Poker Couple Julie Cornelius & Darin Dobler Inspire Poker Community
Poker couple Julie Cornelius and Darin Dobler will take part in the 2021 Marathon Des Sables. The popular ultra-marathon, which is considered among the toughest foot races on the planet, takes place each year in the Sahara Desert. However, the 2020 event was eventually cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Cornelius and Dobler will go on a six-day journey traversing the Sahara desert on foot, carrying their own food and essential kits with them.
Both are set to tread in uncharted territory but they’re motivated to do it to help cancer-stricken kids, in partnership with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that helps raise funds for childhood cancer research.
Dubbed “Sahara Strong“, the charity act also includes an ongoing virtual race which comes with a registration fee of $50. It kicked off on July 1 and will conclude on October 1. Participants of the virtual marathon should complete 156 miles within three months, the same distance that the poker couple will try to run in the Sahara desert in one week.
Those who are interested to take part in the virtual race may sign up via the couple’s St Baldrick’s website. Updates about the race are posted in a Facebook group named “Sahara Strong – Virtual 250K MDS Challenge“. It is also where the participants share how far they’ve come, with screenshots of their completed mileage accompanied by photos and videos.
The poker couple is inspiring the global poker community to go out and accept new challenges and help charities. A number of poker players have also joined in, including DJ MacKinnon, Tyler Patterson, Bryan Campanello, Cody Hughey, Kristen Deardorff, David Tuchman and Preston McEwen.
Gearing Up For The Race
In preparation for the actual race, Cornelius and Dobler sought the help of running coach Meghan Laws, who also participated in the 2016 MDS. The pair have also made dramatic changes to their diet to help them get in better shape for the six-day ultra-marathon. Cornelius said the pandemic quarantine opened up opportunities for them to ditch their bad eating habits. Instead of eating out several times a week, the couple would just stay home and cook their own meals.
Cornelius said taking part in the MDS is also a personal challenge for her as she admits being terrible at running. Her husband Dobler has more experience with running and has also been spent a lot of time working in cancer research.
Poker pros who wish to follow their ultra-marathon journey can keep up with them on Instagram.