Well – it’s done! The 2011 Comrades Marathon is over, and I successfully (albeit very painfully) made my way under my own footpower, from Durban to Pietermaritzburg in less than 12 hours.
I am now safely back in Perth, trying to catch up with my “pre-Comrades life”. But the journey has continued for me, and for you too. Due to popular demand I have continued to write updates about my Comrades Marathon run, and my MaAfrika Tikkun fundraising experience. These updates, I have been told, are not only amusing, entertaining and informative, but also give one an “on-the-ground, Robin’s eye-view” of what it feels like to run The Greatest Footrace on the Planet (according to Bart Yasso, Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World, America).
The tabs and buttons on this website are easy to follow (I hope), so take a look around if you’re interested in the Comrades Marathon, MaAfrika Tikkun and South African kids in distress, or my one year’s journey of preparation and training for this unique event. Alternatively, you can simply jump right in and begin reading my updates (posted as “installments/ chapters”) which describe my Comrades Marathon experience beginning about 3 days before the race itself.
The easiest way to do this is simply to follow the links under “Post-race Updates” in the right-hand column of my website pages. You can read the installments through sequentially (I have numbered these most recent updates from 0-9) or you can simply look for an update title that piques your interest, click, and have fun. If you’ve read all of these recent updates and now want to see my earlier ones (starting in January 2011) the quickest and easiest way to do so is to use the calendar in the right hand column, opposite. (More details about my “Comrades journey” prior to Jan 2011, can be found on the other pages of this website). For those of you who are interested in my fundraising journey, here is a quick link to the update about my visit to MaAfrika Tikkun’s Hillbrow and Diepsloot sites.
If there’s anything in particular that you would like to hear about that is not covered on my site, please feel free to send me an email from my Contact Robin page.
(Please note: almost all the photos on my website can be “clicked on” if you want to see an enlarged version.)
I have had requests from people wanting to know whether it is still possible to donate to the kids of MaAfrika Tikkun – online via my website.
Thank you very much – any donations made will continue to help these kids (and will be reflected in the amount you have all given in recognition of my run).
MaAfrika Tikkun’s bank details and credit card payment options, as explained on my Donate to MaAfrika Tikkun Here page, will remain valid indefinitely even though I will be officially “closing off” my campaign towards the end of August 2011.
Thanks so much for your ongoing support,
Never before having run more than 10km on any one occasion, in May 2010 I committed to run for the first and only time, the Comrades Marathon – an historic 89km ultra-marathon in South Africa, also known as “The Ultimate Human Race”. The Comrades Marathon was the first, and is arguably the greatest, Ultra-marathon in the world. I plan to compete in this rigorous race wearing, with his permission (and with the specific authorisation of the Comrades Marathon Association) my father’s permanent Comrades Marathon race number 13 – a number which was granted to him “in perpetuity” for successfully completing 10 Comrades Marathons in that number. All long distance runners, or people associated with the Comrades Marathon, will know that this is a HUGE honour.
I am using this personal goal of running the Comrades Marathon on 29 May 2011, also as an opportunity to help alleviate the distress of thousands of South African children, primarily orphans, supported by MaAfrika Tikkun – a unique, recipient-empowering charitable organisation. These children face an ongoing struggle to obtain the basic necessities of life: food and water, shelter and warmth, love and care. I am hoping that the interest and inspiration aroused by my challenge of running the Comrades Marathon in my father’s unique and historical number 13, will raise awareness of the plight of these kids and will, hopefully, bring some measure of relief, perhaps even bring some security, comfort and “light”, into the lives of children who, daily, face far more overwhelming challenges than my one-off Comrades Marathon endeavour.
On this website I have included LOTS of information on a range of relevant topics:
i) introductory and intriguing information about the Comrades Marathon in general;
ii) the context and a summary of my journey to Comrades thus far;
iii) the background to my father earning his permanent Comrades Race #13, and stories of his Comrades history and association with some of the “Legends” of the Comrades Marathon;
iv) details of my training progress and struggle to reach Comrades 2011 in one piece;
v) information about MaAfrika Tikkun, the orphans they support and some examples of the amazing work they do; and
vi) why those of us living in the Western World should even consider personally contributing to a cause many thousands of miles away from home.
The links in the drop-down menus towards the top of each page are fairly self-explanatory, so please have a “surf” and be inspired.
P.S. I have added here a link to MaAfrika Tikkun’s April e-newsletter (which, by pure coincidence 😉 just happens to include a nice little article about my website). Check this newsletter out: it’s worthwhile – especially as my photo gets to feature opposite that of Madiba – the great Nelson Mandela!
The three other pages in this section (branching off my home page) are:
1) A copy of my original email sent out to my family, friends and associates informing them about my Comrades #13 and fundraising adventure.
2) The sequence of events which ultimately led me to dedicate myself to this major life challenge. Was it a madcap idea or an inspired decision? You decide.
3) A page which addresses the issue of why I am fundraising at all, particularly when for my whole life I have hated doing so, and have studiously avoided any kind of fundraising!
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