August 19, 2014

Sergeant Mike Muir and Corporal Colin “Minty” Murray who are both members of 2622 (Highland) Squadron will take part in the Mongol Rally, a car rally which starts in London on the 20th July and ends in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia some 30 days later. It is 10,000 miles of pure adrenaline filled action, covering a third of the Earth’s surface. This life changing adventure will take the pair through 13 countries, over mountains, deserts and some of the most remote and challenging terrain on the planet. There are no rules in the Mongol Rally, no set route and no assistance on the road if you encounter problems. This would be challenging enough but the chosen mode of transport is a 1.2 litre Daewoo Kalos that has quite frankly seen better days.

So why are they doing this? The official charity of the event is “Cool Earth” which works alongside indigenous villages to halt rainforest destruction. The pair’s main effort however, will be to support “Spinal Injuries Scotland”, a national voluntary organisation concerned with new and long­term spinal cord injured people. This is particularly close to Mike and Colin’s heart as the wife of one of their reservist colleagues was involved in a very serious accident last year and is currently being treated for spinal injuries in Yorkhill Hospital, Glasgow. Nikki Thornley from Ellon in Aberdeenshire, was involved in a road traffic collision on her motorcycle which resulted in her suffering a spinal injury. The mother­of­two young children was taken to the spinal injuries unit of Glasgow’s Southern General Hospital where it was diagnosed that she had broken her T4­ T5 vertebrae; this means that she will be paralyzed from the chest down for the rest of her life.

Mike and Colin wanted to do all they could for their friend and his family during this difficult time and set upon the Mongol Rally as the perfect opportunity to raise awareness and money for this worthy cause.

When asked if they had any nerves before setting off Mike said; “10,000 miles with no set route, questionable maps and no support whilst crossing rivers, deserts and mountain ranges. Add to this coping with mechanical breakdowns, detours and getting lost in an unreliable, underpowered, Daewoo. Should be interesting”

Colin continued; “Getting lost is just another way of saying gone exploring”.

The pair set off from RAF Lossiemouth on Friday 18th July and headed for Battersea Park in London where the rally officially started on Sun 20th.

All donations would be gratefully received and can be made at https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/mikeandminty