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June 7, 2012

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US teacher plans 24-hour run for Nepal fundraiser

A bilingual school's American teacher plans to run for 24 straight hours starting today to raise funds for a village school in Nepal.

Christopher Gibbs, a sports teacher at YK Pao School, has taken part in triathlons in China, but today's charity event will top them all for endurance.

All the proceeds will be donated to a poor school in Darka to help it hire teachers, build a library and add rooms.

"I have had the idea for this event for the past few years," said Gibbs, 26, who has taught at the Shanghai school since last August. "Extreme events encourage creativity, and I wanted to do something that would test me physically while giving others something to think about."

Gibbs suffered altitude sickness while climbing Mount Everest two years ago and became stranded above the 5,000-meter level of the world's highest peak. He couldn't walk and had trouble breathing. Two Nepali men carried him down.

"I felt an overwhelming compassion for my saviors, Nepalese people, and the country as a whole," Gibbs said. "It was then I decided to do something to help."

He visited a very poor school in Darka. The school with 80-plus students has enough funds for only one teacher and it lacks books.

Gibbs will start at 8am today at the school track in Songjiang District and keep running until tomorrow morning.

He will eat and drink as he is running, and will pause only to go to the toilet. He acknowledged he will have to walk at times.


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