“U are Ultraordinary” – Supporting the Greater Good – the Comrades Marathon

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There is no better way to start the 88th edition of The Ultimate Human Race than by supporting the greater good. The CMA launched its Amabeadibeadi Campaign in April which last year saw the CMA in the past year raise a record 3.2million rand for its six official charities included in the campaign.

This year’s campaign ‘U are ultraordinary’ focuses on the runner and with it, the ultraordinary ways in which Comrades Marathon runners can contribute towards fundraising for its charities, namely Starfish Greathearts Foundation, Community Chest, Sports Trust, Wildlands Conservation Trust, PinkDrive and World Vision South Africa.

The ‘Toyota Win-a-Car Competition’ has been a driving force for Amabeadibeadi fundraising and sees thousands of rand channeled into the charitable coffers year on year. Runners and the greater public can enter the Toyota Win-a-Car competition by sms’ing “TOYOTA” to 34068 at a cost of R1.50 per sms which will run until the 2nd June 2013.

As part of the 2013 charity campaign is the continuation of the Race4Charity initiative. Through this platform, runners have the opportunity to “secure” their spot closer to the front of the Comrades Marathon start line and improve their seeding batch, while raising funds for a good cause and hence contributing to the greater good of South Africa.

Race4Charity gives individuals from all walks of life an opportunity to make a difference and give back to the less fortunate in a way that is both exciting to the athlete and to the benefit of another human being, by participating in this one of a kind challenge for charity.

Go to the Comrades website www.comrades.com and follow the Race4Charity link. Here, runners are able to sign up, while family, friends and supporters can donate and leave messages of motivation and encouragement. Runners get to choose which of the six Amabeadibeadi charities they would like to support.

An added bonus to the campaign is the prizes that are up for grabs for those who have raised the most funds for the initiative. Besides that, nothing beats the feel-good sensation of knowing someone less fortunate has been given a bit of hope for a better life.

Also in its third year running is the famed Unogwaja Challenge. This awesome initiative is undertaken by 12 brave young men and women – who will once again follow in the footsteps of Phil Masterton-Smith, who at age 19 in 1931 won the Comrades Marathon making him the youngest winner of the event in the history of the great race. He was affectionately known as “Unogwaja” which means ‘the hare’ in isiZulu.

Masterton-Smith, who lived in Cape Town in 1933, couldn’t afford the train fare to Pietermaritzburg to run the Comrades Marathon but was so determined to compete that he cycled the 1700km distance in just 10 days and then ran the 89km ultra-marathon on the 11th day, coming in tenth place.

The fundraising from the Unogwaja Challenge will go towards the Amabeadibeadi drive. For more on the Unogwaja Challenge, please visit www.unogwaja-challenge.com

Says CMA Chairman Dave Dixon, ‘The Comrades Marathon’s Amabeadibeadi Charity Initiative goes hand in hand with what the Comrades Marathon stands for. Standing up and doing something beneficial and meaningful for the needy in South Africa is probably the most important thing we can do in the run-up to the world’s greatest ultra-marathon.’

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