May 04, 2016
BENEFITING: Free To Run Inc.
EVENT DATE: May 01, 2016
On 1 May, I will set out to compete in a 250 km self-supported race in the Namib Desert honouring Free to Run's ambassadors and programme participants who break barriers every day by defying danger and humiliation to pursue their passion and engage in sports and running. I am hoping to raise US$10,000 to support Free to Run athletes around the world.
ABOUT FREE TO RUN Free to Run was founded by my good friend Stephanie Case, a human rights lawyer and competitve ultra-runner. Free to Run’s mission is to use running, fitness and adventure to empower and educate women and girls from conflict-affected communities. The ability to participate in physical fitness and outdoor adventure is related to important human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to health and freedom of movement. Unfortunately, in many areas of the world, there are few opportunities to participate in sports. Women and girls are especially restricted as a result of widespread discrimination and traditional beliefs about female roles. There is an overwhelming need to develop opportunities for women and girls to become involved in sport and physical education. On an individual level, they can help to develop emotional and physical well-being and personal power. However, on a community, regional or national level, sport and physical activity programs can be used as a tool to promote gender equity, enhance children’s and women’s rights, and address harmful discriminatory practices. Free To Run strongly believes in the power of sports to transform the lives of women and girls, and they are deeply committed to making that happen.
In Hong Kong, in collaboration with Justice Centre Hong Kong, Free to Run provides running and hiking activities to refugees, with a special focus on women and girls. Many of the refugees they work with are survivors of torture and human rights abuses. In the past six months refugees have participated in the 10 km Unicef race, a 12 km AVOHK race as well as the 30 km Country of Origin race.
THE CHALLENGE: I will be participating in The Sahara Race, a seven-day self-supported 250km footrace across the Namib Desert which starts on 1 May 2016. The race is one of the Four Deserts Series organised by Racing The Planet. This is first desert race attempted in five years having completed the 4 Deserts Grand Slam (Atacama, Gobi, Sahara and Antarctica races) in 2010 and I hope that my body will keep up when my mind is still willing.