Antarctica ultra-race for a solar powered South Africa: Countdown begins

Press release - July 24, 2014
Johannesburg, 24 July 2014: Today marks 100 days countdown to 46 year old, sports enthusiast David Barnard’s next big running challenge; the “Last Desert Race”. David Barnard’s participation in the 250km race through the snow of Antarctica in November 2014 seeks to raise R 250 000 in support of Greenpeace Africa.

Through his participation in extreme marathons and multi-stage desert races around the world, David Barnard raises funds to support non-profit organisations and various social causes. The funds raised in the ‘Last Desert Race’ will go towards the installation of solar energy in an underprivileged South African community.

“Ultimately, going to Antarctica is not just about running in the snow and gale-force winds, but the reward that comes with it. I am dedicating my participation in The Last Desert Race to the work of Greenpeace Africa. Greenpeace is one of the most influential global campaigning organisations working to protect and conserve the environment,” said David Barnard.

David Barnard has completed a number of multi-stage desert races in the recent past  among them the 250km Sahara Race in October 2011 in Egypt, 220km Namib Desert Challenge in March 2012 in Namibia, 250km Gobi March in June 2012 in China and 220km Ultra Africa Race in November 2013 in Burkina Faso. 

“Greenpeace Africa is very grateful to David Barnard for taking part in this race to raise funds for the promotion of solar energy.  South Africa has abundant solar resources that could revolutionise the way energy is produced in the country. David’s example shows that all South Africans can in different capacities contribute towards a cleaner and safer energy future for the country” said Greenpeace Africa Executive Director, Michael O’Brien Onyeka.

Greenpeace Africa recently launched a membership drive designed to bring together ordinary South Africans who have a common passion for the environment to investigate, campaign, and lobby for a sustainable balance between humans and the environment. In order to maintain its independence from governments, corporations and political parties, Greenpeace only relies on donations from generous individuals to carry out its work.

Besides raising funds for social causes, David is the Vice-President for Africa at TechSoup Global, the largest non-profit provider of technology assistance services to NGOs and libraries worldwide. He was previously the Executive Director of the Southern African NGO Network (SANGONeT).

David Barnard has been very successful in his ability to combine his NGO sector experience with his passion for environmental and social justice on the continent. He has extensively published and presented on issues relating to development in Africa.

Notes to the editor


Hellen Dena, Greenpeace Africa communications: , +27 74 157 1734

Lerato Tsotetsi, Greenpeace Africa Communications: , +27 79 805 6258