniquely rewarding experience.
StudentFrance, Resident in Italy
Yann Mattana is a student in electronics and mechanics from Italy. Yann's father is competing in the Gobi March 2023.
Self-Employed BusinessmanSouth Africa
John Williamson is an experienced endurance athlete who finished the demanding Bull of Africa, a six-day non-stop adventure race in South Africa. He has also competed at a national level in the Landrover G4 Challenge and Southern Storm stage race. He describes himself as never turning down a challenge. This might explain how he is able to manage and own seven quick-service restaurants in South Africa. John volunteered at the Atacama Crossing (Chile) 2011 and RacingThePlanet: Nepal 2011 before completing races as a competitor at RacingThePlanet: Jordan 2012, RacingThePlanet: Iceland 2013, RacingThePlanet: Sri Lanka 2016, Gobi March (China) 2017 and RacingThePlanet: New Zealand 2019. He also volunteered at the Sahara Race (Namibia) 2016, Namib Race (Namibia) 2018 and the Special Edition of RacingThePlanet (Georgia) 2022. John is now returning for his sixth time on the volunteer team at the Gobi March (Mongolia) 2023, again as part of the Course Team.
ConsultantUnited Kingdom, Resident in Hong Kong
Douglas is a life-long resident of Hong Kong where he worked in the finance sector for many years. He competed in the Gobi March 2005 and the Atacama Crossing 2006, and was a volunteer at the Gobi March 2006. His wife and daughter have completed numerous RacingThePlanet Ultramarathons. Douglas can't wait to explore Mongolia and support racers from all over the world.
Doreen Hoffman is an attorney in the United States. She is an ultramarathon and Ironman athlete who started her RacingThePlanet journey at the Sahara Race (Egypt) 2006. Doreen went on to join the Gobi March (China) 2008, RacingThePlanet: Iceland 2013, the Gobi March (Mongolia) 2019, Namib Race (Namibia) 2022 and The Last Desert (Antarctica) 2022. We are delighted to welcome Doreen to the Gobi March (Mongolia) 2023 as a volunteer. An all-round sportswoman, she recently joined the 4 Deserts Club. She says: "Anything that gets me outside is welcomed in my life!"