MIR’s 30 Years: Overland Expeditions – Running Through Russia and Beyond (VIDEO)
(Douglas Grimes is co-founder and president of MIR Corporation.)
MIR is well known for creating imaginative overland expeditions by car, motorcycle, and 4x4s. Yet one of the most memorable, complex expeditions our MIR team ever undertook was on foot: working with 79 participants on “Blue Planet Run,” including trainers, our support staff team, and the runners who ran all the way across Russia and beyond for 5,500 miles – a journey of inspiration, dedication and generosity. In all, the runners covered 15,200 miles in 16 countries in 95 days.
This video highlights how our MIR team not only was challenged by the complex layers of logistics, but also inspired by these dedicated teams running through Russia and beyond, promoting their global cause for cleaner, safer water.
It wasn’t easy, since we had to measure in one-runner increments in about 8-minute miles, or about 10 kilometers for each runner. We knew each participant would run for about 90 minutes at a time and then pass the baton on to the next runner; that meant each runner on each team was on the road for six hours a day. When one runner was finished with his or her running slot, the other runners would be waiting, having gone on ahead – nighttime, daytime, 24/7.
We at MIR had to figure out where the first runner would begin and end his or her segment, then do the same for the next runner, and the next runner. Once we determined that, we also had to figure out the best place for everyone to spend each night so they weren’t too far from the next place. That’s not easy in places like Siberia!
We also arranged for 10 mini-vans to travel with the runners, shuttling them each time they were starting and finishing their legs of the journey – a lot of miles. Another layer of tasks involved finding precise locations of gas stations for those vehicles, necessary driving permits, as well as preparing in advance for emergency repairs.
It was a dynamic epic journey for these dedicated international Blue Planet Runners, and for all of us at MIR. With so many complexities and logistical challenges, this multi-country overland expedition on foot was worth it for a most worthy cause: illuminating the global issues of clean water, and offering solutions for bringing safe drinking water to so much of the world’s population.
More on “MIR’s 30 Years”
Learn more about “MIR’s 30 Years” in the stories below, all embedded with videos. They include MIR’s beginnings and the mindset and mission of MIR’s president and co-founder, Douglas Grimes; MIR’s utterly unique travel offerings at the crossroads of Europe and Asia; and Siberia, one of MIR’s favorites specialties.
- “Imagine Your Journey with MIR” (story); view video – MIR’s 30-year expertise in making dream trips come true.
- “198os Volleyball Diplomacy, and MIR’s Beginning” (story); view video – Volleyball is the game changer: a young Douglas Grimes dreams big, and his (MIR) world changes forever.
- “Back in the U.S.S.R.” (story); view video – Traveling back in time to MIR’s mid-1980s beginning, and a watershed decision.
MIR’s One-of-a-Kind Journeys
- “Handcrafted Journeys: Making MIR Movies” (story); view video – MIR’s memorable custom, private journeys are akin to making movies, including tracing family history “back in the old country.”
- “Epic Journeys: Ultimate Dream Trips” (story); view video – MIR’s adventurous overland expeditions include one Canadian couple’s extensive yearly travels, from driving along the Silk Road to motoring through China, Siberia, and the Balkans.
- “Beyond the Stars, Inside the Russian Space Program” (story); view video – MIR President Douglas Grimes’ favorite tour harkens back to the U.S.-Soviet space race, from exploring Star City’s once-classified cosmonaut training facility to witnessing the manned launch of a Soyuz spacecraft.
- “Overland Expeditions: Roving the World in Land Rovers” (story); view Land Rovers video – Land-roving at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, MIR creates an ambitious itinerary for 54 participants and 18 vehicles, from Kazakhstan to Turkey.
Siberia, A MIR Specialty
- “Why I’m Sold on Siberia” (story); view video – Countless reasons why MIR President Douglas Grimes loves this vast, pristine place.
- “Siberia’s Beauty of Lake Baikal” (story); view video – MIR President Douglas Grimes’ lasting memories of this legendary lake in Siberia.
- “Overland Expeditions: Channeling Siberia” (story); view video – One of MIR President Douglas Grimes’ early (ad)ventures into Siberia with one channeler, her five dozen followers, and their six sacred crystals.
- “Overland Expeditions: Driving Siberia and Beyond” (story); view video – MIR helps intrepid motorists re-create the 1908 automotive Great Race in their 1928 vintage car, down to gas station locations in Siberia and tricky border crossings.
- “Overland Expeditions: Running Through Russia and Beyond” (story); view video – MIR’s extraordinary logistics for 79 runners and support personnel, running 5,500 miles from Eastern Europe to China via Russia and Siberia, all to promote safer drinking water.
- “Overland Expeditions: Total Solar Eclipse in Siberia” (story); view video – MIR prepares three years in advance to bring more than 300 travelers – “sun chasers” – to the heart of Siberia for a rare total solar eclipse.
MIR, in a Nutshell
- “MIR in a Nutshell” (story) – Compact and concise, here’s everything you need to know about MIR on one page.
(Top photo credit: Douglas Grimes – A Blue Planet runner strides along a rural road in Belarus.)
PUBLISHED: October 30, 2016