Running Africa Coast to Coast 2,500 miles for School Accommodation at Friends of Mulanje Orphans
I arrived in Malawi on the 15th May, I was collected from the airport by Seth from FOMO. It was great to be back in Malawi and be back at FOMO. Visiting their projects was a great start to this adventure.
The highlight was visiting the secondary school at FOMO. The purpose of this run is to raise the £75,000 needed to build school accommodation for boys there. I was able to visit the plot which is ready to be built on. The exciting part is as soon as we reach £30,000 the construction of the first block can start.
I spent the first seven days training and it was good to acclimatise to the heat. I would start running at 6am joined by Manuel who took me on beautiful routes through tea plantations and local villages, with Mulanje mountain towering above us – a good landmark for us not to get lost!
On the 21st May Edyta and myself travelled to Mangochi to spend a week at the lake visiting projects and to run the Impact Malawi Marathon on the 26th May. It was a fantastic week and I met some incredible people which have now become friends and we shared seven special and unique days together. I made the decision not to run the marathon, a hard decision but a sensible one as my focus was on the Africa run. It was however extremely inspiring watching the runners push themselves to their limits in extreme heat.
The journey to the start line
On Wednesday 30th May the team Peter (driver), Antonia, Manuel and Gostar set off at 6am to head to the coast of Namibia. What a great start, we had little fuel and the petrol stations were closed! With only 5k in the tank we managed to get some fuel from the black market recommended by a local policeman. The fuel did the job and we reached a petrol station. Lesson number 1 – always fill up at each petrol station!
The drive took us longer than expected and it was quite stressful going through the Zambian border. However once we were through we found a lovely cheap guesthouse run by the kindest little man. We ate, slept and left again at 6am. Another day of tedious driving, a stop off at a weird hostel where the door wouldn’t close letting in all the mosquitoes and the owner was rather drunk.
Day 3 we finally went through the border into Namibia which was a lot simpler. After a very slow long morning drive we finally had our first surprise. A herd of elephants wandering along through the forest. There’s something so special watching elephants in the wild.
After 4 days we finally reach the coast of Namibia at Swakopmund where we meet the rest of the team Libby and Steve. Another highlight was seeing Manuel and Gostar’s faces at seeing the sea for the first time. A very special moment.
We were also joined by our Mascot Benny Bear #Bennybear
To donate > https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/brendanrendall1
#BennyBear #BrensAfricaRun #FOMO