|Book Review - Gobi Runner|
Book Review: Gobi Runner
By Stefan Danis, BPS Books, 180 pages
In Gobi Runner, Stefan Danis takes us from the harsh reality of a devastating economic recession to the harsh environment of the Gobi March, an unaided 250K foot race across the Gobi desert. Danis pulls no punches describing his personal and business crisis in 2008. As CEO of one of Canada’s oldest and biggest executive search firms, his company was under siege.
Unemployment was up almost 33 per cent, requests to fill vacancies had plummeted and internal squabbles among the partners were common.
On the home front, there were pressures to make changes to an affluent lifestyle. Something had to change.
Danis describes his search for “a year-defining project.” Run a marathon; climb Everest, cycle across the U.S. None of these seemed to fit the bill and it wasn’t until he had a conversation with ultra-runner Norma Bastidas that the answer lay before him: The Gobi March.
Danis had never run a marathon and he gives us a fascinating insight into his training and the numerous challenges in preparation for the march. He used the event as a way to raise funds for the National Advertising Benevolent Society, setting himself a target of $25,000 and eventually raising $50,000.
He travelled with two friends — Ernie Votis, a merchant banker and Louie Santaguida, a land developer — and we learn the fate of all three, with Danis painting a vivid picture of their six days in the desert. Danis confides this race changed him.
As he states at the end of the book … So, what is your Gobi?”
— Martin Parnell