In June 2015 I had the good fortune to meet Brendan Rendall and Emma Timmis whilst volunteering at FISS Friends of Malawi Independent Senior School in the rural area of Mulanje an hour and a half’s journey from Blantyre. Brendan was there preparing for his run a few weeks later. This run was no jog! It was a run of the entire length of Malawi, no mean feet and no two feet could do this better than Brendan’s! He was supported by Emma a girl that likes a challenge who has herself been busy recently with riding an eliptipgo right across Australia…yes you read that right!
Brendan completed that challenge and raised enough money to build a science block for the senior school. But if that wasn’t enough he will be back there this summer and this time he will be running the Impact Malawi Marathon and if that wasn’t even enough(!) he is then running the Coast to Coast of Africa from Namibia to Mozambique! I have caught up with Brendan to ask a few questions about this challenge and to see how the training is going, this is what he said!
In 2016 I became the 1st person to run the length of Malawi 708 miles 27 days, equivalent to running 27 marathons 27days. It was during this run I felt confident I could run further and wanted to test myself even further thats when the seed for running Africa Coast to Coast was planted. Returning to the UK after running Malawi I went on to run the famous John O Groats to Lands End 962 miles 35 days thats when I knew running Africa Coast to Coast was on! We successfully raised £35,354 which funded the Art and Science block which saw the completion of FOMO Secondary School. Having taught at that school I know how much that has meant to the community to have such a wonderful resource further developing the learning of young people in that area. On his return Brendan gave a talk at the Royal Geographical Society about his incredible journey – Running Malawi.
….and so onto the next challenge Brendan!
So in May I will be flying back to Malawi to run the Impact Malawi Marathon before heading to Namibia to start the run. The run its self is the Coast to Coast of Africa from Namibia to Mozambique, the route will take me through Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique. 4000km which I plan to complete in 3 months.
I will have a support vehicle which will carry my small team, tents, food etc driving the vehicle is the fantastic Peter Channon, and Libby Bowles will be cycling along side me carrying water and filming/taking pictures of the run.
I start the run on June 1st and we plan to reach Malawi on August 1st where we will be met at the border by the incredible FOMO founder Mary Woodworth and others as the route will take me down into Mulanje and FOMO Secondary School.
FOMO – Friends of Mulanje Orphans is an incredible small charity that is an orphan care programme for 3,500 orphans. My 1st visit was in 2009 and I was so impressed by there hard work that I have been fund raising for them ever since.
So the training has started, I mean over the years I’ve built up quite a bit of endurance and I don’t drive so walking everywhere has helped with my fitness. So I tend to train 6 days a week, split the days into 2 runs a morning run and an evening run. I try to cover 20 miles a day thats including walking so mentally in my head I’ve coved the distance for example I would run 6 in the morning, I usually walk 4-6 miles a during the day and then run in the evening the amount of miles I need to round it to 20 miles.
I know my thoughts will be with Brendan and the team as he starts the challenge on June 1st and saying good luck seems totally inadequate but good luck Brendan and I know those boys will be thanking you later this year when building starts on the hostel, this challenge could not be in better hands or should I say feet! Updates on Brendan’s challenge will be posted.
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