Stu Rayner

The Run for Rosa Foundation was born as a heartfelt tribute to Rosa Carlyle Mitchell, the late cousin of its founder, Stu Rayner. Rosa’s life was cut tragically short on her 21st birthday. Inspired by her memory, Rayner embarked on an extraordinary journey in 2017 – running 10 marathons in just 13 days. This incredible feat was more than a personal challenge; it was a mission to sponsor a child, Melusi Mahlaba, through Kings School in Nottingham Road.

Rayner’s remarkable run began on his own birthday, 16th July, in Plettenberg Bay. It concluded on 28th July – Rosa’s birthday – in Cape Town, at the very hotel where Rosa had sadly passed away. The arduous journey not only honoured her memory but also changed Melusi’s life. Today, Melusi is thriving in Grade 11 at Etham College, a testament to the enduring impact of Rayner’s dedication and Rosa’s poignant story.

Building on this inspiring legacy, the Run for Rosa Foundation is excited to announce this year’s challenge. Once again, Stu Rayner will embark on an inspiring journey, pushing himself even further by running 11 consecutive marathons. This time, his efforts will advocate for the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG).

The 2024 Challenge has set ambitious objectives: to raise crucial funds for SADAG, promote exercise as a liberating outlet for mental health, and inspire belief in individuals’ abilities and potential. This gruelling challenge will kick off on 18th July, Nelson Mandela Day, in De Rust and reach its conclusion on 28th July at the Kimberley Hotel, a date chosen in loving remembrance of Rayner’s cousin, Rosa.

Beyond these specific endeavours, the Run for Rosa Foundation aims to empower individuals through running, fostering a community built on love, courage, independence, and mindfulness. The foundation envisions a world where everyone feels empowered to overcome obstacles, pursue their dreams fearlessly, and positively impact their communities. Their core values include fostering a supportive and inclusive community; encouraging bravery and resilience; inspiring individuals to pursue their passions; promoting mental and emotional well-being; supporting causes that uplift communities and celebrating diversity and uniqueness.

Rayner’s personal journey is one of resilience and transformation. After struggling with OCD, anxiety and depression, he found solace in running. His experience has driven him to create positive change in the world and inspire others to embrace their unique stories. “I want people to love who they are and not what society deems acceptable,” says Rayner. “Running helped me find peace and purpose and I hope to inspire others to see exercise as a way to heal and thrive.”

Mental health issues are very prevalent in South Africa, with one in three South Africans experiencing a mental illness in their lifetime. Unfortunately, only one in ten people with a mental illness receive treatment, which is reflected in the fact that South Africa ranks lowest on the global mental health wellbeing scale.

Cassey Chambers, Operations Director of SADAG, expresses her gratitude to the foundation, saying: “We are incredibly grateful for the support from the Run for Rosa Foundation. Initiatives like these not only raise vital funds but also increase awareness and understanding of mental health issues. Every step Stu takes is a step towards a mentally healthier South Africa.”

We warmly invite everyone to join Rayner for this remarkable charity run. Whether you choose to run, walk, jog, cycle, or even skateboard, your participation is greatly valued. And, if you join us for the full 11 marathons or just a few kilometres – your support makes a difference.

Proceeds from the 2024 Run for Rosa marathons will be donated to SADAG. Donations can be made using the following banking details:

Account Name: SADAG

Bank: First National Bank

Branch: Benmore Gardens

Branch code: 251255

Account no: 59251150677

Reference: RFR2024

Should you require a Section 18A certificate, kindly email SADAG’s Finance Manager at [email protected] with your proof of payment.

For more information about the Run for Rosa’s various initiatives in this regard, please visit