I Heart Freetown Fashpack Runners

The highlight of the international sporting calendar, the Sierra Leone Marathon in Makeni, is almost upon us. As we all know, the race is a major fundraising event for Street Child attracting 100s of international runners from the UK and beyond. It’s also an important race for Sierra Leone’s best local runners.

The Freetown Fashpack Runners are a team of 40 of Freetown’s best long and middle distance runners who are supported each year through the fundraising efforts of Global Fashpack to run in Makeni and other prestigious international marathons.

Pink headbands were the main reason behind the team’s success at the 2013 Sierra Leone Marathon.

The team has competed in the past two Sierra Leone Marathons and has achieved outstanding results on both occasions, blitzing the field of internationals and gaining places in all races. The best of the team went on to compete in the 2013 Liberian Marathon in August, returning with a swag of medals.

Marathon record holder Idrissa Kargbo competed in the New York Marathon last November where he battled freezing temperatures to run a courageous race. Last month he was joined at the London Marathon by Sierra Leone’s best female marathon runner, Mamie Konneh “Runaway” Lahun, they both clocked incredible times – personal bests and national records with Idrissa placing 61st in the entire field and Mamie 20th in the women’s section of the race.

You’re impressed right? Well here’s your chance to be part of their success. This year we are appealing to Freetown folk to sponsor a Freetown Fashpack Runner. For just Le100,000 (less than a block of low-grade camembert cheese at Freetown Direct), you will give a local athlete one of the only opportunities they have all year to compete. The race is a BIG DEAL for the team and they are determined to run their best times.

In exchange for your generosity you will receive a special edition, personalized, hi-tech, state-of-the-art, polyester Freetown Fashpack Runners vest which we encourage you to wear in the race if you are competing.

Thank you models Ibby and Idrissa, not only are these vests super attractive but they are perfect for running 42.5km in.

And from the back even better. Imagine if one of those names was replaced by yours? How proud would you feel?

For those keen to sponsor but have no interest in owning a polyester running vest, you can opt for the ever popular ‘Totes Amazeballs Tote Bag‘.

Look at those colours! look at that design! It’s the perfect cloth Africana bag exclusive to Global Fashpack.

All items will be delivered by the reliable Ibrahim ‘Ibby Fixer’ Kabia next week before the race in exchange for sponsorship payment. You will be acknowledged on the Global Fashpack Facebook page (‘like’ us if you haven’t already) with a photo and ‘thank you’ message. For those running, you are also invited to a punishing coaching session with the Freetown Fashpack Runners at Lumley Beach next Thursday (starts at Family Kingdom at 6pm). It’s a great opportunity to hear champion athlete Idrissa Kargbo scream at you to keep up the pace while half marathon rocket Usman ‘Super’ Challey will be there to give you the side eye of death when you start slowing down.

Come on! Do you want to get your ass whipped by Sierra Leone’s best on the 25th May? Of course you do! Dig deep people and let’s make sure Sierra Leone is properly represented at the race.

If you want to support the runners email me (jo@freetownfashpack.com) the following details:

  1. Name:
    2. Phone:
    3. Shirt or bag or both? (A shirt and bag sponsorship package is Le120,000.)
    4. Extra bag? (Le50,000 each)
    5. Shirt size – S/M/L if you’re down with the shirt
    6. Day time delivery address:

For those not in Freetown but want to throw some money at this great cause, a very generous Freetown lady will be running the marathon herself to raise money for the Freetown Fashpack Runners. Check out Kate Wood’s fundraising page here. If you donate, be aware that half your donation will go to Wel Bodi Partnership, another great Freetown-based organisation.



Stubborn yet stylish

It may be the silly season, but it’s also the season of sports carnivals in Freetown. This means that on any given afternoon, you can visit the National Stadium and watch schools from across the peninsula compete their asses off in an all-in sporting orgy. What usually happens is that the students dress in their ‘house’ colours – either blue, green, yellow or red. This is the same system we had when I was in primary school, wow nothing has changed in 55 years!

Ali is in fact breaking a very serious school rule right here in front of us by not wearing his house colours. He is part of the red house but has different ideas about his colour chart. “I don’t like red, I like pink so I wore all pink. I feel good in these clothes”. And what did Ali’s teacher have to say about this? “Ali is a very stubborn boy who is not following the system”. Thank you Mr Kargbo. Ali, you may be blatantly ignoring Mr Kargbo but you look damn fine while doing it.