Merchants backing triggers “Change a Life” Running success
Merchants backing triggers Change a Life Running success
Pietermaritzburg – A spate of impressive results for Martin Dreyer’s Change a Life Academy’s running team at the Jeep Warrior Race’s recent third and fourth legs as well as the 1000 Hills Challenge has followed a game-changing sponsorship from Merchants that is set to see the programme soar to new heights.
After the success of Dreyer’s canoeing and mountain biking teams through the aid of Computershare and RMB respectively, Merchants – a Dimension Data company, recently joined the Change a Life stable in an exciting development for the Valley of a Thousand Hills setup.
“Our running team has been going for a few years now however, without much input, we’ve run it very simplistically through a few school runs in the Valley of a Thousand Hills and a couple other small, local events,” explains Dreyer.
“Running is sport in its rawest form. It can impact so many more lives than any other sporting code due to the small amount of equipment needed and almost everyone’s ability to do it. With Merchants’ support we are now able to grow the running side of my Change a Life Academy quite substantially, which is hugely exciting for all of us and we are extremely grateful for their assistance!” he adds.
Merchants’ backing has also given Dreyer’s charges the opportunity to broaden their running horizons through participating in six events of the Jeep Warrior Race’s eight-leg National series while the Warrior Race’s organisers have welcomed Dreyer’s team, providing free entry to all of his competitors.
While the talent identification process for Merchants CAL’s running team continues, Dreyer’s enthusiastic crop has been hard at work in preparation for the South Africa’s biggest obstacle course races as well as trail running events throughout KZN and beyond.
“It’s exciting to expose our runners to such a unique event and it has been great to see how up for the challenge the guys have been.” said Dreyer.
The Warrior Race’s Black Ops Elite event is a strenuous 15 kilometre trail run during which participants complete thirty obstacles along the way with the winner the person to successfully complete the entire course the fastest.
“The Black Ops Elite is unbelievably hard and if you can’t complete an obstacle, the marshals remove your timing bracelet and you are out!” explains Dreyer. “Three of our guys were thrown into the deep end and tried the Black Ops Elite event in Ballito while the other seven did the more lenient Black Ops event. Our running team captain, Kwanda Mhlophe did incredibly well to arrive at obstacle 22, ‘Breaking Point’, in eighth place and came within centimetres of completing it successfully.”
So impressive was Mhlophe and the rest of the Change a Life squad’s debut effort though, that Claude Eksteen – a former South African triathlete who recently became a full time obstacle racer, and who notably also didn’t finish the Ballito event – invited the group to train at his Adventure Obstacle Training facility in Durban North.