Urban Sky Trust

Happy Friday Feet

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 I Wear Red Socks on Fridays links up with the GREAT PENGUIN RUN ENDS AT ST CROIX - By BETTIE GILIOMEE

ADVENTURER David Chamberlain yesterday morning reached St Croix Island after traversing 2700km of coastline, while pushing a pram, from Walvis Bay. Chamberlain left Walvis Bay on 18 October on the Great Penguin Run for the Birdlife SA foundation to raise funds for the endangered African Penguin, as well as setting the (measured) world endurance record.

The African Penguin is one of only two seabirds that breed along our coastline listed as globally endangered by BirdLife International.Current figures show there are only 25000 breeding pairs left in the world and 21 000 of them live in Nelson Mandela Bay with St Croix Island now the biggest breeding colony in the world.

The local SA Marine and Rehabilitation Centre, SAMREC, is a non-profit organization that cares mainly for sick or injured African Penguins because of their vulnerability. They rehabilitate penguins either found by staff on the beach or brought in by the public. SAMREC have adopted the “I Wear Red Socks on Fridays” Campaign to raise funds to care for and continue to rescue, rehabilitate, release and educate the public on the plight of the endangered African Penguins.

Staff feed them vitamins to boost their system, fatten them up and then release them once they are strong enough to fend for themselves and learn how to catch fish. Feeding a penguin costs approximately R25 a day excluding the care.

I Wear Red Socks on Fridays initiated the “Happy Friday Feet” campaign to support SAMREC in Port Elizabethb, by running in red socks. In support of this, Chamberlain put red socks on which he wore from Sedgefield on the last leg of his run.

Part of the run will include a bit of science studying his daily energetic expenditure. This will allow Prof. Tim Noakes, of the University of Cape Town and the Sports Science Institute of SA, to calculate the amount of energy that is used in the run, and set the benchmark for measured world endurance record. Other records, such as the man-hauling of sleds to the South Pole by Scott some 100 years ago, probably represent bigger endurance achievements, but were not properly measured, and so cannot be entered into the Guinness Book of Records.The run is being filmed by The Movement, a non-profit organisation. It is planned to fill a 13-part documentary TV show.

Local runners are encouraged to take part in the “Happy Friday Feet” campaign. The local I Wear Red Socks on Fridays community meet on Fridays at Hobie Beach club house at 5.15am for a 5 to 10km run, walk or cycle. As part of the “Happy Friday Feet” campaign R10 per pair of socks will be donated to SAMREC. The red socks can be purchased from SAMREC for R40.

For more information contact SAMREC on 041 583 1830 or Janet on 083 607 5151. SAMREC is open daily from 9am to 5pm. Volunteers from the age of 14 years upwards would be greatly appreciated.