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In just a few weeks’ time, Decision Inc. manager Andrew Espin will be competing in the epic Ecuador leg which is the Roving Race of the global 4Deserts series. His preparations are nearing completion for this gruelling self-supported foot race he is using as a platform to raise awareness and much-needed funds for the St Joseph’s Home for Chronically Ill Children.

The Racing the Planet: Ecuador 2015 event takes place at the end of July and covers six stages translating to roughly 250 kilometres that need to be completed in seven days. Carrying his own supplies, Andrew will run through mixed terrain, climbing to just under 4 000m.

Temperatures are expected to vary between 30 degrees Celsius in the day and approximately 5 degrees Celsius in the evening. However, the climate in Ecuador is mainly determined by the terrain so Andrew would need to pack for a variety of scenarios and conditions.

“While the race takes place in some of the most beautiful terrain in the world, it is expected to be incredibly challenging. Being a fully self-supported race means that I have to train in such a way that I can overcome the difficulties in carrying all my gear with me.”

Currently, he is running six times a week with alternating weights and boxing classes to build strength and endurance. What makes preparations especially challenging is the fact that he spends about eight hours training in a short week and up to 20 hours during a long week. This means finding a balance between work, family life, and training is essential.

“However, I am proud to be part of this global event. I want to take the opportunity to raise awareness for a South African charity that is dealing with very serious shortfalls in funding. St Joseph’s is about ‘changing lives one small step at a time’ and I hope that the steps I take will assist in giving some children a second chance. Personally, I am really happy to be working with them and supporting the great work they are doing” he says.

The Roving Race series consists of one race each year that takes place in a new location every time. The event launched in 2008 in Vietnam and has previously covered the likes of the Australian Outback, the Skeleton Coast in Namibia, and the volcanic scenery of Iceland.

“I’ll be one of roughly 250 competitors competing from more than 40 countries. While the majority will be men, almost 20 percent of the competitors are women. While there are those racers who run the entire course, the majority of us will combine running with walking. To give you an idea of the length of the event, the winning time is expected to be around 26 hours with the slowest time estimated to be around 70 hours. That is a lot of walking and running no matter how you look at it. Factor in that your average backpack weighs nine kilogram, then you have a gruelling event to look forward to,” he says.

While Andrew has completely self-funded his race participation, he is using the platform to raise awareness and funds for the St. Joseph’s Home for Chronically Ill Children. Started in 1935, it is based in Montana in the Western Cape and gives nearly 300 children a second chance at childhood annually. Children diagnosed with life threatening or limiting conditions are referred here from state hospitals to continue their care programme. Prevalent illnesses include HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes, respiratory, heart-lung-kidney failures, congenital abnormalities, and neurological impairments.

If you are interested in making a donation and assist in the “Adopt a Bed” project of St Joseph’s Home, please use the following details:

Name of Bank: Standard Bank
Account name: St Joseph´s Home
Account number: 271166614
Branch name: Pinelands
Branch code: 036309
Swift Code: SBZAZAJJ
Reference: Four Deserts

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For more info on St Joseph’s Home, please go to: