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21 Oct, 2014

Peter Taylor to cycle barefoot at Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge for SA Guide Dogs

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Marathon runner, Peter Taylor will be cycling barefoot at this year’s Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge to raise money for the South African Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind.

Peter has been running shoeless for 26 years, and will be Riding for a Purpose for the first time at Joburg’s biggest annual cycling event, The Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge, which will take place on Sunday, 16th November 2014.

He will be joined by over 100 riders that have signed up for the SA Guide-Dogs for the Blind, which aims to provide the gift of independence, mobility and companionship to someone who is unable to see well or not at all.

"I will be wearing a Guide Dog shirt and raising awareness for the SA Guide-Dogs,” says the 57-year-old from Rondebosch. “I wish to collect as much money as possible.”

Peter ran his first marathon in 1984 but admits that he was far from properly prepared for that. “My training consisted of two 8km runs, one 15km run and then a 21km run one week before the marathon. At 30km into the race, I was absolutely finished, so I decided to take my shoes off and walk to the finish. The next minute I was running again and from then onwards, I have always run barefoot.”

It was in 1986 that Peter decided to start raising funds for charity. “I thought, hey, I can also do some fundraising, since I already run barefoot.”

At that time, he said, there were a few blind runners that used running partners to guide them and decided that he too could assist them.

“I also wanted to do something for animals, so I approached the SA Guide-Dogs for the Blind, and they were only too glad to give their approval,” he said.

To date he has already run 27 Two Oceans Marathon (56km) barefoot while carrying a racksack in support of SA Guide Dogs.

To support Peter’s fundraising efforts on behalf of SA Guide-Dogs for the Blind, visit www.cyclechallenge.co.za or contact him at ptaylor@parliament.gov.za. For information on SA Guide Dogs for the Blind, go to www.guidedog.org.za

With only one month to go until the Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge, over 30 000 cyclists are in final preparation for the event, which will be held at a new venue: Riversands Commercial Park, on Sunday 16th November.