Goal: £5,000 | Raised: £5,160

“Winging it in the cold”

What? 206km trail run FKT attempt – Northdowns Way Challenge (England)

2017 made Rehan fall in love with trail running. In December 2017, Rehan and his family moved to the doorstep of the Northdowns Way with miles and miles of incredible trails and views. As he continued running along the route around his village of Walton-on-the-Hill, he discovered that the Northdowns Way is a 206km trail starting in Farnborough in Surrey and moving along the countryside, past his doorstep and all the way to Dover at the seaside. At that point, there wasn’t any established FKT on this route. Rehan wanted to push his personal limitations and see whether it would be possible to double his previous year’s effort of 100km and run more than 200km. And to make the equation just a little more crazy – do it in the middle of the UK winter!

Rehan was blessed to be accompanied by a great team of friends on this adventure – De Wet Kruger (support runner), Scotty Stirling (support runner), Eugene Hamlyn (support runner), Linus Muirhead (logistics), his sister (media),wife (moral support and media) and parents-in-law (moral support and looking after kiddos). Uncle Linus was the most knowledgeable of all – with numerous Comrades and other ultra-marathons under his belt. The rest – along for the journey and quite literally winging it…making it up as they went along!

How did the Challenge go?
Unbelievable experience with an incredible group of people. Rehan was well prepared and knew around 60% of the route ahead of time. They started at 22:00 on 13 December and the goal was to complete the run within 48 hours.

The first 100km went very well, finishing it in around 17 hours, but then the wheels started coming off. Like uncle Linus said– if you pace a race correctly, your 2nd half should be faster than your 1st half. Well, that didn’t happen! Rehan and the team were heading into the ‘unknown’ territories of ultra-running and this is where mental strength is so important – because the body is long gone…
The 2nd half of the run they encountered rain, snow, freezing temperatures and gail force winds (to name but a few). The fact that it became dark at around 15:00 and only light again at 08:30, made those evening hours on the second evening very tough.

They got through it with lots of prayer, support and peanut butter, arriving in Dover on 15 December at 15:53 with a finish time of 41h53min. The latter half of the race took 25 hours. Included in the time, were 3 separate naps (20min, 30min and 3hours). That 3rd nap was supposed to be an hour, but the support crew saw the condition RehanI was in at around 140km and left him to pack the necessary sleep.

With this effort, Rehan received the FKT for the Northdowns Way, which stood for 2.5 years before it was broken again – Rehan Greeff – North Downs Way (UK) – 2018-12-15 | Fastest Known Time

How did the Fundraising go?
The goal was to raise £5,000 for JAM. This time round, friends helped by sharing to their individual platforms

This was also the year Rehan started running under the banner “Run Forest Run” for the first time. His sister, Anmari Greeff, increased media presence. Total raised £5,160.33 – sufficient to feed 1,032 school kids for an entire month or 86 over a school year.

Change in Rehan
The slogan of ‘expanding horizons’ became a recurring theme – based upon the text in Isaiah 54:2 – and consciously trying to stretch the faith muscle.