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Mongol Rally: And they're off--and you can say that again

July 14, 2012|By Leon Logothetis | Special to the Los Angeles Times
(Leon Logothetis )

“Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”

--Dr Seuss

The Mongol Rally, a 10,000-mile road trip from Britain to Ulan Bator, Mongolia, is about adventure, charity, fun and a rather large dose of danger. The launch party extravaganza was all about the fun side of this epic journey. The craziness. The camaraderie and the mad hatter costumes. Pure unadulterated silliness to be precise, and it was exactly what the doctor ordered, especially if the doctor is named Seuss.

The Mongol Rally always begins at the legendary racetrack of Goodward Motor Circuit in Westhampnett, about 65 miles southwest of London. Teams meet and share their hopes and aspirations for their upcoming adventures.

They also try to outdo one another with their bizarre costumes. I came face to face with two completely red chaps. Two Russian Spies. A furry white car and some vintage-looking British soldiers from the Zulu wars. Let's not forget the giant Mongolian wrestlers who embarrassed a few ralliers by tying them up in knots and slamming them into the rain-soaked grass.

With the revelry in full swing it was time for the adventures to begin. A lap around the famed course heralded the beginning of the 2012 Mongol Rally. A rally that sees a multitude of adventure seekers (879 to be exact) try to drive across 10,000 miles of imposing terrain. What awaits those of us brave enough, or foolish enough, to make this trek is a once-in-a-lifetime journey into the unknown that will test us and inspire us. . A journey, above all, that creates a lifetime of memories. Here’s to adventure, charity and a whole lot of fun along the way,

As I write I am hurtling towards the Channel Tunnel. It seems that I grossly misjudged my time (I blame the woman dressed as a caveman!) and it is now highly improbable that I will reach my destination of Brussels tonight. This would not be first or the last time this Englishman has been late for his own parade…

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