MAD enough to run from Jozi to Cape Town?

“Are you really running from Johannesburg to Cape Town? You must be crazy, mad or bonkers!”

A common question that many of our mates asked us when we shared with them that we had entered to participate in the 2018 edition of MAD2Run.

MAD2Run is a fundraising initiative that sees participants run from Joburg to Cape Town, relay style, over seven days, and then running the Two Oceans half-marathon. The run supports the Make A Difference (MAD) Leadership Foundation, which focuses on leadership development through education.

So what made us enter?

Kurt Solomon, Allan Bader and I decided to enter Mad2Run for a challenge of a different type. The three of us are not professional runners by any means. Allan, the team leader (elite Comrades competitor), has completed back-to-back Comrades so he sure does have some miles in his legs. Kurt, the ultimate Leb and buzz ambassador, was roped into the challenge and has a go-getter attitude that he applies to everything he does. As for me, I ride a bike A LOT (for fun …) and was stoked to be asked to play a support role in the team and get a chance to complete MAD2Run.

A small disclaimer here—we got the idea from Rob Christian, aka Rob Saffa. Rob is part of the CN&CO team and completed the MAD2Run journey in 2016. A massive thanks to Rob for planting the seed in our heads and for your support of our entry!

We may be diverse in our athletic abilities, but we get on well together and share the common belief that it’s vital “to take what you do seriously and not yourself”. What do we mean by this? Well, many may think that we are crazy to ever consider running from Jozi to Cape Town. Yes, we will be running all the way (around 1 490km to be exact), but this isn’t the main drive behind our entry.

We entered to contribute to something bigger than ourselves and our fitness. There is no doubt that the experiences and challenges that this MAD journey will bring, will shape us. An opportunity to give back and provide someone with an education is very powerful. Education provides a foundation for the rest of your life!

Time is flying and Mad2Run continues to grow, raising more funds each year since its inception in 2014. According to the MAD2Run website… “Shaun Raaff decided it was time be proactive and make a positive contribution to his much loved country, South Africa … Over a few too many beers he was able to convince his mates that they needed to do something meaningful in their lives. The maddest suggestion – let’s run to Cape Town … It will be fun they said…”!

The story of Braam Malherbe’s trek along the Great Wall of China and the reason for him completing the feat (raising funds to help treat children with cleft lips), was instrumental in driving Shaun’s ambition to contribute to something bigger.

Check out Braam’s TEDx Talk, Nothing is Impossible, where he shares his journey and his driving force for why he completed that “Great Wall Challenge”:

I got serious goose bumps watching this.

Support us along our journey and/or donate to the MAD Leadership Foundation!

The Foundation was founded in 2003 by Francois Pienaar and provides a “holistic, full-investment scholarship programme”.

The funds raised to date by MAD2Run have contributed to the foundation and have helped to give children the opportunity of an education which they otherwise would not have had.

We will be providing a more detailed overview of the MAD Foundation and the work it does at a later stage.

For now, though, we would hugely appreciate all the support we can get in our initial fundraising efforts. All donations are valued.


As team we wish to contribute and grow the awesome idea of MAD2Run through having fun and sharing our build-up while we get fit. Our hope is that it may encourage others to get involved in things that can have an impact on the life of someone’s you haven’t met. Challenge yourself to contribute to something bigger than yourself.

We will be documenting the daily experiences along the journey to Cape Town through live tweeting, vlogging and other social media presences to expand the audience of this adventure and grow the platform for donations to the MAD Leadership Foundation. So tune into our commentary. Here is a taste of our story from our first blog: What does it mean to challenge yourself?

Also, check out our entry video:

There are a couple of awesome fundraising events that the MAD team puts together. We will be sure to keep you in the loop. The first one is just around the corner with the Annual Gauteng Golf Day on 14 September 2017. More info here.

Stay tuned for more on our MAD2Run journey, the eight-month countdown has begun!!!