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Swiss runner races for children's rights

The former Swiss boxing champion, Serge Roetheli, long ago traded in his gloves for running shoes. Nowadays, the 44-year-old runs for the rights of children, and he has just set off on his greatest challenge yet.

This content was published on February 13, 2000 - 10:00

The former Swiss boxing champion, Serge Roetheli, long ago traded in his gloves for running shoes. Nowadays, the 44-year-old runs for the rights of children, and he has just set off on his greatest challenge yet.

Roetheli, who comes from canton Valais, on Sunday began a run around the world, across all five contintents, to raise money to help alleviate the hardships faced by children.

With the support of the international aid organisation Terre des Hommes, Roetheli will spend the next five years running a total of 40,000 kilometres.

"I'll be wearing out a pair of shoes a month, so that will make up about 60 pairs," says Roetheli.

Accompanied by a motorcycle driven by his wife Nicole, Roetheli has started his global challenge in Switzerland. His marathon will take him through Spain, into Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, across to the Americas and finally back to Switzerland.
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The Swiss athelete feels confident of succeeding in the Terre des Hommes Challenge. His track record is astonishing. Roetheli has already spent 35 months running from Tierra del Fuego in Argentina to Alaska.

He has been up and down the Grand Canyon in a day. In addition, Roetheli was the first man to run across a continent 10 years ago, when he tackled Europe from Gibralter to the tip of Norway. Today, Serge and Nicole see themselves as ambassadors for the rights of children worldwide. ·

By Michael Morris

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