Spartan Baby Badass Ultra Event Helps Raise over R100,000 For CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation

Spartan Baby Badass Ultra Event Helps Raise over R100,000 For CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation
Image credit: SBBU Instagram.

Runners and the Flightless Eagles team took part in the inaugural Spartan Baby Badass Ultra (SBBU) fundraising event, held on 1 April 2022 at the Italian Club in Bedfordview. Each runner was required to complete 4.167km every hour for 24 hours, through two sunsets and a sunrise, for a tally of 100km. A total of R112,650 was raised for CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa. 

Image credit: SBBU Instagram.

After setting up their camping cots and chairs at the makeshift barracks within the old gym at the Italian Club, participants donned head torches and high-visibility vests and began their duel with destiny. Each runner provided a nickname befitting a Spartan. There was Sir King Katvis the Great, Albertus The First (Centurion of the Praetorian Guard) and Marie’ Of Troy. There was Tiger Claw, Ajax il Guerriero and Mustang Mann. The runners ran four different courses, some tougher than others, around the beautiful gardens of Essexwold, through the grounds of the Italian Club and next to its neighbouring retirement home, Casa Serena.

Tiger Claw and Ajax il Guerriero.

The night was tough as temperatures turned chilly, the darkness palpable under the new moon night. As the race reached midnight, the runners opted for quick naps in-between the loops. Some managed 20 minutes. The walkers managed only a few minutes of downtime with their limited deadlines. Others could only catnap while some had no sleep at all.

Image credit: SBBU Instagram.

All runners managed to survive until the early hours of Saturday morning, at which point two runners, Crom and Paddy, were disqualified for missing a loop cut-off by 60 seconds. A few loops later, Overthinkia and Jedi would succumb to the SBBU. One loop later, Exhaustidis called it quits. The race was picking off some strong athletes. Before being allowed to depart the barracks, each of these runners stood to attention as Alistair Mc Donald played Taps on his bagpipes.

Natalie, Lindel and George Raccanello, Jake, Belloc 72 and Albertus the First.
Albertus the First, Warmonger and Belloc72.

Just after sunrise, the SBBU runners had a brief interlude and walked across to Casa Serena to sing Happy Birthday to the 93-year old Mrs Mackenzie and the indefatigable Gigante, who was turning 100. It was a special moment with Mc Donald and the bagpipes leading the runners into the singing of Happy Birthday.

Alistair Mc Donald plays the bagpipes for Gigante, who turned 100.

Despite their tired legs and sore joints, the runners would endure until their last run, which finished before 6pm on Saturday 2nd April with a few minutes to spare. Family, friends and general spectators received the runners with loud cheers and rapturous applause after the magnanimous feat worthy of a Spartan Baby.

Each runner received a Spartan Baby belt buckle, a finisher’s certificate and a packet containing the hottest chillies in the world grown by SBBU founder, Johnny Cobra.

Johnny Cobra, SBBU Founder.

‘The difference between the SBBU and any other event,’ said Belloc72, one of the competitors, ‘is that here runners look out for each other. We are all in it. Sons and daughters support their running moms and dads and parents support their running children. They endured a tough and unforgettable 24 hours together. It is about hardship, camaraderie and hope. And hope prevailed.’

To donate, click here. For race and future SBBU information, click here.