The two Greek runners will attempt to run a grueling, 100km, non-stop “ultra- marathon” on the weekend of July 19th, 2014, in the United Kingdom. The course will follow in the footsteps of the Romans and Vikings with the finish line placed at the 3,000 year old stone circle of Avebury, a route that is considered extremely challenging and poses many technical difficulties.
The debt crisis has hit the young population of Greece the hardest. Today, some 465,000 children in the country live below the poverty line, 22% subsist on a diet that lacks animal protein, 37% are without adequate heating, 28% are housed in unhygienic homes, 23% live in poor environmental conditions and 10% of elementary and middle school students suffer from “food insecurity.”
Mothers continue to abandon their children in orphanages and nurseries at an alarming rate because they can not provide for them and the situation is worsening rapidly. The "Smile of the Child" organization assisted 10,927 children last year compared to 4,465 in 2012 and the "Children's Village SOS" is currently providing for 900 families compared with a mere 47 five years ago.
Recently, two athletes, Apostolos Baranowski and Rannelle McCoy, decided they wanted to make a difference and improve the lives of the destitute Greek children. “We need to take immediate action to help those most affected by the crisis. The time has come for a line to be drawn in the sand. A time to say enough is enough and take a stand against poverty in our community,” says Apostolos.
“We will be running under the banner of “Hellenic Hope,” a charity committed to raising funds in support of non-profit organizations in Greece working with children who are suffering the consequences of the current socio-economic crisis,” Apostolos states.www.hellenic-hope.org
Apostolos and Rannelle have two main goals:
1) to raise $100,000US to help ease the suffering of the Greek children;
2) to inspire members of the Greek community at large to make a difference and rise above the misery that engulfs their daily lives.
“For most, the idea of running 100km non-stop seems impossible. Many people in Greece share the same opinion when it comes to the current economic crisis. They believe it to be an impossible situation. We want to show our fellow citizens that nothing is impossible when we work systematically and relentlessly towards a goal. It’s time to start helping each other, to start caring, to change old attitudes that have held us back for so long. To stand up and be counted,“ says Apostolos.
Apostolos and Rannelle are two seasoned endurance runners who compete in national and international “ultramarathons”. Rannelle is the current women’s record holder for the Rodopi Mountains “Adendurun” 164km (100 mile) trail adventure race with a time of 29h 50m---smashing the previous record by a whopping 2.5 hours! Apostolos recently returned from the Chicago Marathon where he flew the Greek colours as a member of “Team Greek America” and, in the process, raised funds for a worthy cause. They both live in Athens and are very passionate about helping their community.
Apostolos and Rannelle believe that every last penny should go to those who need it most and, as such, have decided to cover their own expenses and travel costs. They encourage the Greek communities around the world to make their fund raising goal a reality. “$100,000US works out to $1,000US per kilometer,” they claim.
The two Greek runners will take the harsh route in the name of the Greek chidren who are suffering the crisis to their bones, a moving initiative for the most delicate cause of all!
For donations to this important cause check here: