by Anthony J Matesi

Team SISU is built on the foundation of going above and beyond our limits.  You can see this in everything SISU does, from training, to motivating others, to taking on extreme challenges, and even sacrificing their own bodies to support a great cause.   For the Malibu Spartan Sprint SISU has looked to helping their own, Shawn Parsons and his family.  To support them, all donations will go to From There To Care, a no-kill animal shelter located on 8 acres of land in Riverside, CA. In California, especially SoCal, there is a large problem with homeless pets resulting in the euthanasia of thousands of animals every year.  Organizations like “From There to Care” aim to help curb this trend by pulling animals from city and county shelters, rehabilitating them, and re-homing them with their forever families.  We’re asking people to support Daren’s generous effort, but pledging whatever they can.  It’s estimated that the average cost of rescuing and re-homing one animal is about $300.  But even if a donation is for just a few dollars per lap (more on that follows), every little bit helps.  Donations can be made via PayPal by going to the following URL:

Now, you are probably wondering what SISU will be doing to encourage donations, right? 

 The Challenge

Allow me to introduce you to Daren de Heras, a founding member of Team SISU.  Daren is an extremely active athlete, he coaches his daughters AYSO soccer team, runs a flexible packaging company; a family owned business, and a frequent Spartan Racer who takes on challenges all over the country including a few that he has helped organize even.  When Daren decided he wanted to help From There to Care he made a point to contact Joe Desena to discuss what kind of challenge he should take on.  Joe was inspired by the performance of James Ogden at the Carolina Spartan where he ran six laps to raise money for Wounded Wear.  Joe suggested Daren go after seven laps at the Malibu Sprint.

After some brainstorming back and fourth between the two the challenge was laid out.  Daren will begin with the first “lap” a la the Hurricane Heat which will lead straight into the standard course laps, beginning with a 40 lb. Team SISU War Hammer.  Next, Daren will be tethered to a friend thanks to Hobie Call lending the tether he used when racing with his wife at the Arizona Spartan Race.  Lap number four will be with the one and only LOG!  The mad man won’t stop there for his fifth lap he is going to wear a weight vest through the course and following that he will switch over to an elevation mask, because who really needs oxygen.  As if that wasn’t enough already, Daren will be running his final lap as a tribute to the Death Race Panda.  From what I’ve heard, Daren is a gambling man; he survived the Betrayal of the 2012 Death Race and is preparing himself for a return to Pittsfield, VT in 2013.  If you don’t know about the DR Panda, beware, it has been said he can either come to your aid or lead you to your demise.

Joe has challenged Daren to take on this challenge and he has accepted.  Now its up to you to help donate, help the animals without homes, prevent unnecessary death, and give these animals a chance to live.  With your donations, From There to Care will be able to provide a sanctuary for many, many abandoned animals that deserve some tender loving care.  Let’s support Daren as he tackles this tremendous challenge and donate to helping give the animals a second chance at life. Donate here


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