Running for More than Yourself
Charles Didcott is no ordinary runner, but he certainly is a determined (and some might say slightly bonkers) one. Running is hard, running on mountain passes is harder, and running with no shoes is really really hard. But this didn’t deter Charles, who is in his 50’s, from making a bold statement when he set out on 18th April 2014 to run the Two Oceans Trail Race – a beautiful but gruelling 22km route through forests, gravel tracks, and undulating mountain passes. The run really tested his pain threshold and his sense of humour, but he ploughed ahead in order to raise more than R32,000 for his chosen charities, LEAP Schools and the Put Foot Foundation. A fantastic effort!
Here he recounts his experience:
My self-inflicted challenge went well. Pre-race start I got a strong sense of scepticism from many of the serious trail runners when they saw me strolling about with no shoes. I think attitudes softened a little after there was an announcement about my fundraising efforts and people started to come up to me and wish me luck. I even got to pose for a few photos and had a video interview. I could not help but feel somewhat the conspicuous nutcase but once the race started things changed. There was huge support from other runners and spectators throughout the race. And I needed it. The trail was very challenging with plenty of up and down on beautiful hiking trails. The worst for me though were the sections of gravel jeep-tracks. Running barefoot over chip-stone, kilometre after kilometre slowed me down and tested my sense of humour. I made it to the finish in 3 hours, 10 minutes which put me in 15th place in my age group. I’m very happy with that result and best of all, my feet, although extremely tender, came through essentially unscathed.
I would not recommend what I did to any sane person although it is amazing what one can do with the right motivation. I want to thank all of you who have given so generously to my fundraising effort.
We thank Charles for his hard work and determination in his running and his fundraising.
If you are interested in taking on a challenge to raise money for LEAP Schools you can become an activist on Given Gain or like Charles you can use the Old Mutual Giving platform ‘For more than yourself’