Twenty-five triathletes have already signed up for the 70point3 charity team that will take part in the Half Ironman in East London on January 23.
Team organisers are using the event – which consists of a 1.9km ocean swim, 90km cycle and 21.1km run – to raise funds for the Zanethemba Baby Haven in Port Elizabeth.
Their aim is to raise a thousand rand for each mile of the event, therefore R70 300, by race day.
“To date, we have raised just over R30 000,” said organiser Kristen Britz. “Our goal is to sign up 50 athletes by December 17 to assist with the fundraising.”
Rookie contestants Britz and Lindy Taverner came up with the idea of taking on the challenge for charity to motivate themselves and fellow competitors to make it to the finish line of the gruelling event.
Britz said the Spec-Savers Ironman 70.3 South Africa was completely sold out but invited participating athletes to join the 70point3 team.
"It’s a wonderful opportunity for individual athletes to have the support of a team at this challenging event and at the same time be able to do something good for abused and abandoned babies.”
For a fee of R300, participants will receive a good quality branded race vest and golf shirt to be worn at registration and after the event.
The organisers will also create a profile for each athlete on the charity website www.backabuddy.co.za.
In return, team members will be tasked with raising funds for Zanethemba. There will be product prizes for the three athletes who raise the most money.
Although athletes may sign up after the deadline, Britz says there is no guarantee that they will receive their race vests in time.
The team’s main sponsors are paper giant Mondi and automotive company Tenneco with adventure lifestyle business Lifestruck, energy drink 32Gi and outdoor and adventure guide Rush also supporting the cause.
The organisers have created a number of easy online payment methods for donations to Zanethemba, including credit card or EFT transactions via the 70point3 website (with links to www.backabuddy.co.za) and direct deposits into the charity’s bank account.
The public can also SMS the word “TRI” plus the name of the athlete they are supporting to 38021 at a cost of R10 per SMS.
“Even if an athlete raises R500 for Zanethemba, it’s R500 more than they had yesterday," said Britz.
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