Mary Gadams Founder
Mary has resided in Hong Kong for the past 11 years. She has lived in six countries including the United States, Spain, China, France, the United Kingdom and Korea. Mary's work experience is in investment banking and strategy. Shortly after the Asian financial crisis, Mary worked as a global strategist in the chairman's office and restructuring office of The Samsung Group in Seoul, Korea where she worked on special projects including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, venture capital and global strategy. Mary began her career in investment banking in the United States, and left as a vice president to pursue language and graduate studies in Europe.
In the mid-90s, Mary saw a need for a global event series that captured the best aspects of all the events in which she had competed. Her vision was to create a series of events that would encourage people to push themselves beyond what they ever dreamt possible…where athletic frontiers begin. In 2003 in China, the 4 Deserts was born, a world-class sporting event in the most challenging, pristine and culturally-rich locations in the world. The four annual events would be located in the driest, hottest, coldest and windiest place on Earth across the world's most varied terrain. This series, now known as the 4 Deserts Race Series, has been named by Time Magazine as one of the world's top ten endurance events alongside such events as the Tour de France, Dakar Rally and Vendee Globe, among others. To date, 42 events have been staged with more than 7000 persons from in excess of 100 countries having taken part in these seven-day, 250 kilometer footraces which take place in the Atacama Desert of Chile, the Sahara Desert of Egypt, the Gobi Desert of China and Antarctica. In addition, there is a fifth event known as the “Roving Race” that moves to a new location each year with past events held in Vietnam, Namibia, Australia, Nepal, Jordan and Iceland with future events planned for Madagascar and Ecuador.
RacingThePlanet has donated more than US$750,000 to various charities as part of its events, with competitors raising millions more for charities. RacingThePlanet primarily supports education and healthcare initiatives in the areas where its races are held. Most recently, RacingThePlanet established the Esquel / RacingThePlanet Scholarship to provide 10 scholarships for minority women in Xinjiang Province to attend high school and university.
Mary received an undergraduate degree from Creighton in the United States and a master's degree as an Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. Fellow from the London Business School in the United Kingdom.