News and Events

For Immediate Release

Magellan GPS to Sponsor "Running the Sahara" Expedition for Documentary Film

Ultra-Marathoners' 3,500-Mile Expedition Across the Sahara Desert Using Magellan® Navigation Devices Will Be the Subject of Feature Documentary Produced by Academy Award Winners Matt Damon and James Moll

SALT LAKE CITY   (August 10, 2006) Magellan will become part of history after being selected as expedition and GPS sponsor for "Running the Sahara." The documentary will chronicle the adventure of three accomplished ultra-marathon runners on their quest to become the first humans in history to run coast-to-coast across the Sahara Desert this fall, traveling a total of more than 3,500 miles across six countries and nine eco-systems. The LivePlanet production, narrated by Academy Award winner Matt Damon and directed by Academy Award winner James Moll, is scheduled for theatrical release in 2007. Charlie Engle, one of the athletes undertaking the "Running the Sahara" Expedition, will appear at Magellan's booth at the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City on August 10 and 11 at Booth #26011.

"We love what 'Running the Sahara' represents - a fantastic challenge and a worthwhile cause," said Christian Bubenheim, general manager of Thales' Magellan consumer business. "Magellan is the perfect fit for the expedition as our eXploristTM line of handheld GPS products deliver reliability and accuracy in a lightweight device, crucial for the outdoor adventurist, especially when embarking on such an incredible adventure."

As the "Running the Sahara" Expedition GPS sponsor, Magellan will provide the expedition with financial backing and supply all of the extraordinary athletes with eXplorist handheld GPS units to use on their journey through the Sahara Desert. Canadian Ray Zahad and Taiwanese runner Kevin Lin will join Engle, an American whose past accomplishments include winning races across the Gobi Desert and through the Amazon Jungle.

Having competed in hundreds of endurance races on four continents, Engle is hailed as one of the best endurance runners in the world. He won Jungle Marathon of the Amazon in Brazil and the Gobi March in northern China and competed in countless other triathlons, marathons, ultra-marathons and Eco Challenges. In addition to his impressive running experience, Engle has summited five mountains over 20,000 feet including Mt. McKinley in Alaska, and is a certified white water guide and PADI diver.

"We are thrilled to use the Magellan eXplorist GPS receivers on our journey across the Sahara Desert," said LivePlanet President and CEO Larry Tanz. "As we prepare for the expedition's extreme conditions, we could not think of a better project partner than Magellan, whose GPS navigation will be vital to both the expedition and documentary crew on a daily basis as they battle the hazardous desert."

In addition to the tremendous feat of endurance this expedition presents, "Running the Sahara " is also the platform for a charitable campaign, whose mission is to raise funds and awareness for clean water and health assistance in Saharan Africa. The public will be invited to pledge support through the Running the Sahara website, including pledges per mile of the expedition.

About Thales' navigation business
Thales' navigation business unit develops and manufactures world leading positioning, navigation and guidance equipment. It markets its Magellan brand GPS solutions in the consumer electronics, recreation, and automotive markets, and its GPS and GNSS professional products in the survey, GIS/Mapping, and OEM markets. Key innovations include the first U.S. commercial hand-held GPS receiver for positioning and navigation, and the first handheld GPS with industry standard Secure Digital Memory Card capabilities. Thales' navigation business unit is headquartered in Santa Clara, CA and has worldwide operations. For more information, visit

About LivePlanet
LivePlanet develops and produces entertainment properties for traditional as well as digital media distribution platforms, with a focus on leveraging technology and integrating brands to tell compelling stories. LivePlanet currently has projects in active stages of production and development in film, television, broadband and mobile distribution platforms, working with partners ranging from Microsoft, Amp'd Mobile, The Walt Disney Company, Viacom, Dimension Films and NBCUniversal.

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© 2006 Thales Navigation, Inc. All rights reserved. Magellan and eXplorist are trademarks of Thales Navigation, Inc.