On Thursday night, I’ll be lining
up at the start of what will undoubtedly be the most difficult race I’ve ever
done. It’s the Grand Raid de la Réunion (also known as La Diagonale des Fous – the
Diagonal of Madmen), a classic trail 100 miler that’s notorious for its degree
of difficulty. http://www.grandraid-reunion.com/
Not only does the route cover 165km of
extremely rough terrain (crossing the island of Réunion via four volcano
craters, high mountains, deep valleys, rivers, shale and apparently a LOT of
mud), but the equatorial conditions will make it hot, humid and very testing.
The cumulative ascent over the route will be more than 9 600m – almost 1km
higher than Everest. The race takes substantially longer than other equally
well known international 100 milers, and in fact has a cut-off of 63 hours.
I know you’ll momentarily wonder
why on earth I would want to put myself through such mental and physical
anguish. But then, I also know you’ll think again and realise it’s me involved
here, and this sort of race is exactly what appeals to me! But I really want
the effort to achieve a lot more than simply my personal goal of taking on a
daunting challenge; I want to put this effort to good use. So, I’m doing the
race to raise funds for Solomon’s Haven, an extremely needy cause that many
friends know is close to my heart.
Solomon’s Haven is an emergency shelter in Mitchell's Plain, Cape Town, that is home to +/-16 children, all of whom have either been abused, neglected or abandoned by their own families and were referred to the Haven by the Dept of Social Welfare. The organisation seeks to provide a secure and loving environment that focuses on building self-esteem in preparation for the children's eventual healthy integration into society. Solomon's Haven provides a place of safety for children of all ages, from small babies to teenagers, many for a few years, some for just a night or a few days.
Solomon's Haven is a street miracle, plain and simple. It heals souls and changes lives. It's an inspiration to society. And it needs all the help it can get. Without outside assistance, Maria and Alec Solomon are unable to give these children the love and care they so desperately crave.
So I'm doing my Grand Raid de la Reunion to raise funds for Solomon's Haven. I'm using Back-a-Buddy to do so - it provides a quick, simple and secure way of donating, regardless of where you are in the world.
Please help me raise as much as we can to help change the lives of these kids.