Cancer: making every step count

2013-06-01 00:00

DOING something for a worthy cause tends to tap hidden reserves within the human body, people pushing themselves to the limit and crossing unknown barriers.

Guy Allen, Mike de Haast and Adrian Sassy are such a trio, running their first Comrades tomorrow to raise funds for breast cancer, but wait … there’s a twist in the tale.

The intrepid trio, not satisfied with testing their mettle over a mere 86,6 km of merciless tar between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, have added another aspect to their quest.

At midnight tonight they join a group of 29 athletes for the first leg of their journey. With miners’ lamps strapped to their heads and a small backpack of food and drink, they set off from Pietermaritzburg for Durban, but not following the usual highways and byways. That’s too easy and predictable. Instead, they head for Durban on a trail run, following the Dusi route along tracks and paths.

Said Allen: “This is the third time such a trail run has been done and the three of us are the only mad hatters attempting the Comrades the next day. I’ve done this once before and it’s something different, always a topic for conversation.

“We obviously look after ourselves through the night as no one in their right mind would even offer to second us, and we see our first helpers at Marianne Foley Bridge, just as its getting light. It’s a journey of between 105 km and 110 km, meaning we are attempting close to 200 km in two days, on foot, which is scary.”

They decided to raise funds for breast cancer after a friend, Nikki Haynes (37), was diagnosed with the ailment. “She had breast cancer two years ago, but it has come back angry. With every step counting for her, we are determined to succeed and conquer the road,” said Allen.

Running in pink bodysuits, Allen said, their goal was to finish the race regardless of time.

For their efforts, the team has set a target of R100 000. So far they have collected about R30 000.

To donate to their cause, make deposits payable to The Lettie Fight Fund, FNB account no. 6241 0257 081, branch code 250655.

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