A Bahrain resident has raised around $10,000 for the Daphne Lee Centre, a special needs centre in Klerksdorp, South Africa after completing the 70km Vietnam Mountain Marathon, which runs through valleys, rice fields, plantations and forests, in 16 hours and 28 minutes.

Pierre Fourie, himself a South Africa and the country manager for the Beirut-based Azadea retail group, was inspired to take on the challenge for his sister Janine, who suffers from cerebral palsy and studies at the centre, which is also where his mother works as a teacher.

In an interview with Bahrain’s Gulf Daily News, Fourie explained:  “I visited the centre during a recent trip to South Africa and was disappointed that it was rundown. The centre needs a revamp, but hopefully with this money I can start renovating the place in November.”

He added that he had been overwhelmed by the generosity of people from Bahrain and abroad, saying,

“I was pleasantly surprised by how people can generously support a cause and the encouragement that I got from them was great.”

Fourie has taken part in several marathons, including the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon and China’s Great Wall Marathon, the 56km Two Oceans Marathon in South Africa earlier this year and two Ironman races in March 2006 and April 2012.

He ran over 2500km as part of the preparation for the Mountain Marathon in Vietnam.