Adventurer Extreme explorer David Grier takes on the Great Wall of China... again!

The South African extreme explorer is ready to take on the 4200 kilometre journey… this time in just 70 days!


Extreme explorer, Cipla Foundation trustee and ambassador, David Grier, embarked on 28 March 2018 to run the full length of the Great Wall of China – a feat he already completed in 2006 when he became one of the first people in history to run the 4200km distance in 93 days.

David was born on the 16th of January 1960 into a Cape wine farming family in South Africa, here his love of the outdoors, food, wine and adventure began. He set out to take all his passions to the extreme and explore the limits of the human mind and body.

To date: David has run The Great wall of China 4200km in 93 days, Run the entire coastline of South Africa 3300 km in 80 days, paddled from Africa to Madagascar 500km in 12 days, run the Island of Madagascar South to north 2700km in 67 days, run the entire length of India 4008 km in 93 days and now, nearly 12 years later, Grier has returned to China to run the wall in the opposite direction.

Along with fellow extreme athlete, Andrew Stuart, Grier takes on this gruelling challenge in an effort to create awareness for the Ignite Hope initiative, which funds and assists youth suffering with kidney disease and babies born with a cleft lip or palate.

Over the past five years, Grier and Stuart have run more than 9 000kms, across India, the UK, Ireland, Cuba and Thailand, and also did the Man versus Beast adventure together.

The duo now aims to complete the ‘Back to the Wall’ adventure at a pace of 50 to 60 km per day, hoping to complete the journey in around 70 days. Starting where the ocean meets the Great Wall in Shanhaiguan, the two athletes will run along the wall to the pass located at the city of Jiayuguan, overcoming various challenges and dangers along the way.

The Back to the Wall adventure was planned by William Lindsay OBE, who was also responsible for arranging the 2006 Great Wall adventure. The fundamental difference with this adventure is that they will run the wall in the opposite direction, starting in the wintery mountains at Shanhaiguan, where parts of the wall are washed by the Bohai Sea, and will end at Juyongguan, where the 2006 event began, bringing closure to a 12-year journey.

He explains that in addition to creating awareness and assisting youth suffering from kidney disease and cleft / lip palates, Ignite Hope is also a call to action to engage with inspirational individuals to inspire the youth and reignite passion and hope in their lives. The Ignite Hope project has set up various community initiatives to educate people about kidney disease.

“Returning to the Great Wall and taking up this challenge again is something that I have been dreaming about for some years now. Through this journey we want to prove to the youth that no matter how insurmountable the challenge is, together we can achieve anything,” says Grier.

To track Grier’s progress, follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Grier’s experiences will also be published on his daily blog. To donate to the Ignite Hope initiative, please click here.

“When we first took up the challenge in 2006, it was thought to be humanly impossible to complete the run within 90 days. We look forward to conquering the impossible one more time,” Grier concludes.

Check out some of the pics from the trip below:

Sources: Cipla
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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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