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About Us

4 Deserts Ultra-Marathon Series 2022





Elise Zender

Elise started We Can Run because she deeply believes that women’s higher education is a powerful driver to achieve a more sustainable world. After gathering experience in Investment Banking, NGOs and the United Nations, she moved to Munich where she currently works in the Private Equity Investment Team at Allianz Capital Partners. Attempting the 4 Deserts Series / Desert Grand Slam, Elise hopes to bring more funding and visibility to the young women looking to study in Sierra Leone.

Alex Davydov

Alex is a Sports Editor at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in Frankfurt, has raced several ultra-marathons, hiked all over the world and has known L’appel for more than seven years through his travels to Sierra Leone. He helped to set up We Can Run and is responsible for editing the podcast and cutting short videos for Instagram. Alex is also participating in Stage 3 of the 4 Deserts Series in the Atacama desert. 



Josh Tebeau

After spending a year working with children in Senegal and graduating from Princeton University, Josh moved to Utah to train in the mountains and work in the Global Markets Division of Goldman Sachs. Josh joined We Can Run after sharing a tent with Elise during Stage 2 in the Georgian Caucasus and will be joining Elise and Alex in Stage 3 of the 4 Deserts Series in the Atacama desert. During his time in Senegal, Josh witnessed first-hand the relevance of education as a powerful catalyst for a more resilient future. At We Can Run, Josh is responsible for fundraising activities in the US. 




Iris Leschirnig-Reichel

Iris works in Business Development at Amazon Web Services in Munich and is passionate about creative marketing and all things digital. She studied Law and Management at the University of Exeter and St. Andrews and facilitates the Instagram channel at We Can Run. 


The Challenge: 4 Deserts 


The 4 Deserts Ultra-Marathon Series is a 1.000km multi-stage footrace across the Namib desert, the Great Caucasus, Chile’s Atacama desert, and Antarctica in one calendar year. Each stage is six days in length and covers 250km self-sustained, with runners carrying gear and food as the organization only provides water and medical assistance.

The race has been ranked by TIME Magazine various times as #2 in its Top 10 Endurance Events and counts 78 Finishers since inception in 2008.