Kidney Donor Matt Cavanaugh Completes 155-Mile Georgia 2022 Race

Matt Cavanaugh, an active duty US Army Strategist and living kidney donor, has completed the Georgia 2022 Race—the second race in the Racing the Planet 4 Deserts Ultramarathon Series, a series of four races covered approximately 1,000 kilometers.

Georgia 2022, a Special Edition of the Racing the Planet Ultramarathon, was held in the southwestern corner of Georgia, an ancient country in the Caucasus region at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Racers ran 155 miles through the remote Javakheti region from June 19-25.

Matt completed the Georgia Race on June 25, coming in third with a total time of  27:10:38.

The Georgia Race was the second race in Matt’s 1K4D (One Kidney, Four Deserts) challenge, his attempt to become the first living kidney donor to earn a “Grand Slam”—completing the full 4 Deserts series in a single year. Only 78 people have finished all four races in one year, and Matt would be the first living kidney donor to earn the honor.

“Congratulations to Matt on finishing his second race and reaching the halfway point of his 1K4D journey,” said Garet Hil, Founder and CEO of the National Kidney Registry, which is sponsoring Matt in his 1K4D effort. “Matt experienced some physical challenges during the race, but his determination and commitment to his cause kept him going and allowed him to finish strong. Matt continues to be an inspiration to living kidney donors everywhere and we look forward to following him on the next stage of his journey.”

Matt donated one of his kidneys to a stranger in September 2021, starting a donation chain that eventually helped seven people get living donor kidney transplants. With his 1K4D challenge, Matt aims to shatter the misperception that kidney donation imposes physical limits on donors.

After heading home to Colorado, Matt will begin training for the next race in the Racing the Planet series, which will take place September 25 to October 1 and cover 155 miles across the Atacama Desert in Chile, which is the driest desert in the world.

For more information on Matt, visit his page on the Donor Games website and his 1K4D blog. Visit the Racing the Planet website to see full results for the Georgia Race and more information on the 4 Deserts Series.

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Founding Sponsors

  • National Kidney Foundation
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  • National Kidney Donation Organization