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Olivier's obsession with marathons started eight years ago, after his first successful marathon in Christchurch:
“I was nicely surprised to see how fit I was and how well my body handled the race. I did a few more marathons after that, then I thought to myself ‘why not run 100 marathons?’” says Olivier.
He says his goal became meaningful, and therefore motivating, the moment he decided to raise money for a charity. Choosing a charity was easy for Olivier - Red Cross has had a special place in his heart for a long time.
When Olivier was 18 years old, he went on a school trip to Spain where a pot of boiling hot milk fell on him. The local Red Cross took care of him – something Olivier never forgot.
So far, Olivier has run 76 races and raised over $37,000 through sponsors, fundraising dinners, auctions, movie nights and many other events! He is hoping to raise $42,200 at the end of his 100th marathon in 2020.
“I originally made my target $26,200, because 26.2 is the number of miles for a marathon. However, I have raised a lot more, so I have changed my target to $42,200 as 42.2 is equivalent in kilometres for a marathon,” says Olivier.
In April, Olivier will be racing the Marathon des Sables (‘The Marathon of the Sands’). This ultra-marathon will be the toughest one Olivier has ever done and is arguably the toughest in the world: 250km over six days in the Sahara desert, where temperatures can reach 50 degrees Celsius during the day, and drop down to 3 degrees at night.
“I am very excited about it. I received my gear the other day. It’s all becoming real now. I can’t wait to be there, what an amazing challenge! The scenery looks amazing, it will be full of memories, joy and emotions,” says Olivier.