The Ten10 Challenge: 10 Comrades in 10 Days!

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Hazel Moller and Tumelo Mokobane took on the ultimate running challenge – to run the 90km Comrades distance EACH day consecutively for the nine days leading up to the epic Ultra Marathon, and then culminating in the official Comrades marathon on the 29th May 2016. In other words, they attempted to run Ten Comrades Marathons in Ten days! Ouch!

Their goal was to raise R500 000 for animal charities who rehabilitate and nurture abused and abandoned animals and then find them loving and caring homes. “We run for all of the animals that are sitting in cold shelters who have no one to love them. Many have no room to move and definitely no room to run.” Hazel expressed. The management team of Bulldog Abrasives decided to sponsor the Ten10 challenge after meeting Hazel and seeing how enthusiastic she was about the cause that she was running for, and how determined she was to conquer her goal.

“It is not every day that you come across people who are so passionate about such a worthy cause and who are willing to go the distance to help. As it is one of Bulldog Abrasives core values to always go above and beyond when it comes to our customer service (something that WE are very passionate about!) we thought that it would be an awesome feat to support.” explained Bulldog’s CEO John Maroun.

Tumelo Mokobane heard of Hazel’s initiative last year and started to follow Hazel’s cause on Twitter. He found Hazel to be such an inspiration and called her to see if he could join her on this year’s challenge. Hazel was extremely grateful that she had someone to run besides her who is just as passionate as she is about animals, and just as determined to make a difference in their little lives. With their passion about making a difference and raising money for the animal charities, they were determined to go the distance, but on day 5 of the challenge Hazel had to jump out of the way of a vehicle that was heading towards her at full speed, resulting in a 10cm tear in the tibialis muscle in her left lower leg.

Tumelo, after running 90km’s per day for 6 days, and 51km’s on day 7, suffered from extreme muscle fatigue, and I know, as being a part of the experience, how hard he tried to keep going and push through the terrible pain that he was experiencing.

On day eight of the challenge, Hazel, with her passion and determination, attempted to run with her 10cm muscle tear. She got to 15km’s and couldn’t carry on, as the pain was too great. If she had to run anymore on the leg it would have caused permanent damage, so devastated Hazel, and her supportive husband Chris, headed back to Johannesburg where Hazel could get proper treatment and the medical attention she needed. Tumelo’s hips and legs seized up and he was unable to run any further. From there he travelled to Durban and participated in the Comrades Marathon two days later, which he completed in under twelve hours.

The definition of a challenge is “being faced with something that needs great mental or physical effort in order to be done successfully and therefore tests a persons ability”. Both Hazel and Tumelo accepted the Ten10 challenge but to run 90km’s per day for 10 days is no easy challenge (if it was, a lot more people would be doing it!). Everyone can take the necessary precautions, but the reality is, when it comes to running no one is immune to injury. They can both raise their heads high and be proud of what they have accomplished.

Both participants of the challenge were distraught that they had not been able to run the whole Ten10 challenge, but to us they are both heroes! They have created such awareness for PETs, SPCA and Animals in Distress, and have raised over R200 000 for these charities. If you could have been out there to see the passion and determination in both of these athletes, you would have gotten goosebumps! They felt so strongly about creating awareness for abused and abandoned animals and the charities that help these animals that they wanted to run through the pain to achieve their goal.

In a recent email from Hazel, she stated “I have been astounded by the knock forward effect ten10 has had this year – in the last couple of weeks two other clubs have donated pet food and I have been able to donate to Animal Ambulance and 4paws as well. Also, some late sponsorships came through and upon consent of the ten10 team, I was able to donate it to Underdogs. I would like to thank Bulldog Abrasives. Without you, the marketing you did, the financial support and the customer networking, it just would not have been the success it was with regard to raising funds and awareness for animal charities.”

This was the first time that the Ten10 initiative raised over R100 000, and reaching R200 000 was unbelievable for them. The support they received was tremendous, especially since they never completed the full “Ten Comrades in Ten Days”. Hazel attributes this mostly to Bulldog Abrasives and associates, and states that without their support they would have never managed to reach the R200 000 mark. Bulldog Abrasives would like to thank Hazel and Tumelo for making them a part of such an amazing challenge and for showing them how far you can get when you believe in something so strong. They would also like to thank their co-sponsors, Netaccess, as well as all of you who supported Hazel and Tumelo by donating to their worthy cause. It is greatly appreciated!

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