IMPI Challenge conquered in support of Animal Clinic


Words: Newsport Media | Photo: Cherie Vale

Sea Point resident, Marcelle van Zyl conquered her very first IMPI Challenge at Lievland Wine Estate and Wiesenhof Legacy Park (Stellenbosch) on Saturday, 05 April 2014 in support of the Mdzananda Animal Clinic.

The only permanent veterinary council registered animal clinic in Khayelitsha, a township area just outside Cape Town, the Mdzananda Animal Clinic was founded in 1996 in response to the need to provide veterinary care to a fast growing community that had no access to help for their animals.

“It is often said that people in townships should not own pets. We have a different opinion,” says Van Zyl, who is also the fundraising and communications manager for the Mdzananda Animal Clinic. “Anyone who visits Mdzananda has the pleasure of meeting owners who adore their animals. Although our main focus is on animal healthcare, we also have a strong focus on community empowerment and education to ensure responsible pet ownership. As part of our fundraising campaign we’ve started the Mdzananda Cool Dogs initiative. Ultimately Cool Dogs are volunteers and supporters who raise funds for the clinic by challenging themselves. You can do anything to challenge yourself - run a race, play a match, skydive, anything fun and challenging. I am not a huge exercise fun, so I decided to do something out of my comfort zone and entered the IMPI Challenge. To make it even more challenging, I completed the race in a one-piece Cool Dogs outfit”.

“I really enjoyed the IMPI Challenge,” continues Van Zyl. “I entered the IMPI Dash and absolutely loved the obstacles. My running is not very strong, so I would never have survived the longer routes. Competing in my dog outfit definitely added to the excitement. So many people commented along the way. Every now and then people would run past me and bark. I also got comments like “here comes the squirrel" or "am I going insane, or did I just see a dog run past". It was so much fun to do the event with everyone knowing that I was competing for the Animal Clinic. I was hoping to raise R10 000. Our clinic has been the victim of various burglaries and thefts over the past few months. We want to install eight security cameras to protect us and the animals. I was hoping to raise enough money to cover at least half the costs. Unfortunately I only managed to raise R5183, but it is a big step towards what we need. We’re always in need of support be it in the form of monetary or product donations. If people really want to get involved they are encouraged to become a Mdzananda Cool Dog and challenge themselves by taking part in an event as a fundraiser. If brave enough, they can take part while wearing a Mdzananda Cool Dogs one piece”.

IMPI Challenge Event Information:
Combining trail running with an adventure style obstacle course, there are four structures to choose from when entering the IMPI Challenge.

· Traditional IMPI Challenge: Conquer 18 obstacles over 10 – 12km
· IMPI Dash – Compacted Challenge: Families have the chance to compete together. The course will be 5 - 7km with 12 obstacles (ages 10 – 15 years, all adults welcome).
· IMPI Elite: The course will be 15 – 20km with 25 tough obstacles.
· IMPI Mini: This mini course will be around 1km and feature smaller versions of some of our favourite obstacles (ages 6 – 10 years).

The race categories cater for a variety of athletes, from elite sportspersons, competent and beginner runners and families looking for a fun experience. Participants can enter individually or as part of a team (teams vary in size from 2 – 10 people, although team members start together, they do not need to finish together).

Coming up next:
Date: Saturday, 27 and Sunday, 28 September 2014
Venue: Van Gaalens Cheese Farm (Hartebeespoort / North West Province)

Cape Town
Date: Saturday, 18 and Sunday, 19 October 2014
Venue: Lievland Wine Estate and Wiesenhof Legacy Park, Stellenbosch

Like our Facebook page: Impi Challenge
Follow us on Twitter: @impichallenge

For more information on the Mdzananda Animal Clinic please contact Marcelle van Zyl via email , visit or like For more information on the IMPI Challenge contact 076 772 3735, email or visit