Holden, who competed in snow cross in Sochi, is running around the island’s perimeter – approximately 104 miles – with Richard Clewes, the director of One World Schoolhouse Foundation, as well as Saint Lucia’s very own Zepherinus Joseph, an Olympian in his own right. Zeph is also hoping to qualify for this year’s edition of the Summer Olympics, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Clewes operates One World, a literacy development charity, along with his wife, wife Sonya White. The 62-year-old Canadian and his wife started the Rainforest of Reading Festival under the One World umbrella in 2011.
Last year, he ran the 52 miles around Grenada to help kids in that island get their hands on books. The Grenada run raised about $40,000, far short of their $520,000 goal. But Clewes hopes that doubling down on the distance will raise his chances of hitting his fundraising targets for Saint Lucia.
The 2015 run was the first ever ultramarathon for Clewes, but he says he is “ready to deal with the heat and the hills.” He trained for 10 months under Ray Zahab, the well-known adventure runner, and has been asking people in Canada and elsewhere to donate $52 to the initiative through CanadaHelps.org.
According to Clewes: “Money buys new books and pays for authors to travel from Canada to meet kids in Grenada, Saint Lucia, Nevis and Montserrat. Please put yourself in their shoes. Where would any of us be without literacy? I hope you’ll make a donation, spread the word and become part of a great story.”
The group set off on the first leg, a 28-mile stretch from Soufriere to Micoud, on Friday afternoon.