PMB man to tackle Comrades barefoot, for charity

2016-05-18 06:00
Graham Wells rests his feet in preparation for running the Comrades Marathon barefoot for the Starfish Greathearts Foundation.  PHOTO: Ian Carbutt

Graham Wells rests his feet in preparation for running the Comrades Marathon barefoot for the Starfish Greathearts Foundation. PHOTO: Ian Carbutt

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APIETERMARITZBURG man has put aside his running shoes and will be taking on the Comrades ­Marathon barefoot this year, all in the name of charity.

Old Mutual broker Graham Wells (39), will be tackling the 90km ultra- marathon for the Starfish Greathearts Foundation.

The foundation is a non-profit ­organisation supporting over 22 000 children affected by poverty and HIV across the country.

Starfish works with over 45 ­community-based organisations providing children with a cooked meal after school, and school supplies.

“A lot of people have told me I am crazy,” said Well.

“I have always done bits and pieces for charity. I have run the New York Marathon, the London Marathon and completed four Iron Man ­triathlons for charity,” he said.

“I chose to run for the Starfish Foundation because it is a charity that concentrates on helping children who need it.

“I have children and I know there are always people who have a harder time than you and running barefoot for this ­organisation will be worth it.”

Wells said his mother, who is a nurse, told him he was “mad” for wanting to run the Comrades ­barefoot, but Wells said he knew he had to do something “extraordinary” to raise money for the foundation.

“Running barefoot was my idea. I am not always good with being in the limelight, but I thought this might help draw attention to the organisation and help raise money for it.”

Wells said he started running ­barefoot eight months ago and while it had been difficult in the beginning, he was now used to it.

“Where there is a will, there is a way and people may think it is a crazy thing to do, but I am proud of it and I will not give up,” he said.

He said every R130 donated gave one child access to health-care ­services, through the wellness wagon, for one year.

To support Wells and the Starfish Foundation, visit the Comrades Marathon website - www.comrades.com click on the “charities” tab and search for Graham Wells under the yellow “Race4Charity” link.

“Any donations, no matter how big or small, will be greatly appreciated,” said Wells.

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