Itec SA will be sponsoring Jamie Marais, extreme endurance athlete and Corporate Sales Manager at Itec Cape Town, as he pushes himself to the limit and attempts to set a record for the greatest number of consecutive summits of Sani Pass – dubbed Africa’s toughest mountain pass.
The challenge – taking place on 13 December 2017 – will see Marais make history by becoming the first and only known person to repeatedly summit Sani Pass on a mountain bike for twelve hours — a feat that has never been attempted before.
His goal is to reach the summit six to eight times in the allotted 12-hour period, which is equivalent to more than 8 000 vertical metres of ascent. The aim? To raise funds for the Sabrina Love Foundation, an NPO established in 2004 to provide care for children with special needs.
“Itec SA has always believed in supporting those initiatives that are centred around investing in individuals and communities and, more importantly, make a tangible difference in the lives of those who need it most. It is for this reason that we made the decision to get on board and support one of our very own people, Jamie, as he breaks boundaries – all in the name of empowering the lives of those children in need of special care,” says Gavin Meyer, executive director of Itec SA.
Marais recently set a world record by speed-summiting Table Mountain 22 times in 28 hours — which is almost twice the height of Everest – as well 12 summits in 12 hours on Lions Head, all which have helped prepare him physically and mentally for what will be in his own words his “greatest challenge yet”.
Adds Marais: “The upcoming Sani Pass Challenge is a special one for me, as not only will my support crew and I be making history together, but in doing so, will be improving the lives of the children under the care of the Sabrina Love Foundation — an organisation which is very close to my heart.
“With each challenge, I am reminded of how privileged I am to be able to push my body to such physical and mental extremes and at the same time, I am reminded of those with physical disabilities who will never be able to do the sort of things that many of us simply take for granted. My thinking has always been centred around using my physical ability to help those with physical disabilities, specifically the children at the Sabrina Love Foundation whom I feel honoured to have been able to help in some small way over the years.”
Tony Lubner, chairman at the Sabrina Love Foundation, comments: “Jamie is the greatest ambassador and champion for ‘Sabrina Love’ children with special needs. Every one of us have been gifted with talents and often in ways that are not so obvious, as with special needs children. Although these kids have physical disabilities, they have so many other abilities that many of us often lack or take for granted, such as living in the moment, expressing joy at seemingly small achievements – but mammoth in their world – and best of all, a constant outpouring of unconditional love.
“Jamie inspires us all to make the most of what we have, explore our boundaries and discover the hidden ‘special’ talents and gifts we possess. By putting in the hard yards and arriving at the start line to take on this huge challenge, Jamie has already accomplished the unthinkable. We are so proud to have him flying the Sabrina Love Foundation Flag.”
Marias’ Sani Pass Challenge began on 11 December when he, together with a hand-selected support crew that includes directors of Itec SA, began his preparations to acclimatise at altitude for two days leading up to 13 December.
“This record attempt is no small feat, and we are honoured to be able to be alongside Jamie, as he goes where none have ever been before, all for a great cause. I would also like to wish him the best, and remind him that the whole of Itec SA and the country stands behind him,” concludes Meyer.