Extreme athlete to run Mayan Yucatan Odyssey in support of children’s charity

(Cape Town, 12 November 2015) In an epic journey of strength and endurance, South African extreme athlete Dr David Crombie is flying out to Mexico later this month, to complete the world’s first solo run from the ancient ruins of Chichén Itzá,across 1000kms of rugged Yucatan Peninsula.

David Crombie is no stranger to incredible feats of endurance, over the past nine years he has successfully completed four major events – the Himalayas 100 miler in India and Nepal in 2007, the 220km Amazon Jungle Marathon in 2008, the Kalahari Augrabies 250km desert race in 2009 and the trans-country 2,604km Mekong River Run in 2012. Through David’s Endurance Challenge Charity Trust the purpose of these gruelling challenges is to raise awareness and funds in support of Home From Home.

Home From Home is a registered Child Protection Organisation and cluster foster care scheme that provides supported and supervised community-based foster care for orphaned, abused, neglected and vulnerable children through a network of small family homes in the Western Cape.

David is passionate about the organisation and is using his latest extreme endurance challenge to continue his efforts to highlight the difficulties faced by these children and to ensure that Home From Home can continue to support them into adulthood.

Says Pippa Shaper, director of Home From Home; “David Crombie is an inspiration. Having fought battles with his health, he continues to selflessly think of others and put himself through extraordinary feats of endurance to raise awareness about the plight of South Africa’s vulnerable children. We wish David all the luck and strength in the world for this upcoming Mayan adventure.”

The race, which starts on 12 November 2015, will take a total of 23 running days and three rest days. For the first 350km David will run unassisted an average of 50km a day for seven days to reach Edzna. The rest of the route he will be seconded by friend Claudia Chennells and run 16 full 42km marathons, with one rest day in Calakmul and one in Tulum, finishing in Chichén Itzá.  Chennells is fluent in Spanish and as David’s support crew will act as translator, helping him navigate the many unknowns that could occur on the journey.

Despite the fact that he is a cancer survivor who underwent a bone marrow transplantin 2011, David is determined to complete this epic adventure through Mayan history. In order to prepare his body he has undertaken a lengthy and rigorous training schedule to replicate the kind of demanding and gruelling conditions he will face during this challenge.

His friend and colleague, Professor Tim Noakes, has worked closely with David to carefully plan his nutritional intake and ensure his muscles can withstand a marathon a day for just under a month.

“David Crombie has performed some remarkable endurance events in the past few decades. Now he is going to run the Mayan Yucatan Odyssey and this will take determination and hardship all in the cause of raising funds for Home from Home,” says Professor Noakes. “One thing is certain, he will finish the run whatever obstacles may present themselves. Having survived so much in his life, and undertaken so many remarkable endurance events in the past, he proves he has the character and the capacity to do it again. As always, it is a pleasure to show my support for this new challenge.”

As part of the preparation for his journey, David did a 10km training run in Khayeltisha, which took him past many of the Home From Home houses. It was the perfect opportunity for David to meet some of the children and for them to spend time with this athlete who is running to raise money for them.

“Every day when I am running, I will be thinking how lucky I am, despite my health, to be making these dreams a reality and for such a worthy cause.”

For more information on Home from Home, visit: http://www.homefromhome.org.za/.