By Ryan Smith, Associate Editor
This weekend 17 Team World Vision runners are taking on “the ultimate human race.” The Comrades Marathon in South Africa stretches 90 kilometers (56 miles, for us Yanks) from Pietermaritzburg to Durban. Around 17,000 runners are expected to start the race this year.
In addition to the grueling physical challenge of the race, each Team World Vision runner is raising awareness—and raising sponsors—for children in three impoverished countries: Kenya, Ethiopia, and South Africa.
While most of the runners are concentrating on finishing the race under the cutoff time of 12 hours, Josh Cox has a lofty goal—to win. He is the current American record holder at 50k and is widely considered one of the best Americans in the race. “Running Comrades has been a lifelong dream,” he says. “Helping children has been a lifelong passion. Pairing the two makes my heart come alive. Nothing could be sweeter.”
After the race, each of the runners will visit their sponsored child in a South African community, visiting their school and home. My colleague Andrea Peer, a frequent contributor to the magazine, is there to make sure Team World Vision’s visit is successful.
You can support the runners in their goal of raising sponsorship by going to www.theultimatecause.org.
Learn more about the race and track the runners’ progress live at www.comrades.com.