Local pastor Daan van Niekerk has taken up a unique fund-raising prayer run challenge.
Fresh off completing the Comrades in June, Van Niekerk was challenged by his congregation at the ‘Lede in Christus Kerk’ in Port Shepstone to enter the 100 Capital Classic in order to spearhead the church’s Drive A Smile Project.
The South Coast Striders athlete jumped at the opportunity and is set to participate in the 100km, 12-hour circuit race in Pietermaritzburg on Saturday, 23 September.
Van Niekerk will be carrying a little flag with the name of a country and a name of a South African town with him and exchange it after each 1km lap in the hopes of doing 100 laps while praying for 100 different nations and South African towns.
“To athletes doing 100 milers, this may not appear big, but to me it’s huge,” Van Niekerk told eHowzit.
“I have never run further than the normal Comrades marathon distances and never before participated in a circuit race. But greater than the task ahead is the opportunity to pray for 100 nations and SA towns while raising funds.
“I am so thankful to my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, for the health and ability I am enjoying, and want to show my gratitude by using it positively. For I know things of this earth, including our mortal bodies, will not last forever.”
The church has urged businesses to support Van Niekerk through pledges and/or sponsoring him per km, with 10% of funds raised going towards the local SPCA.
Van Niekerk started training for this challenge a week after the Comrades and will step up his preparation by running 40, 1km drills (500m out and back) from Uvongo Fishing Pier this Saturday (12 August) starting at 9am.
Van Niekerk invited locals to attend Saturday’s training day, saying, “Please come join me for anything from 1-40 kilometers to make the time and mileage go flying past. Some lovely pancakes will be sold by the church for our Drive A Smile Project.”
For donations or to sponsor him per lap, contact Van Niekerk on 084 899 8184 or firstname.lastname@example.org or use the following banking details:
Account name: Lede in Christus Kerk: Port Shepstone
Bank: Nedbank Port Shepstone
Branch code: 198765
Account type: Cheque
Account no: 1398140457