Runner dares to go ‘bear’

2010-05-22 00:00

THE 286 pupils at the Kwa Thintwa School for the Deaf in Inchanga will have their hopes pinned on a bear named Coach at this year’s Comrades.

Evan McLean will run his 12th Comrades — in a bear suit to raise money for the school for the deaf.

Coach is the official mascot of the Sports Trust — one of the Comrades Marathon Association’s charities.

McLean is aiming for a silver medal this year, and will have to work towards his goal in a big brown suit. “It’s a difficult experience running in an outfit, especially around the head, face and neck area,” he said.

“Most of the outfit is made from lycra material which can retain substantial amounts of body heat so I usually keep it cool by regularly pouring water over the outfit.”

It’s not just the heat McLean will need to contend with on race day. “My vision will be restricted to about three metres ahead … for 90 km!

“Hopefully I don’t take any wrong turns. I am sure the crowd support will get me through the race.”

The initiative has gained momentum, with personal donations totalling R4 000 so far.

Nedbank has promised to donate R50 000 should the project manage to raise R10 000 itself.

Log on to http://www.backabuddy.co.za/coach2010 to make donations.

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