If you thought the Ultimate Human Race was a test of endurance, try running it twice.
That’s just what six runners intend doing on Sunday to raise funds and awareness for cancer.
Mike de Haast, his wife Laura, Vaughn Smit, Mark Ferreira and Peter White, will complete The Valley Run – a 110km trail along the Dusi route – from Pietermaritzburg, to the start of the Comrades in Durban, then do the up-run with thousands of others.
Leading them in a one-piece neck-to-ankle body suit and pink tutu will be Guy Allen.
The 35-year-old from Cowies Hill said the hardest thing about preparing for the race – or rather races – was the waiting. “So much can go wrong between now and the start, we’re just raring to go. I’d be very happy if we could go now,” said Allen.
“The Dusi route seems to take forever. Every year you think it will be quicker but it just isn’t. Any run uphill is horrible, and by the time we run the Comrades we are so out of it. It’s a blessing just to be able to put the left foot in front of the right foot towards the finish line,” said Allen. So worn out are the runners that the Comrades is usually a “blur. That’s probably why we come back every year, because we don’t remember the pain”, he quipped.
They put themselves through the double-race to raise money for the Lettie Love Fund.
“It’s an NGO that was established in the memory of a friend of ours, (Nikki) Lettie Haynes. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and went through the treatment and went into remission before the cancer came back. It spread to her lungs, liver, brain and bones and she passed away at the beginning of last year,” said Allen.
Haynes was 41 and was survived by her children Ty, 8, Lia, 6, and Slater, 4 and husband Zoog.
Of their R80 000 target, the cause has received almost R50 000. Several other “cause” pages have been started on the GivenGain website under the Lettie Love Fund.