Head Over Heels 2014


Runs come in all different sizes. There are 5ks, there are 10ks, there are marathons and there are ultra marathons, and then there are runs from the West coast of Namibia to the East coast of Mozambique, which is what Emma Timmis plans to start in August.

Emma’s friend Aysha – who will be following her journey in a support vehicle – got in touch with us to tell us about this mammoth run, which also takes in Zimbabwe and Malawi. The distance of the run is not entirely certain as it depends what they encounter on route, but the estimate is a whopping 4000km. Emma is planning to run 30 miles per day so that – with her days off factored in – she will still be averaging one marathon per day.

Emma is undertaking this challenge to raise money for three charities. The first is The SEED Project, a small but highly effective development charity in Africa. They believe in capacity building and empower people to create their own future by developing skills and self-efficacy. The second is TUSK, which is a conservation charity supporting projects in Namibia, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Since its formation in 1990, Tusk has raised over £20million for a wide range of projects across the continent. The final charity Emma is fundraising for is a charity set up by Aysha, Think Plan Do. This charity is being set up to help people who want to do something positive in their community by providing support and training.

When asked why she is creating the charity, Aysha tells us it is for lots of reasons. “I used to be a youth worker and occasionally young people would come to me with fantastic ideas for improving their community. Often these young people had poor literacy skills and low self-esteem, some had drug and alcohol issues and one was homeless. To support these young people to do a project when they had so many challenges to over come required a lot of time. Aysha set up this charity so that the next time someone of any age comes to her with a great idea, she is able to support them through all the challenges to achieve that great idea.

While undertaking the challenge, Emma will be accompanied at all times by Michael Whitehurst who will be on a bicycle. The distance of 4000km is an estimate and Aysha tells us they are unable to even confirm that one of the smaller border crossings has a road that goes to it. The team expect it will take between 4 and 5 months, allowing for problems along the way such as the car breaking down, getting stuck at border crossings, or there being no bridge to cross a river so having to go right round.

To support the team on their incredible journey, you can visit their fundraising page and to hear more about what they’re up to, you can visit their blog.

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