The 2012 Valley Run, being held on 1 June 2012, will see 32 athletes tackle their own super-sized version of the Comrades Marathon in support of The Unlimited Child, a non-profit organisation (NPO) that focuses on early childhood development.
Unlimited Child CEO introduces Andrew King and Chester Foster to the children from Embo Child Edu-Careclick to enlarge
Setting off from Pietermaritzburg, the athletes will participate in the 112 km non-stop trail run through the Valley of 1000 Hills and ending at the Blue Lagoon in Durban. The Mamu Loman Federation organises The Valley Run, first held in 2011.
This year's beneficiary promotes the correct stimulation of young children by providing educational toys, caregiver training and ongoing support to crèches in underprivileged areas. Most of the organisation's work has been in the Valley of 1000 Hills where it has reached 20 000 children, 751 caregivers and 252 crèches.
"The NPO was the perfect match for us," explains Andrew King, one of the founders of the Mamu Loman Federation. "As our route for the Valley Run is through the Valley of 1000 Hills, we wanted to support an initiative that is giving back to this community and the great work being done by this organisation delivers on all fronts.
"The people who make up the federation are a mix of accomplished and recreational athletes who are united through a common attitude towards life. We add our own unique twist to existing ultra-endurance events and thus push our own and society's accepted limits. Ultimately, we are out to have some fun, get active and do some really worthwhile fundraising while we're at it."
Valley Run line-up:
Andrew King has portaged the entire length of the Dusi Canoe Marathon, a Double Dusi), the Wrong Way Dusi, run the Comrades in jeans, first winner of the Freedom Challenge Extreme Triathlon and completed a barefoot summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in aid of charity with six other Mamu Loman members
Sean Wisedale who has two trips to the South Pole under his belt as well as being the first African to scale the highest summit on each of the seven continents around the world, including Everest;
Ironman finisher Chester Foster who also competed in the G4 Global Challenge;
Wim Van Herzeele a past Camel Trophy Winner
Devlin Fogg who has covered the distance from the North Pole to the South Pole using his own human power
For the first time this year, the Valley Run will also include an invitational guest team from Zimbabwe.
Cassy Healey, CEO of The Unlimited Child, says the NPO is thrilled that the federation is throwing its weight behind the organisation. "We believe that the work we are doing will change the future for South Africa. Our goal is to reach 1.2 million children by 2016 and it's through the support of events such as the Valley Run, that we will be able to raise the money required to do this."