Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wilander and Bugno in Icelandic Caffeine Scare



Reykyavich (Iceland) –  Last night, Icelandic ambulance workers sped through the empty streets of Horn, a small fishing village on Iceland’s most Northern coast, to rescue ex-world No.1 tennis player Matz Wilander (class 1964) and ex-tour de France winner Gianni Bugno (also class 1964) from a potentially lethal caffeine overdose.

Wilander in his Old Days
 The duo, famous in the 80s and early 90s for their sporting achievements, was in Iceland for a week-end fishing break organised by the OCC (Old Championes Club), a charity organisation set up to help out old sport legends coping with their professional after-life. Both keen fisherman, Wilander and Bugno met each other while co-investing in fishingwales.com, an e-commerce web-site, which promotes wild fishing adventures for white middle-aged men. Both retired sportsmen are  known to have had an extremely difficult adjustment process to normal lives, with Wilander trying an improbable come-back as a chess player in the late 1990s and Bugno squandering most of his savings in bad investments in the creative condoms industry.

According to local sources, the duo, who had been out fishing for most of the short cold Icelandic day, was already  heavily inebriated by the time they returned onshore. After a few more drinks at the Hornvik Cove, the local pub, the old stars headed to a restaurant and carried on drinking. According to Arnmundur Brynjólfur, a local Horn resident interviewed by NBC, Bugno and Wilander were sitting quietly in the corner chatting away when Wilander suddenly became agitated and brandished his fishing rope mimicking a series of double-handed tennis backhands, which nearly took out the waitresses’s eyes. “Wilander seemed to openly challenge Bugno at something but we could not understand what it was - I can beat you, I can beat you at anything you shadow of a man , son of a shoe-maker he kept shouting”  Arnmundur said, adding “He was clearly drunk because there is nothing wrong with being a shoemaker, particularly at the time when shoes are all about brands and not about real quality”.
Bugno a Few Years Ago

According to Runólfur Rut’s account “Bugno remained calm and challenged Wilander at drinking what initially looked like pints of beers, but later we understood were pints of cappucinos, which we all thought was extremely odd.  Those two sat at the bar, downing pint after pint staring at others’ faces in silence, as the barman kept refilling their glasses“. Around 20 pints into the challenge, Wilander collapsed with severe stomach cramps, while Bugno kept drinking another few insisting on having them topped with cinnamon, before joining his opponent on the floor clutching his stomach.

An ambulance from the Horn hospital was promptly called and the two were administered an extremely powerful stomach pump in situ using the frothing machine, as the situation looked dramatic and there was limited time. Currently, under strict monitoring at the Landspitali University Hospital in Reykyavich, both Bugno and Wilander are reported to be in stable conditions and should recover over the next few days.

Kofting - The New Craze of the Rich and Famous



New York – After Planking, milking and porting, the new craze is kofting. Unlike other recent crazes, köfting, which consists of placing a raw köfte (a meat ball) over an opponent’s eyes, has deep historical roots, having been practised in Turkey and other regions of the Ottoman Empire, since the 16th century.

Köfting was first adopted by Yavuz The Strong (1512-1520) who köfted King James V of Scotland (1513-1542) during an official visit to Istanbul, as the Scottish King refused to pay for a modest fish dinner and tried to nick a golden fork, but was caught by the attentive eye of Yavuz the Strong, who pinned the drank Scottish overlord to the table and proceeded to place a raw köfte (the first he could find) in the right eye of the Scottish monarch.

Raw Kofte
Never Leave Home Without a Raw Kofte in Your Pocket!
According to craze expert – Donald Pump of Trendy Mingling, a NY consulting firm– “Köfting is really upping the game here; it is not like planking of milking; I mean, it is not a solo action, it’s a way to challenge someone you don’t like, to truly humiliate your opponent. And it seems to be extremely popular with celebrities; it’s like the Roll-Royce of crazes”.

Just a couple of days ago in Manchester,  Tom Cruise, in the UK to promote his new movie, reportedly kofted a paparazzi who was trying to take the picture of him while he was taking a wee in the Cock and Bottle, an historical Manchester pub.

Popular amongst the stars, popular amongst the rich and powerful. According efinancialcareer.com, two weeks ago, Robert Kindler (55), head of Morgan Stanley M&A department , köfted in a fit of rage a young Goldman Sachs associate who had failed to bend over during a business card exchange with the CEO of an important Japanese client (bending over is an respectful action during business cards exchange in Japan).

According to John Rizzo, a motivational speaker in Nevada “What I find sincerely strange is that big shots regularly carry around raw meat balls in their pockets. I mean, would really leave your your flat in the morning with raw meat in your pocket ?”

Saturday, June 16, 2012

This is Extreme Kissing : World's Longest Kiss

No need for a long intro, if you want to break the longest kiss record, here are the RULES:

- The kiss must be continuous and the lips must be touching at all times.
- If the lips part - the couple is immediately disqualified.
- Contestants must be over the age of consent in the country the event is being held.
- The couple must be awake at all times (I love kissing while I am asleep!).
- The contestants must stand during the attempt and cannot be propped up together by any aids, such as pillows, cushions, voyeurs or mechanical devices (internal or external).
- No rest breaks are allowed.
- Incontinence pads or adult nappies/diapers are not allowed.
- Couples must not leave the venue during their attempt.

The last record belongs to Nontawat Jaroengsornsinpose and Thanakorn Sittiamthong from Thailand with a kiss that lasts 50 hours 25 minutes and 1 second. From the video they both seem a bit exhausted to me. 
We challenge every couple to break this record ! 
Have a nice week with full of challenges !

Friday, June 8, 2012

Wal-Mart Evicts Squatters

Albany – United States.  It was 19th of August 1987 when Pluto Caddigan first stepped into his local Wal-Mart store, incidentally the largest Wal-Mart in the world. But it was only yesterday that he made his way out of the store; 25 years later.
Pluto Caddigan was first arrested on Thursday evening by  an experienced Wal-Mart security officer “I saw him in the deli area scuffing down those large German sausages we just started to stock last week and thought to myself: I wouldn’t mind having some of those boys but I firstly need to arrest the bastard”
Pluto was then taken to the inquisition & perquesition room where officers proceeded with the customary interrogate and full cavity search. What followed is something that few were prepared to believe.
How many more squatters are there?


“When I first entered the store in 1987” Pluto said to an NBC interviewer “ it was to buy toilet paper and a few porn mags; I ended up sitting on one those super-luxury beds on display at the time in the furniture section and before I knew it I fell asleep. When I got up, I felt strangely at home; went to have breakfast at the coffee shop, then started to walk around the store. Before I knew it, it was dinner time, I was eating a couple of hot dogs and there I was back on my super-comfy bed”. Pluto left his wife and 3 children at home. “Back home, I had nothing good waiting for me: an overweight wife on a strict testosterone diet, 3 overweight children and an awful job at the local auto-plant; the more days passed, the more not getting out felt like the right thing to do“. Extraordinary, no missing person report was ever filed and Pluto kept living his own Wal-Mart life.
“The store is so big that is difficult to monitor it, it’s like a city. I knew where the cameras were and I simply avoided them; over the years, I befriended employees, managers, customers you name it - I even got married with an Ecuadorian cleaning lady in the wedding section ; the things I know about Wal-Mart, few can imagine: at least 3 kids are conceived here every a day, for some reasons mostly in the cheese section”.
Over the years, it has been calculated that Pluto costed Wal-Mart's shareholders a total of $1.5 million “When you leave in a store like this for as long as I did, you get bored with the same old food – and you want to eat well after exercising in the gym section. Of course, I did not dine with caviar every night, but whenever possible, I did eat well ...and champagne has always been my passion, on Sunday I would have it for breakfast”
Chances are that Pluto will continue to drink champagne though as Warner Bros is closing in on a multi-million TV series about his own Wal-Mart life.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Can you survive without eating?

Hira Ratan Manek
First, I have to say we DO NOT challenge anybody to survive without eating at all. Do not try this at home, see it as an urban legend but it is not. There is someone on our planet who can survive only by using sun energy, instead of eating. This guy is a retired mechanical engineer, Manek. He is 64 years old and lives eating nothing for 8 years. He says that he realized he does not like eating food on 1992, and after his trip too Himalayas on 1995 he decided not to eat anything but little amount of tea and water. He claims that human body can produce nutrient out of sun rays, we just have to learn it. How? Maybe I need a trip to Himalayas, seems like answers to everything is hidden on top of those mountains. Anyway, his wife explains that Manek each morning during early hours looks at the sun without blinking. You have to have strong and very healthy eyes for this and he did not forget to warn people not to look at the sun more than 1 or 2 minutes. You have to do exercises before you reach Manek's level. I can guess the questions in your mind and knowing that even NASA is look for an answer to this phenomenon might relief you. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Big Fat Bug


For someone who hate bugs, writing this article is a big big CHALLENGE. Not only do I hate them, but I cannot even stand looking at their horrible pictures. So for this article, I decided to challenge myself and pick the most disgusting and largest bugs ever to crawl this world. I did this to face my own fears and challenge myself. You may think this was easy but I can tell you, it really was a struggle. Let's start, and you decide which one is the ugliest one!

1) Belastomatidae 

Belostomatidae is a family of insects better known as "giant water bugs" or "toe-biters." Most species in the Belostomatidae family are relatively large (2 cm or more) with some of the largest, such as Lethocerus, exceeding 12 cm, and nearly reaching the dimensions (length and mass) of some of the larger beetles.


Belastomatidae
Belastomatidae













  

2) Giant Weta

Weta are extremely large by insect standards. They can weigh more than 70g, making them one of the heaviest documented insects in the (known) world. The Giant Weta can't even jump because it's so heavy. They are found primarily on small islands and are examples of island gigantism. Wetas like to hide under rocks or plant debris. I just hope I will never turn that rock :)

.Giant Weta

3) Giant Isotop

They have an average length between 19 and 36 centimetres  and weight  of approximately 1.7 kilograms (yes, 1.7 Kg!!). Although rarely found on food menus in most parts of the world, it's not uncommon to find them boiled in some Far Eastern countries' seaside restaurants. A nice boiled Giant  Isopods.
.
image





For the ones who made it to the end of this article and now feel something crawling up their legs, well done! If you suffer from enthomophobia, you definitively beat you fears.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

No Talking, No Eating, No Water for Ten Months !


Ram Bahadur Bomjon
File:Palden Dorje closeup.jpg
Ram Bahadur Bomjon
Have you ever tried meditating? Sitting in silence, no movements or masturbation, trying to focus your mind on your bushy eyebrows :)? They say enlightenment is reached through the silencing of your own mind. But how long can you spend trying to shut your brain up? If you can sit for an hour, that's  good enough for me; more than 1 our and I begin to drawn in my own sea of silence .

So, 10 months without eating or drinking??  According to the almighty evergreen Guinness Book of Records, the longest time a human has ever gone without water is 18 days; however Ram Bahadur Bomjon did not break his meditation for 10 full months. Ten months sitting in silence, searching for peace. Impossible you say? Well, Bomjon is believed to be the reincarnation of Buddha although he himself does not believe it. He also has an interesting background: he started meditating on 16 May 2005 and then literally disappeared on 16 March 2006; he then reappeared in Nepal (few hundred kilometers away) but disappeared again on 8 March 2007. He apparently left the place because there was no peace for meditation there. On 19 March 2007 again claiming it was a good place for peace , he  left claiming he will be back in six years. Has he meditating ever since!? Have you spotted him in your local park?

What would I do, if he appeared right now next to me with a weird body odour  and strange singing  !?  Perhaps I will tell him that I always meditate before entering into casino :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

BeKind Panda Challenge - 2012

If you are reading this, you are already making a difference. So please keep reading.

There are examples of bad behaviour practically everywhere we look; bad gestures, bad intentions, bad dreams.

From the suborns to the cities, from the poor & the rich countries, we need to show that we can sometimes do good deeds, that little good gestures do happen.

The BeKind Panda Challenge:  take a picture, or a video or a recording of you or anyone else doing something good or kind or for someone else. Then share it with us at Betarista.

The person who gets the most “likes” becomes the World Kindest Panda.

If you are not a good Panda then just re-post this. This would be enough good for this year.


Help each other
BeKind Panda Challenge
 


Challenge What You Do Not Have - 2

Mark Inglis Pic
Mark Inglis
Mark Inglis pic
Mark Inglis
At first it sounded like an urban legend. Climbing Everest without legs?! How is this even possible, I mean don't you need to have a strong and COMPLETE body to climb a mountain? I can understand if you do it without your pinkies (climbers often lose (some of) their fingers due to frostbites), but without your both legs?!

Well, he did, Mark Inglis! Mark was the first person from New Zealand to climb Mount Everest. The same mountain that took his legs in the first place a few years back.  He has a degree in Human Biochemistry from Lincoln University. He is also a few others things: an accomplished cyclist, who won the silver medal in the Sydney 2000 Olympic games a winemaker, and a motivational speaker.  

But how much courage does it take to try and achieve to climb the same mountain which already took both your legs? 

 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Largest Bagpipe Ensemble So Far

Image: Bagpipers break the world record for the largest number to play together
Largest Bagpipe Ensemble
When I looked at this strange picture at first, I asked  myself what the heck these people were doing and what the heck they were doing it with! The answer is that our friends in the picture are gathered for one interesting mission. With the support of Indian spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (yes, double "Sri"!), a group of Bulgarian musicians put their Scottish bagpipes counterparties to shame by staging the world largest bagpipe assembly. 333 Bulgarian folk musicians gathered in central Sofia to set an amazing Guinnes World Record.

And one could not help but wonder why 333 (a number only famous for being half the Beast's number ..not the L.A. Beast, the real Beast)? Dressed in traditional colourful Rhodope costumes, bagpipers started with a famous folk song -Delyu Haidutin - which was one of the songs included in a tape sent to space by NASA in 1977 with songs and sounds from our planet . The event also aimed to bring a spot of joy to a nation which surveys show amongst the unhappiest on the planet. If you wonder how 333 bagpipers sound, play the video below and enjoy. And you decide whether you want to organise a bigger bagpipe gathering in your country (perhaps go for 666:))!

Largest Bagpipe Ensemble

Monday, May 21, 2012

Challenge What You Do Not Have


Aimee Mullins
Aimee Mullins


Aimee Mullins
Aimee Mullins












I have couple of pictures for you. No need for explanations, the pictures tell you the story; loud and clear. Challenges are about achieving something we don't have and, sometimes, what we don't have is a very powerful trigger for us. A trigger to do and to dare more. It may sound cruel in this case but it is often the case that what we do have (when we have too much in particular!) prevent us from taking on new challenges.

Aimee Mullins (born in 1976) is an American athlete, actress and fashion model; she was one year old when both of her legs had to be amputated below the knee due to fibular hemimelia, a disease she was born with. Can you be courageous enough to do what she did?


Aimee Mullins
Aimee Mullins


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Betarista – Chelsea and the Psycological Bet

“We told you so” – hate saying it but is true. Before Chelsea faced Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final, we told our readers why Chelsea, against all odds, had a real chance of winning against the world greatest team and the Champions League.

We told you why 11 men at the end of their international career would give it all they had one last time; to chase their dreams where many stronger teams had failed. We spelled out the psychology of the Chelsea players and exact entity of their inner challenge.

And sure enough, it happened:) history proved us right and Chelsea won the Champions League.


Chelsea greatest players
The Real Winners, the Keeper (No.1) and the Striker (No. 11)




We don’t often write about football; when we do is when we believe that there is something more than a football game at stake. Our bets are not technical, they are emotional and psychological. Chelsea played with their hearts against much stronger opponents, they never gave up believing even when the chances were slim, next to nonexistent.

And like it often happens in these occasions, fortuna iuvat audaces, fortune favours the ones who dare.

So next time we tell you to bet, listen to us and win yourself some money for your next challenge.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Largest Wine Tasting in the World

La Dolce Vita: chatting, sipping red wine and tasting Vatican cheeses...while, of course, gaining a world record in the process. On May 15th 2012, 1,692 people gathered in Belgium (of all places, the capital of beer!) to beat the world record for the largest wine tasting ever organised.
Largest Wine Tasting
Is there anything odd?

Betarista learnt that during the event, participants ate 18,000 pieces of cheese and 4,000 pieces of bread. More importantly, they drank 3,000 bottles of water and 1,150 bottles of wine of which 900 of red and 250 of champagne. 
But hold on a second: 3,000 bottle of water for the world largest wine tasting? This means almost 2 liters of water per person! Were they wine tasting in a sauna? In the Sahara? Betarisa knew straight away that there was something dodgy in this record attempt.  A bit of old-school investigative journalism and we discovered that the Largest Wine Tasting in the World had been sponsored by none other than Acqua Panna San Pellegrino, a damn mineral water company.
On the basis that the participants drank more water than wine, Betarista asked the Guinness World of Record to record the challenge as the Largest Water Tasting in the World.

Even in the strange world of World Guinness records:), the world largest wine tasting cannot take place in the motherland of beer and be sponsored by a mineral water company!

P.S. Can someone explain to me how many types of cheese the Vatican produces?


Record-Breaking Surfing Waves Look Like Fun

From our friend and fellow blogger Ira, who writes about athletic challenges, here is an interesting story about people who ride waves the size of Manhattan skyscrapers.

Having had the opportunity to surf (in a kayak) in waves of up to 2 meters, I can tell you that what you are about to see  is simply not human; a small mistake means immediate death...not a challenge you take half-heartedly.

Enjoy Ira's story of the man who surfed the tallest wave in history. 


World tallest wave surfed
No Space for Mistakes


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

We Challenge You To Be The HAPPIEST DANCER


Be the Happiest Dancer
For everybody who will come to the Beduk concert in Bogazici University in Istanbul on 19th of May, WE HAVE A CHALLENGE FOR YOU

CAN YOU CHALLENGE YOURSELF TO DANCE THE HAPPIEST DANCE?

In a group or by yourself, in the corner or on the stage, supremely sensual or sarcastically funny, with the magic rhythm of the flow or the co-ordination of a baboon ...you pick, you chose, you dance as you feel! The winner will have a $100 award sponsored by BETARISTA.

*RULES*:

1) LIKE our Betarisa FB page and PROVE your claim with either a VIDEO
or a PHOTO to be posted on Betarista's FB wall
2) The winner is the one who receives the most "LIKES"
3) The funnier the better
4) AND Drink Responsibly :)
------------------------------------------------------
19 Mayıs Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Bedük konserine gelecek herkese meydan okuyoruz !

KONSERİN EN MUTLU DANS EDENİ SİZ OLABİLİR MİSİNİZ?

Arkadaşlarınız ya da siz tek başınıza, kenarda köşede ya da sahnenin orta yerinde, tamamen duygusal ya da saçma olabilecek derecede komik, müziğin ritmine uygun ya da tamamen bambaşka sizin ritminizde... Siz seçin ve dans edin ! Kazanan BETARISTA sponsorluğunda 100 dolar ödülün sahibi olacak!

*KURALLAR*
1) Betarista FB sayfasını beğenin, Betarista FB duvarına gönderdiğiniz ister VİDEO isterseniz bir RESİM ile bize iddianızı kanıtlayın.
2) En çok beğenilen içerik 100 dolar'lık ödülün sahibi olacak.
3) Kormayın ! Saçmalayın.
4) Kendinizi kaybetmeyin:)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

World Record Online Hypnosis Attempt

Chris Hughes pic
Chris Hughes
There are challenges of any kinds out there but this one is pretty interesting. On 4th January 2010, UK based hypnotist Chris Hughes  was planning to put Facebook & Twitter's users into a state of hypnosis live and online; unfortunately, due to legal concerns, Chris had to abandon his plans. 

But what would happened if he did? 

He had planned to use a live web-stream to simultaneously hypnotise over 10,000 people. Now, visualize 10,000 people stuck to their chairs, literally glued to their PCs. Hughes explained that legal advice strongly prevented him from keeping with the original plan. Twitter was bombarded with angry messages. 
So instead, Chris offered a MP3 download to everybody. Me and a few of my friends were eagerly waiting for the MP3 release day. As most of the people, we also wanted to be hypnotised and forget it all.  Me and a friend downloaded the MP3; long track, about 40 mins long. But all I remember is someone saying  to me "imagine climbing up the stairs very slowly, imagine finding a door at the end of the staircase..."and the then puff! I don't remember :) 

Of course we did not get hypnotised, we were just very very very relaxed. 

Even though Chris did not make it, I think this would have been a really interesting challenge. Chris,  are you sure you cannot do this from the Cayman Islands or even better from a boat on international waters?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

What is a Real Challenge?

We are a bunch of "challenge enthusiasts" and have been blogging about challenges for a while. Sometimes we write about funny stories, slightly gross stories, and sometimes just challenging sport events. Of course, every challenge deserves admiration as they all require determination,  stamina and a fighting spirit at heart. Though,  standing out from all challenges is the following one, which really made me feel special.

"Paralysed woman Claire Lomas finally finished the London Marathon today, 16 days after the race began, completing the course with the aid of a bionic suit."

The original article is from an English newspaper called the Telegraph. 

Claire Lomas
Claire Lomas - I want and I will!

But I am not here to tell you about the details of the story. I am here just to say that this is a real challenge, one that goes beyond the word "challenge"! Because, nobody could imagine  that a paralysed person could run a marathon, because it had not done before and because it took an incredible amount of determination! 

It doesn't matter how long it took or how hard it was; all that matters is Claire Lomas's determination and self-esteem, because they made it happen! And for the millions of people out there who had bad injuries or accidents, what Claire did in London is there to show that, if they want, they can...!

Keep challenging!
Cheers

Longest Pee in History


Longest Pee Ever
Longest Pee Ever
Yes I did it, I asked Google how long is the longest pee in history. It turns out to be pretty long!
The longest pipi ever delivered in one shoot was 36 mins 24secs by Mr Jon Dixon (GB) in the doorway of a newsagents shop in Bracknell high street on 22nd December 1986. Mr Dixon was arrested and charged with a public order offence 17 mins into his record attempt, but the arresting officers had to wait a further 19mins 24sec before taking him back to the station for a kicking. There is also a related Facebook page with 120 people liked it. I think it should be millions Likes !Boys, (and girls),  it was 36 mins 24 secs, longer than your weekly jogging!

So, can you beat Mr Dixon?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Challenge yourself to live your DREAM


"It’s amazing how resourceful you can become when you’re in the middle of the ocean and there’s only one way to get to the other side.”  Roz Savage

Can you challenge yourself to turn your life upside down? The crucial question you need to ask yourself is : "am I living my dream?"  Bungee jumping is easy, sky diving is doable but can you quit your job, risk all your money, throw away the keys to your super-duper triple villa and become an adventurer ? 

Roz Savage did just that. In 2006, she rowed crossed the Atlantic Ocean by herself, a journey of 103 days. But because sometimes enough is not enough, she then revealed her intention to cross the Pacific in 2006 and later became the first woman to row solo across the Pacific, rowing from Kiribati to Madang in Papua New Guinea. 

And why would you do all of these? Roz answered for us. In the video above, listen to her story...her words are calling for your adventurous heart to come out and beat faster than life!

"It was the year 2000, I was 33 years old, and I seemed to have the perfect life. I had a job, a husband, a home, a little red sports car. In theory, I should have been happy.  Fast forward to March 2006. I am 38, divorced, homeless, and alone in a tiny rowing boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean" Roz Savage


Monday, May 7, 2012

Bet ME! Nepal Cycle Race


climb to gorka
I just want to stop riding!

bridge stage 4
Terrifying bridge from Gorka to Sundar Bazaar - am I light enough?
Challenging someone else is easy; we are so used to say to other people that they can't do this and that, that they can't cross the Atlantic on a rowing boat, that they can't eat monkey's brains, that they can't keep the same wife for more than 2 years. How about challenging yourself ? How about pushing your limits a little more? Leaving your boring comfort zone and to see what you can or cannot do?

I was searching for some extreme races on the internet. And I ended up in Nepal :) on the Trans Nepal's webpage; it seemed a fair challenge for a woman of my age and in my physical condition. Race starts from Nepal's capital Kathmandu and ends at Pokhara; 5 days, 261 km long, roughly 50 km a day, through forest and nature. The real challenge for me is not distance but terrain: the long unpaved uphill and downhill roads with rocks, holes and God knows what!  I will be wearing a full motorcycle helmet; even though that means sweating like a pig, better safe than sorry! 

I DECLARE IT TO THE WORLD! I challenge myself to finish this race, this year - 27th-31st December. It is not only the riding but also sleeping out in the wild which will make it difficult for a urban girl like me. If you are someone who is Epicurean (am I?) and can't take it to spend night in camps, eat what nature gives you, you will probably give up before even getting on the bike. Thankfully though, the weather is expected to be warm and somehow sunny.

NOW THE SECOND CHALLENGE: saving money for the race. I need a fair bit of dosh: 400 large original British pounds for the race fee, 1,739 Turkish Liras for the flight, and 200 green American dollars for all the rest (I am quite frugal!). So a total of $1,800. And this is where I ask people who believe that an urban Epicurean girl like me CANNOT do this to BET against me! Yes, BET AGAINST ME. Simple odds: 1:1.

How does it work? Say you bet $10 against me: if I manage to finish the race, you lose and I get the money. If I can't finish the race, I need to give you $20 (i.e. you make a $10 profit). Interested? Any questions to better evaluate the bet (after all I could be lying and be a extreme endurance athelete!), contact me through the blog!