Thursday, August 01, 2013

Razif Yahya Leadville 100 Running Against Human Trafficking

Recent weeks has not been short of inspiring. As what you all read yesterday about PT Lam running the 250km Iceland Ultra to raise fund for NASAM. Today I am going to highlight another Ultra athlete from our beloved Malaysia that will run against human trafficking.

Razif Yahya : Who Is He?
Aged 41 years young and an Assistant Director with the Malaysian Customs, Razif started his running life in 2011 and in the short span of time has raised to be one of the mover and shaker in the community with his "never say never" attitude. TO list all his achievement would require me to pick my jaw up everytime i type them and so I will spare all of you the sight of my jaw-dropping. The most impressive achievement that he has noted is the completion of 4-marathons/ultramarathons distance race within 29 days.

  • 22-Sept-2012. Craze Ultramarathon 100Miles (Singapore)
  • 30-Sept-2012. Berlin Marathon 42.2km (Germany)
  • 12-Oktober-2012. The North Face 100km Solo Trail run (Singapore)
  • 20-Oktober-2012. Putrajaya Night Marathon, 42.2km (Malaysia) 
  • Total Mileage = 344km

On August 17 and 18, 2013, Razif, or better known as Ray to most of us will be running the LEADVILLE TRAIL 100 (LT100) ULTRAMARATHON 
The Leadville Trail 100 Run (The Race Across The Sky or the LT100) is one of the prestigious Ultra Marathon in North America, it held annually on trails and dirt roads near Leadville, Colorado, through the heart of the Rocky Mountains. First run in 1983, runners in the race climb and descend 15,600 feet (4,800 m), with elevations ranging between 9,200-12,620 feet. In most years, less than half the starters complete the race within the 30-hour time limit. The LT100 is one of seven trail running and mountain biking races in the Leadville Race series, currently operated by Life Time Fitness. The course is a 50-mile (80 km) out-and-back (from Leadville town to Winfield town then return back Leadville town), starting at 10,200 feet (3,100 m). The centre piece of the course is the climb up to Hope Pass at 12,620 feet (3,850 m) – the highest point in the race, which added more difficulties in completing the race due to the thin air and high altitude. Official website of the Leadville Trail 100 Mile.

Supporting Anti-Human Trafficking
Ray's run is part of his effort to support anti-human trafficking via a project called Relentless. Being an Assistant Director of Customs brings a lot of relevance for him (even though human is under the Immigration Department, same-same, but different).

Relentless is a cutting edge project at the intersection of health and justice. As a global health consultant to organizations that work with trafficked people, Dr. Katherine Welch (the founder of Relentless) helps to build their capacity in addressing their health needs as whole people. A diverse cross-cultural experience identifies various cultural nuances, gaps, and needs; as well as good models in providing care for trafficked people. Furthermore, she is involved in training American health care professionals about the health consequences of human trafficking, presenting at symposiums, workshops, grand rounds, and other medical conferences. Katherine also speaks at various venues and events advocating for the cause and challenging others to join the movement. Relentless is taken from a mantra among ultra-distance endurance athletes: “relentless forward progress”. Relentless, according to Merriam-Webster, is “showing or promising no abatement of severity, intensity, strength, or pace”. The problems of injustice seem to be growing unimpeded throughout our world today. But Relentless is just as, if not more, unrelenting in the pursuit of justice. 
We must be Relentless in… 

  • Justice in health through compassionate service
  • Service to others – especially the marginalized, forgotten, and oppressed
  • Dedication to mentoring, partnership, and collaboration
  • Excellence in praxis 
  • Sharing joy, hope, and love
Follow Ray's race on the Leadville UT webpage. I would like to wish him the very best. Knowing him, the Jalur Gemilang will be flying at Finishing line on August 18 at Leadville!

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