Rally challenge as students head to Mongolia


Two Lancaster students will be taking on a huge challenge this summer when they participate in the Mongol Rally. Dubbing themselves the ‘Mad Hatters’, third year students Aaron Gregory and Joe Rigby will be braving dirt-track roads and mountainous terrain and heading for Mongolia’s capital Ulan Bator.

Driving a small one-litre car, the pair will start the rally in London and travel unaided through Poland, Russia and Kazakhstan to reach their destination. They will have to navigate their way through a number of deserts and mountain ranges. Only one of them is qualified to drive and neither have any mechanic skills.

“I want to do something different, unusual and crazy; I want to do something epic,” said Rigby.

There are genuine elements of danger which they may encounter on their journey. The group will be travelling through Chernobyl, the location of a major radioactive disaster in 1987. In addition, they may have to deal with bribing officers, roaming bandits and the fact that many of the roads are unmarked, forcing them to rely on primitive forms of navigation. They are also put at risk if they break down, as they will depend on the help of nearby residents and other teams.

“We think it would be good to end our time at uni with a bang, go on a special adventure! We also wanted to do something for charity as well,” said Gregory.

The Mad Hatters are aiming to raise as much money as possible for the Christina Nobel Children’s Foundation, a charity which provides shelter to homeless children in Asia. They also need sponsorship in order to fund the trip. They are therefore appealing for sponsorship from students and businesses alike. The team hope to organise some fundraising events over the course of the summer term and have suggested that any ideas for raising funds are welcome.

The Mad Hatters will have the opportunity on their travels to see how the money they have raised has helped.

“When we reach Mongolia we are hoping to have time to go visit the charity we are donating to, to see what they have been doing with money, and how it’s affected the children,” Rigby said.

If you wish to sponsor the Mad Hatters on their rally across Eastern Europe and through Asia, you can do so via their Facebook page ‘Mongol Rally 2010 – The Mad Hatters!’


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