Former Salford University student Brendan Rendall took on a bet of completing a half marathon in 2006 and now, just over a decade later, has completed a coast-to-coast run across Africa.
The challenge, which Rendall ran every step of the way, showed on the pedometer that he had traveled 2,474 miles starting off in Namibia and ending in Mozambique.
The 4000km run was the equivalent of running 92 marathons in 92 days.
Since taking the original bet, Salford-based teacher Rendall has completed multiple marathons and has also successfully ran the length of Malawi (708 miles), and the length of England from John O’Groats to Lands’ End (962 miles).
His next challenge will see him cross 11 countries starting in Egypt and ending in South Africa and will be between 6,300 and 7,000 miles.
He is looking to break the world record of this Cairo to Cape Town run where he will have to beat the current record of 318 days.
He said: “To raise money you have to do bigger challenges. Lots of people do marathons and you have to think of something that is a bit different.”
He continued: “I came up with my first big challenge which was in 2011 and I cycled from John O’Groats to Lands’ End and I cycled that in 13 days. I left on World Autism Day and then with one day off I traveled to London and ran the marathon.”
Brendan hasn’t always been a fitness fanatic though, at the start of his journey he gave up what he described as “a cycle of self destructive behavior”, involving alcohol and drugs, and swapped his party shoes for running shoes.
But he admits at the time he found it difficult to run even 100m.
He has explained that running has now changed his life and has given him a huge focus that he had never had.
“That was the start of this last 12 years of adventure. I stopped drinking and haven’t really drunk since then.
“That structure and discipline that running gave me I started to look at all my other stuff like debt, eating habits, sleeping habits and it crossed over to my everyday life.
“It gave me a structure a focus and a purpose.”
Since starting his journey he has now raised over £90,000 for the Friends of Mulanje Orphans Charity which supports some of Malawi’s most vulnerable children.
This project was to raise money for the boys’ school accommodation. The work has just started and they have reached £40,000 but £20,000 is still needed to provide the final touches for the school.
Brendan has said: “Move out of your comfort zone because you’ll never know which direction you might go. I never thought that from me running that half marathon that I would be taking on running across Africa.”
You can donate to Brendan’s fund here:
All photo credits to Brendall Rendall.