2013 Annual Midnight Charity Race – Shenzhen, Nov 9

by B. Horibata

The cool crisp air with a slight breeze surrounds a small group of volunteers as they set-up their “grass-roots” check-in station for the 5th Annual Midnight Charity Race at the entrance of Lian Hua Shan Park, Shenzhen. The man engineering all of this activity is Greg Schulthies. He dreamed up this race concept in 2009 with a group of 13 men and women wanting to race 10kms within an hour and raise some funds for a good cause. So, why not do it at midnight he thought. This exciting covert annual race now draws more runners each year with each trying to beat out their previous year’s race time. Not just for the competitive, the race also attracts the non-competitors who want to have fun with a group of friends and walk/run their way to finish line.

Each year it gets better and better and the funds raised by Greg, his sponsors and participants help to support Captivating Internationals Project Eden program as well as administrative expenses.  So far for this years event, he’s helped to raise over 150,500RMB for Captivating International and monies are still trickling in. Over 20 amazing and committed volunteers made for a smooth and safe event, supported also by an on-site medical team who were themselves participating in the race but ready to respond to any emergency. Special thank you and appreciation to Sandra Fuld and Dr. Peter Lee from SOS and Toni-Lynne Martin from Shekou Physical Therapy.

The race begins promptly at 11PM with over 100 participants on their quest to cross the finish line before midnight. The volunteers were just settling in after registration and pouring water ready for the runners when Daan Ooievaar and Finbarr Watterson race past them completing the first of two laps of the park on their quest for 1st place in the 10K. It ends 39.22 minutes later with Daan taking 1st for the 2nd year in a row with almost a minute yr/yr improvement on his finishing time and Finbarr follows closely behind for 2nd place in 39.37 minutes.  While this is taking place, Dan Graber crosses over the finish line ending with 21.03 minutes for the 5K 1st place honors.

The women were also on top of their game with Joanna Callaaway racing in the 10K and crossing the finish line at 43.15 followed by Alena Bednarova at 46.29 minutes. Tanis Clemenson running in at 22.07 won bragging rights as the 1st place finisher for the 5K race.

Other runners were beating their yr/yr results including Tyler Colquhoun representing his parents Andrew and Julie, co-founders of Captivating International, who crossed the finish line with 33.24 – more than 3 minutes faster than last year.  Go speed racer!  As proud father cheered on his son and took at least 20 photos, Stella, Justine, and Alice – resident Seng Girls with the Colquhoun’s – finished  their race respectively within minutes of each other averaging 37 minutes for the 5K race. You Go Girls!

Racers, volunteers, and friends were all treated to a complimentary bus ride, courtesy of Tsing Tao’ Coach to Rapscallions for the awards ceremony and more fundraising activities like, “Cheese for Charity” where Irish Dairy Brand Kerrygold cheese was sold with 100% of the monies raised added to the funding gift to Captivating International.

Andrew Colquhoun, co-founder said, “Tonight, the support from this race ensures we can keep a vocational development program at Project Eden going for another year.  This means girls way behind in their schooling get another year of catch up and one day move safety into their first job.  It’s people like Greg and his team who motivate us to keep up the fight to end poverty ensuring women and children in the poorest of living conditions have a chance in life to succeed.  Thank you everyone for taking part in this wonderful annual event and trusting us with your support.  See you next year”.

You can be a part of this great race next year, so keep your eyes and ears open to learn about 2014’s race date.  In the meantime check out the results of this year’s race and photos at www.szrace.com as well as learn more about Captivating at www.captivating.org

Finally, last but certainly not least, THANK YOU TO OUR AMAZING 2013 RACE SPONSORS:

PCH
OEC Group
Gait International
Sino Celtic
United Food Services Group
Rapscallions
Kaoyo Hardware
Chang Hong Furniture
Barefoot Beach Bar
Amrosia Group Limited

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