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Ray Zahab is a runner like no other. Having previously endured blistering heat, poisonous snakes, parasites and worse on ultramarathons, he’s setting off on a 2,300-km, month-long trek across the inhospitable Gobi Desert

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Ray Zahab is an ultra-long distance marathon runner pictured training on June 14, 2013 in Chelsea, Quebec. He is setting out next week to run across the Gobi desert.

Dave Chan/The Globe and Mail

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Three athletes, from right, U.S. runner Charlie Engle, 44, Canada's Ray Zahab, 38 and Kevin Lin, 30, of Taiwan, are running during day 109 of their 111 days Sahara desert journey, northwest of Cairo, Egypt Saturday, Feb. 17, 2007.

NASSER NASSER/AP

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Ray Zahab on his way to winning the Libyan Challenge in 2006.

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Canadian ultra marathon runner Ray Zahab

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Ray Zahab on his way to placing fourth in the Trans 333 in 2004.

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Canadian athlete Ray Zahab, 38 is joined by his wife, Kathy, prior to a lunch break at a makeshift camp, after running the first leg during day 109 of the 111 days Sahara desert journey,180 kilometers northwest of Cairo Egypt Saturday, Feb. 17, 2007.

NASSER NASSER/AP

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Two athletes, Canadian Ray Zahab, 38, left, and Kevin Lin, 30, of Taiwan, short nap in a tent at a makeshift camp during a lunch break after their first leg in day 109 of their 111 days Sahara desert journey,180 kilometers northwest of Cairo, Egypt Saturday, Feb. 17, 2007.

NASSER NASSER/AP

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Ray Zahab is an ultra-long distance marathon runner pictured training on June 14, 2013 in Chelsea, Quebec. He is setting out next week to run across the Gobi desert.

Dave Chan/The Globe and Mail

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