On 9 June, a team of six runners from Lithuania completed the first marathon ever to be held in Sierra Leone.
• The Running For Change team before the run.
The event was the brainchild of the charity Street Child of Sierra Leone and the team from Lithuania, called Running For Change.
They joined 380 other runners to raise awareness and money to support the charity’s work in taking children off the streets of the country, reuniting them with their families and getting them back into school.
The team members of Running For Change are: Tomas Kairys, Oleg Kovrikov, Rytis Bublevicius, Leo Pobedonoscevas, Mindaugas Grigas and Ben Harvey.
The runners gathered in the last hour of darkness for a 6.30 am start in an attempt to minimise their exposure to the heat and humidity.
Conditions were certainly tough.
Rytis Bublevicius was the first from the Lithuanian team to cross the line in 3 hours 45 minutes, and he promptly lost consciousness from heat stroke.
Thirty minutes later he was up and fine.
• Happy and conscious again after completing the run.
By the time the last Lithuanian runner crossed the line the temperature had reached 35C, with humidity estimated to be around 80%.
However the team’s motto has always been: It’s not about the run.
The main objective has always been to raise enough money to fund the construction and running costs of a school in the Tambakha region of the country - one of the poorest and most remote areas of the country.
The Running For Change team visited Tambakha during their trip, meeting the Chief and visiting the local communities.
The team aims to return once the school that has been “Made in Lithuania” is completed.
The team’s next goal is to participate in the Vilnius Marathon on 9 September to continue effort to raise money.
More information can be found at www.runningforchange.lt
100% of all donations received will be sent directly to Street Child of Sierra Leone.
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