The 2012 Unogwaja Challenge

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This 10 day cycle from Cape Town to Pietermaritzburg to run the Comrades Marathon on day 11 is a journey of the heart inspired by the life of Phil Masterton-Smith who couldn’t afford the train fare from Cape Town to Pietermaritzburg in 1933 so he cycled up instead and finished 10th in the race. He died in World War Two in 1942. His nickname was “Unogwaja” meaning hare in Zulu and his legacy lives on in the Unogwaja Challenge. Wherever you go, go with your heart. – John McInroy

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This ultimate story of passion, willpower, courage and determination was mirrored by four young men, who followed in the footsteps of Phil Masterton-Smith 78 years later.

In 2011, Team Unogwaja succeeded in cycling 1677km’s in 10 days from Cape Town to Pietermaritzburg, and then running the Ultimate Human Race on day 11.This journey came alive & the Unogwaja team came together through Red Sock Friday (RSF), an initiative that shares its origin, like Comrades, in the aftermath of a World War, and is a global community of people who share a common passion for life and positive energy.

The moment that founder of RSF, John McInroy, heard the story of Unogwaja from Dr WP van Zyl, a stranger at the time, the two knew this was a path they were going to follow.

In 2012, 4 men and 1 woman are taking on the task again: leaving on the 24 May in Cape Town, they’ll take 10 days to cycle to Pietermaritzburg – and on the 11th day, run the Comrades Marathon.

Follow their journey, here.

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