In October 2006, two extreme athletes David Grier and Braam Malherbe accepted the first Cipla Miles for Smiles Foundation challenge: to run the length of the Great Wall of China in one attempt.
It had never been done before and was deemed humanly impossible, yet 4200km and 98 days later the two had achieved their seemingly unattainable goal. They had run, climbed and in cases, crawled across treacherous weather-battered terrain into the record books by becoming the first persons in recorded history to traverse the length of the Sleeping Dragon as the wall is often called.
Unlike many extreme athletes, they didn’t do it just to challenge themselves. Instead they undertook the mission to make a difference to the lives of children in their home country South Africa and to inspire them to go out and live their dreams.
Their challenge mission was two fold. Firstly, to raise enough money for international non-profit organization Operation Smile to perform 55 reconstructive facial surgeries on underprivileged South African children. Secondly, to motivate these and other youngsters that anyone can do anything if they put their mind to it.
Not only did the Cipla Miles For Smiles Great Wall Challenge raised R550 000, it also earned Malherbe and Grier the Adventurer of year award from the Out There magazine. But this was not the biggest achievement; it was the subsequent smiles of 55 children who received corrective surgery, which was the greatest award.
Nothing would have been possible without our support crew;
Hans Seer, Michael Rainer, Geoff Smith, Lunga, Little Chang, Changa, Piao, Lee, William Lindsaey and Leanne Raymond
And the our sponsors;Cipla,Devco, Adidas, Santam, Garmen, Sport Science Health Junction