PMB man to tackle Comrades barefoot for charity

2016-05-12 09:10
Graham Wells rests his feet in preparation for running the Comrades Marathon barefoot for the Starfish Greathearts Foundation.

Graham Wells rests his feet in preparation for running the Comrades Marathon barefoot for the Starfish Greathearts Foundation. (Ian Carbutt, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - A Pietermaritzburg man has chucked 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 90 km ultra marathon without running shoes for the Starfish Greathearts Foundation.

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

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 that I am crazy,” said Wells laughing.

“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 are having a harder time than you are out there 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 them.”

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 healthcare ­services, through the wellness wagon, for one year.

To support Wells and the Starfish Foundation, visit the Comrades Marathon website on, 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.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  comrades marathon

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