Guwahati, Monday, September 10, 2012
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3500-km Rickshaw Run flagged off in Shillong
Raju Das
 SHILLONG, Sept 9 – After the noodles were washed down with horse milk and vodka during the Mongol rally, the 3,500-km Rickshaw Run, from Shillong to Jaisalmer, would experience “spicy” chapattis and “interesting” chutneys on the Indian roads.

One hundred sixty adventurists would ride on auto-rickshaw, onomatopoeically called Tuk-Tuks, from around the world for the back-crunching journey from Shillong to Jaisalmer to raise funds for clean drinking water. The race comprises of 67 teams, including 30 women Tuk-Tukians.

Former Home Minister Robert Garnett Lyngdoh flagged off the Race from Shillong Club here today. The Auto rickshaws or “glorified lawn-mowers” are expected to blast the finishing lines on September 22.

The race is organised by UK-based group “The Adventurists.” It’s an initiative, by the not-for-profit social enterprise, Frank Water, to provide sustainable, affordable, clean drinking water for communities around the world, including India. The current batch of adventurists has already raised over 50,000 Pounds for official charities in India.

“It is not a Race as there are no trophies waiting at the finishing line. The award of this Race is the adventure on the road and getting in and out of the interesting pickles and getting to lick it through a lifetime,” Tom Morgan, founder of the auto-rickshaw run, said.

Steve Owens and John Spanswick, who took part in the 15,127.80 km Mongol Rally in 2010, from United Kingdom to Mongolia, are raring to ride the Tuk Tuk.

“We reached Mongolia surviving totally on noodles washed down with mare’s milk and Vodka. We are sure to reach the oasis of Indian desert within two weeks whatever the Indian roads may be, we are pretty much excited,” Owens said.

Laura Salmon from United Kingdom is itching to ride her “Tuktanic.” Hoping that her mean machine is not “inauspiciously named” she went on to say that the Tuk Tuk is the ultimate feat of “non-engineerance designed for this ultimate long distance race.”

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