Spectacular willpower

2016-05-24 06:00
 Photo: supplied Will Luff (left) and his son Matt next to the 'Comrades Marathon wall of fame'.

Photo: supplied Will Luff (left) and his son Matt next to the 'Comrades Marathon wall of fame'.

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A GRANDFATHER from the UK, who designs costume spectacles for the film industry, is gearing up to complete his third Comrades Marathon, which takes place on Sunday 29 May.

Will Luff - father of four and grandfather of three - will compete in the grueling 90km (56 miles) race from Pietermaritzburg to Durban to raise funds for the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust (HACT) located along the Comrades route. The designer of glasses for films such as Happy Potter and James Bond will also make a gift of 100 reading spectacles to grannies (Gogos) living close to the Comrades route, many of whom care for their orphaned grandchildren. Will has raised nearly R20, 000 this year to donate to HACT’s Granny Group project.

Luff is a member of the UK Comrades team and already has 14 ultra-marathons including two consecutive Comrades races under his belt. In preparation for the big event, Will has completed more than 1600km of training (100-150 miles per month) and is likely to battle blisters and the effects of the heat during the race itself.

“The Comrades is not only the world’s oldest ultra-marathon, but also the largest,” said Luff. “It takes loads of will power to race 90km in the African heat, so running for a charity like HACT gives me the incentive to keep on going when the going gets tough,” said Will. “HACT works right at the Centre of the world’s HIV/AIDS pandemic and when I saw HACT’s projects last year, I was so moved that I wanted to give back in some way.”

Olivia Myeza, CEO of HACT, said, “We are delighted that Will has chosen to use this opportunity to raise funds and awareness for Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust. International support and competitions like the Comrades can help to further our mission to reduce stigma and raise awareness about HIV/AIDS,” she said.

“We are living in a province where just over one in three people are HIV positive, so we are so grateful for any help we receive to continue our work.”

Will has been running since he was at school where he was a keen Cross Country team member.

His four sons also run marathons and two have completed Comrades, including Matt Luff who will again be competing in this year’s race.- Fever Reporter.

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