Moroccan Marathons: Runners for a Cause

Clip art runner

Note: because they are going to run their heads off for good causes, we're providing space here for some of our friends to share their news on the two upcoming fundraisers in Morocco – next month, the "Marathon des Sables," which takes its participants (victims?) through the desert, and June's "Marathon des Cèdres," which, though it will be in cooler cedar forests, will be over grueling mountainous tracks.  We hope that you'll support these worthy efforts.

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Marathon des Sables

First, there is Mina from the UK, who from her website, tells us she is "training to run 151 miles over 6 days in the Sahara desert this Easter, carrying all of my own equipment! I signed up for this bonkers challenge for so many reasons; for the sheer joy of challenging myself to do something that is sure to take me close to my limits, to do something that is both terrifying and wildly exciting at the same time, but most importantly to participate in an event which provides me with a huge opportunity to raise a substantial amount of money."

"I have recently had the honour of being asked to be a trustee of New Hope Rural Community Trust (an amazing charity I spent some time working with last summer in India, registered UK charity no. 1002694). After a great deal of thought I have decided to raise money for a very specific reason, to buy a piece of land which will, in turn, provide future security and a vital piece of independence for 14 children. I am fully funding all of the costs involved for this event myself and so any money that I receive in sponsorship will go directly to help the children at New Hope. The acre of land costs £8575, each sub-divided plot is £612.50, making it just under £2 per square yard. Thank you so much for taking the time to read about what I am doing, I would be massively grateful for any sponsorship, however big or small."

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Marathon des Cèdres

From Jamil and David: "We will be running in the Marathon International des Cedres (21-24 June 2012), a 54-mile (90K) four-day stage race in the Atlas Mountains.  Our goal for this race is first to raise money for the High Atlas Foundation.  Our goal is to raise $10,000 for HAF through our fundraising website which is hosted by another non-profit organization, Razoo."

"One of our fellow Olmsted Scholars has also created a facebook page which we are using to advertise the run as well as HAF.  As students of language and culture who live in foreign societies and travel extensively, we are especially driven by opportunities to give back to those who have made us welcome."

High Atlas Foundation – HAF works to establish development projects in different parts of Morocco that local communities design and manage, and that are in partnership with government and non-government agencies. The over-arching purpose of the High Atlas Foundation is grassroots development in predominantly rural disadvantaged communities in Morocco. HAF was founded in 2000 by former Peace Corps Volunteers as a way to build upon the relationships and knowledge gained during their years of service for the continued benefit of the Moroccan people. For example, HAF has planted 320,000 fruit and nut-bearing trees benefiting approximately 30,000 people and provided clean drinking water, thus helping reduce infant mortality by one half. HAF is a U.S. 501(c)(3) organization and a Moroccan association, and since 2011 has Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Marathon International des Cedres (21-24 June 2012) – This four-day marathon traverses 54 miles (90K) of cedar forest and trails in the Atlas Mountains. Coupled with the summer heat, the race is characterized by challenging altitudes ranging from 5250-6890 feet (1600-2100 meters). Your encouragement will be needed indeed!"

Gerald Loftus

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