Meet the Fascinating Athlete Who Will Run From Abu Simbel to Alexandria in 45 Days
You think you’ve heard it all when it comes to the unsung heroes and daredevils of Egypt, then someone just raises the bar and does the impossible. Meet the man who plans on running from Egypt’s deep south all the way to the Mediterranean. Today is all about 31-year-old Athlete, Omar El-Galla, who is no stranger to hardships when going face-to-face with Egypt’s deserts. After traveling 6,500 KM across Egypt in 65 days by bike, the young Egyptian now has big plans ahead of him and this time he’s ditching the bike.
Fascinated with how big the world is, its countries, cultures, and languages, Omar has always been a travel lover. His journey with unconventional travel started after memorizing his first encyclopedia. During our long talk with Omar, the next-big-thing remembered the first time he encouraged his parents and four brothers to travel to Europe via a budget-friendly land route.
He always knew he loved traveling the world, exploring cultures, and meeting new people, yet as he grew older, he eventually settled for working in his family business in what he recalls as the ‘dark times’. Throughout his businessman years, on work-related trips, he would walk, cycle, and run through the countries and stayed in hostels. The fancy life was not his cup of tea.
With multiple track and field championships under his belt, the man decided to take cardio to a whole new level. After hearing about a Canadian man who walked across the world in 11 years, Omar El-Galla recognized his calling.
“During a trip to Europe, I was in Holland at a friend’s place. I bought a random bike from a Sunday market, strapped my backpack to the bike and my back, had my jeans on and started cycling all the way to Paris. It took me 10 days. It was fascinating and validated how I wanted to travel,” Omar told us.
This led to his latest achievement, cycling across Egypt in 65 days. Now, it’s time for a new challenge and it’s all on foot. The athlete realized he hasn’t cycled by Egypt’s River Nile yet and decided to enjoy the scenery during his very long run. El-Galla will be moving his way across Egypt, all by himself, for 1,500 km with just a backpack and some food and water. Not even a support car or cameraman will tag along.
As for the expected challenges during his trip, “The most difficult part would be finding water and food supplies, especially in the first 300 km. The area is completely desolate without even food. In addition to trying to avoid being eaten by wolves, the weather is also going to be hot. Finding a place to sleep is challenging as well, yet I usually sleep in a coffee shop, mosque, by the road, or I can set my tent. No hotels,” Omar explained.
I couldn’t help but wonder which part of Egypt he loved the most during his cycling trip. “It’s hard to say which part of Egypt is my favorite. Yet, cycling at Saint Catherine was memorable. However, the best coast in Egypt has to be the area between Marsa Allam and Berenice. It was absolutely stunning,” he added
The runner has been training with Founder of Move Egypt, Coach Ali Ismail, to get him in perfect shape and to avoid injuries. Training started at half a marathon and moved up to 15 and 45 km runs from Zamalek to Sherouk.
With a bag full of calorie calculated food, some water, and a change of clothes, the roads will be explored for the first time during the run, starting March 15th. Omar El-Galla would ideally run for six hours daily, yet nothing is guaranteed on the road. We wish you nothing but the best of luck.