When Cipla’s Miles for Smiles Foundation issued its next extreme challenge - to run a smile around the tip of Africa, the Coastal Challenge, extreme athletes David Grier and Braam Malherbe stepped up to the line again.
Having successfully completed the Foundation’s first challenge in 2006 of becoming the first persons in history to run the length of the Great Wall of China non-stop, Grier and Malherbe couldn't resist the challenge of running an estimated 4000 km non-stop from Oranjemund in Namibia via Cape Town in South Africa to Ponto d'Oro in Mozambique
Despite the massive physical toll exerted on their bodies during the Great Wall Challenge, Grier 49 and Malherbe 50 started their preparation in Cape Town. Again under the vigilant guidance of the Sports Science Institute they were soon declared medically fit to take on the Coastal Challenge.
The Great Wall of China challenge had laid a foundation of inspiration, which brought the plight of children born with cleft lips and palates to the attention of the South African public. Once again Grier and Malherbe took on the challenge to raise awareness and after running some 3300 km in 80 days they reached Ponte D’Ora and completed another incredible world first journey.
The biggest achievement was not the journey but the 2million rand that was raised through the endorsement of Spar and the Round Table of South Africa. These funds enabled Operation Smile to facilitate corrective surgery upon hundreds of children afflicted with facial deformity and give them their God given right to a Smile.
This journey would not have been possible if it were not for the loyal support crew and sponsors.
The support team were:
Geoff Dalglish, Geoffrey Smith, John Horler, Steven Alexander, Michaele Kabasenge and Ros Walsh
With thanks to the sponsors:
Cipla, Adidas, Toyota, Beekman Canopes, Garmin, Spar, Round Table, Garth Living, Santam, Engen, Ecco Aqua