He finished his journey by running alongside the coast of Melkbos, ending in Big Bay, where a welcoming party was awaiting him. Picture: Supplied

On October 13, 2017 Willie Richards set out on an incredible +1700km journey, running and cycling from Blouberg NAM to Blouberg ZA.  

The goal was to raise not only funds, but awareness for local NPO African Tails, in order to fund their Mass Sterilization campaign.

Although Willie is not a pro athlete, he is an advocate for healthy living and lives by the motto - Be the change you would like to see. As Willie works on an offshore field support vessel, he did most of his preparation training for the #whereswillie campaign by running laps on the helipad.  

He also decided to cycle on an custom, hand made, mountain bike, especially designed and made for him by Ian Janish. During his trip he was assisted by Deon Maartens, who was responsible for the driving and cooking, as well as Alfred Benz, who did the navigation, mapping, photography and general assisting where needed.

Willie did a total of 1845.73km in 19 days, which in total equates to 19 back to back duathlons, without taking a rest day.  

Some if his difficulties included:  sandy and poorly maintained roads, strong winds, scorching sun and extreme terrains. The group often had to camp in rural areas as accommodation and even cellphone signal was not always available. 

Willie ran a total of 571.57km and cycled a total of 1274.16km in 19 days.This journey was the longest over the shortest period of time - a one man duathlon, ever to be attempted and completed by any South African.  

He finished his journey by running alongside the coast of Melkbos, ending in Big Bay, where a welcoming party was awaiting him.

African Tails is running a mass sterilization campaign, #MendingMamre, in partnership with FOUR PAWS South Africa since Feb 2017. The goal is not only sterilization, but education and community upliftment through animal care.

All funds that are raised through the #whereswillie campaign will directly go towards funding #mendingMamre. Donations can be made till end of December 2017 at www.givengain.com/cc/whereswillie