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This weekend provided another incredibly timely reminder to me about what is truly important in life. This is us at the end of IMPI Challenge in Kwa Zulu Natal – including Andrew King and Robert “The Brundle” le Brun who are both part of the Unogwaja team.

The IMPI Challenge on the surface is an epic trail run/ obstacle course set in incredible surroundings akin to Lord of the Rings (It was in Eston, Kwa Zulu Natal which is not far from our day 9 destination Richmond and not far from the home of the Comrades) focussed around teamwork, fun and trying things you have never done before! The IMPI like many things in life gave us an opportunity for choice and it seemed that everyone at the IMPI decided that they were going to have a lot of fun no matter what. There was no room for people to make “lame” choices. Let me illustrate, the one obstacle was a rope wall over a massive tree. It was probably the most “feared” and anticipated obstacle on the course. A big group of us ended up waiting there for about 30minutes as people made their way over, some taking quite a long time as admittedly it was bloody high and if you had a fear of heights I can totally understand why. Anyway what could have been a source of frustration and dissatisfaction ended up being one of the most memorable parts of the day with different teams coming together, interacting and eventually doing a Mexican wave that moved up and down the line of people with wild excitement. After a relatively long wait the obstacle had to be closed for safety reasons, and this was simply met with an instantaneous outburst of noise that sparked a crazy charge forward to the next obstacle! It resembled a scene from Braveheart as by now everyone was completely submerged in mud!

Thank you IMPI for bringing together another group of epic people who choose life! This is a photo of me and The Brundle at the end of IMPI. It sums it up! He choses life and infects everyone around him.

I realised that if you are surrounded by people who all choose life you can do exactly that no matter what. After IMPI a group of close friends gathered the Hayne’s family home in Pennington, South Coast of Durban. Lettie (see two previous posts on Lettie Run and What really matters?) is a special friend of ours, husband to Zoog and mother to little Ty, Lea and Slates. She is in the battle of her life against cancer. I cannot think of tougher circumstances.

Lettie chooses life. And not only that. She has infected all of us around her and we all know that with spirit and the love we have seen in this special family that truly anything is possible.

As a small token of choosing life I shaved my hair off (as did the great Brundle) and will be riding the Unogwaja with Lettie and her family in my heart. She truly is a beautiful person and the love I have witnessed between her and Zoog is the kind of love that gives us all hope and lets us believe that we can overcome, endure, persevere, love, laugh and stand tall together against the most awful things imaginable.

I will be carrying a message for Lettie from Cape Town to Pietermaritzburg on my bike and then from the start of Comrades Marathon to Polly Shorts (near the end of the run) where I will be attaching my message to a helium balloon given to me by Lettie’s husband Zoog. I will then undertake to run up the entire hill without stopping or walking, as a celebration of being able to, knowing that Lettie would love to be running with me and that any “pain” or “tiredness” I may be feeling is pretty lame compared with what Lettie has had to endure (so basically man up!). At the top of the hill I will let go of the balloon and send the message of hope to the heavens for direct consideration! To read more about the “Pink Mile” please read Zoog’s blog :

Whether you know Lettie or not, you can also be part of this. Just write your message and take part. You won’t miss all the Pink balloons at the bottom of Polly Shorts.

Lettie chooses life.

You should too!

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