Gritty teacher pressing on with 1 000km run to raise money for cancer, despite setbacks

Richard Geyer soldiering on today, towards the halfway mark of his epic 1 000km cancer fundraising run from Port Elizabeth to Durban.

Plucky Port Elizabeth primary school teacher Richard Geyer, 27, is halfway into an epic run of 1 000km in 10 days to raise funds for cancer despite a blister on his little toe that flared up on the first day and which has since gone septic.

Grit obviously runs in the family, as despite the setback, Geyer was at the time of writing, still pressing on with his goal of running from PE to Durban in memory of his grandfather, Bob Petzer, who bravely endured cancer of the bladder and the amputation of both legs before he died in 2014.

“Seeing my grandfather’s zest for life, his will to fight and his continuous positive attitude throughout this trying time, has driven me to run in memory of this great man and raise funds for cancer, a disease so many others and their families endure,” says Geyer.

Geyer left Port Elizabeth on Friday May 26 with the goal of running 100km a day for the first nine days and ending with the Comrades Marathon from Durban to Pietermaritzburg on Sunday June 4. The plan is for Geyer to be joined by his father, Gary, who took up ultra-running a few years ago after giving up cigarettes. It will be father’s first Comrades and son’s second.

But the run is not going strictly to plan. After running 100km a day for four days, Geyer’s run was stopped after 20km yesterday, in order for him get his toe checked by a doctor in Mthatha.

Getting together before sunrise to run 10km in solidarity with Richard Geyer, are from the left, Steve McCarthy, Michael Smith, Neil Dickson and Clinton Smith.

Back home, his running buddies and supporters who have been praying for him and sending messages of encouragement, urged him to rest until the Comrades, saying the body can only take so much punishment and he could retire honourably after the incredible running feat he had achieved in the past few days.

But Geyer was back on the road today and managed to cover 88.87km — the distance of the Comrades Marathon — before he and his team decided to call it a day, as with no traffic officer on duty the road was unsafe and the length of running time for the day was extremely long, leaving him with less recovery time overnight.

According to an update on the Bob 1000 Facebook page, it was an extremely tough day in which he had to stop often to treat his toe. The sore toe also forced him to compensate and change his running style, causing problems in his muscles and left hamstring. He also had some chest pain but his medic confirmed that all his vitals are fine.

In addition to praying for him and encouraging him, a number of Geyer’s PE running friends who are mostly linked via a growing Marathon Training Group on Whatsapp, are getting together early in the morning on each day of his long run to run 10km in solidarity with him.

Not only has Geyer covered more than 500km in six days but he has also done a staggering amount of climbing, just about equivalent to peaking Mount Everest.

Will he run again tomorrow? Click on the following link to view a video  of Geyer speaking after today’s run and see what determination looks like:

You can contribute to his Bob 1000 charity cause by clicking on this link. All funds raised go to Cansa PE Care Centre.

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