The Herald Beggar-in-Chief Steven Lancaster has launched a new way to boost the coffers of The Herald’s Christmas Cheer Fund while boosting the health of those involved.
Lancaster, who collects funds each year for the charity fund, has challenged couch potatoes, as well as athletes, to sign up for a new training programme that will make them fit enough to run.
The goal of his #Superhero16 challenge is to run in the annual Aspen PE City Marathon, hosted by the Crusaders Athletics Club, on December 3.
“The training programme can best be described as a moderate approach to the collective wisdom of programmes and experienced runners,” Lancaster said.
Runners will tackle the 42.2km or 10km races, with both starting at the NG Church in Marne Avenue, Lorraine.
It is considered a relatively easy qualification for the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon and the Comrades Ultra Marathon.
The #Superhero16 challenge is organised by The Charity Space organisation in partnership with the Charlo Athletics Club with the permission of the PE City Marathon.
The challenge invites runners to donate R280 in return for a customised training programme and a running shirt.
An extra R60 ensures runners also receive a pair of “magic” red socks.
Proceeds go to The Herald Christmas Cheer Fund.
Lancaster, who is also the head of Charity Space and a member of the Charlo Athletics Club, said the idea had been devised last year as a means to raise the fund’s profile.
“I have been running with the Charlo Athletic Club for the last few years and . . . fellow club members [and I] realised that there were a number of people who wanted to run their first marathon or qualify for the ultras,” he said.
“We asked them to donate to projects of Rotary and Christmas Cheer and in return we gave them a 16-week training with weekly e-mails, group runs and access to advice.”
In this year’s programme, the marathon runners begin their sessions this week and the shorter-distance runners in the week of September 26.
It consists of three to four days a week of running and walking, with the rest of the days used to rest the legs or for cross-training. Participants also receive weekly communication about the programme and developments within it through e-mail and WhatsApp.
“The training is easy enough to fit into a daily schedule, especially approaching December, but intense enough to ensure people can finish their events relatively comfortably,” Lancaster said.
The #Superhero16 also allows runners to participate dressed as their favourite super-hero.
To do this, they will need to donate a minimum of R2 000 extra.
Charlo Athletic Club chairman Allister Marran completed last year’s event fully kitted out as the DC comics character Batman.
Entries are open online at www.crusadersathletic.co.za, with the entrance fee for the 10km race being R45 and the 42.2km marathon being R105.
Additional donations can be made through Charlo Athletics Club: Standard Bank, Name: Charlo Athletic Club, Branch Name: Pickering Street, Branch Number: 050017, Account Number: 080174302, Reference: #Superhero16 [plus your name or the name of the person you are supporting].
For further information, contact Lancaster on 076-027 5280 or firstname.lastname@example.org