Bertie Cloete, 47, a real-life miracle marathon man from Cape Town will be leading a team of 12 Christian runners on a unique 70km relay run from the top of Table Mountain to the Mighty Men Conference Western Cape near Malmesbury on Friday, September 23.
The so-called M2M (Mountain to Mighty Men) Relay Run during which a solar torch will be lit on the mountain and carried to the MMC where it will be kept alight throughout the weekend, was initiated by Cloete, and also marks the launch of his M2M ministry through which he aims to use running as a tool to uplift men and youth and introduce them to Christ.
Redemption Runner Marius Brown, 45, who earlier this year ran an amazing 2 000km from Cape Town to Durban — including the Comrades Marathon — to atone for abandoning his children, will be one of the 12 runners in the M2M Relay which is destined to become an annual event.
Brown will run the full 70km, while the other runners, including one woman, will complete 10km stretches. A cyclist carrying a cross will accompany the runners, who will also be joined en-route by a cross-walker. At Moreson farm, the MMC venue, the athletes will be joined by a man in a wheelchair.
Explaining his journey to M2M, Cloete said that on New Year’s Eve of 2007 he decided — not for the first time — to stop drinking and change his life for the better.
“On 11 January I was in a serious car accident. My vehicle was a writeoff and it was a miracle that I was alive. There God spoke to me and said that this time He was calling me and that it was on His terms.
“My life has never been the same,” Cloete said.
“I sustained injuries to my face — half my face was gone and had broken ribs and punctured my lungs. I had an emergency operation that evening which my boss paid for as I had no medical aid and the hospital wanted R35 000 upfront. That was miracle number two.”
He said he was off from work for more than a month and spent a lot of time with God who showed him he should work with men. He started going with his wife, Rita, to the Salem Full Gospel Church in Bothasig, where he now serves as a deacon, the leader of community services and is involved in men’s ministry.
In 2010 he also took up his old passion of running, which he stopped after his first marriage ended in divorce in 2000. He joined the Century City Athletics Club of which he has been chairman for the past four years and says that the focus of his running has shifted towards uplifting youth and men and that his best quiet times with the Lord are while running. He ran the Comrades Marathon in May, sporting a Mighty Man tartan bandana, signifying his involvement with the MMC Western Cape of which he is an executive committee member.
“I think men must attend [the MMC at Moreson Farm, Malmesbury from Friday September 23 to Sunday September 25 2016] to be equipped again and just hear what being a man means again. It’s also a good time to bring a friend to introduce to God,” he said.
The programme for the MMC WC can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/mmc.westerncape/posts/691565937662132
More information is available on the website at: www.westerncapemmc.co.za
Tickets for the event can be purchased at R160 at computicket.