Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

April 07, 2009 11:09 ET

Canadian Forces Dentist Wins Atacama Crossing Desert Race in Chile

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 7, 2009) - The Canadian Forces (CF) is proud to recognize the first-place finish of Captain Mehmet Danis of 1 CF Dental Unit, Toronto Detachment, in the Atacama Crossing desert race in Chile, which ended on April 4, 2009. Captain Danis was running to raise funds for the United Way.

"I would like to congratulate Captain Danis for his outstanding accomplishment," said the Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway. "His success is another demonstration of the great courage and generosity of our Canadian Forces members in supporting their communities, and the high physical standards that our members must maintain to fulfil their duty."

Captain Danis finished the race in 31 hours, 56 minutes and 27 seconds, surpassing his nearest competitor by 50 minutes. Eighty-six runners representing 25 countries participated in the gruelling contest.

"Captain Danis's first-place finish is a superb example of what determination and a great cause can achieve once combined," said Lieutenant-Colonel Kevin Goheen, Commanding Officer, 1 CF Dental Unit.

In 2008, Captain Danis ran the Gobi March, a desert race in northern China, also in support of the United Way. He placed sixth in that competition.

The 250-km Atacama Crossing desert race is run in stages over six days. Runners carry their own clothing, equipment and food, and are provided with water and a place in a tent each night. They are supported by a professional medical team.

Captain Danis is available for interviews from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. today.

Contact Information

  • National Defence
    Media Liaison Office
    Information: 613-996-2353/1-866-377-0811
    After hours: 613-792-2973