6 Ironman on 6 Continents: Raising Funds for Children’s Education


Maria Conceição exceeds expectations again with a new Challenge – 6X6 Challenge

How far would you go to honour your promise?
“As far as I need to go” replies Maria Conceição, founder of the Maria Cristina Foundation. Twelve years ago, after seeing street children struggling to survive and deprived of basic education whilst on a work trip to Dhaka, Bangladesh, Maria made a life changing decision – to dedicate her life to raising enough money to make sure that 600 children received the education that they needed.

After several major achievements, such as summiting Mount Everest, six Guinness World Records for Marathon and Ultra marathons and attempting to swim the English Channel, Maria is now pursuing an unbelievable new feat – attempting to complete 6 Ironman races in 6 continents in the shortest possible time. Maria has never done a full ironman before.

Ironmen are well known to be one of the most challenging endurance races in the world – testing the body with a 3.8 KM swim, a 180km bike ride and a 42.2km run. Athletes spend years training to complete ONE full Ironman, let alone SIX in rapid succession! So why would a regular person with no professional athletic background push themselves this far? For Maria, it is crystal clear; to raise $479,000.00 for MCF´s education project.

Maria says, “I never expected to have to go to such measures that these challenges put me through, but it has become so difficult to raise the funds needed, we have tried everything but it seems the only way to get peoples attention and keep the momentum going” is by taking part in extreme challenges.

Maria Cristina Foundation needs to secure these funds to help the remaining 127 students complete high school. For Maria, the lengths that she has to go through in training to prepare for such a challenging physical test, is still nothing compared to the daily struggles that the slum children of Dhaka go to for the basics that we take for granted – food, shelter, education and medical support. So to honour the promise that she made to these 600 children 12 years ago, Maria is ready to go as far as it takes her to raise enough awareness, enough interest and enough funding.

“What drives me? My dedication to honour my promise to my children. Wouldn’t you do the same to protect yours? I don’t want to have to tell the children that they cannot finish school when they face the prospect of child labour or forced child marriages.

Through education we can give them opportunities, make their world a better place, one child at the time!”I have pushed my body and mind to ridiculous limits and extremes in pursuit of securing the quality education of these children.

A whole community of 101 families is benefiting from the empowerment to surpass any conventional expectation. Since 2005, MCF has already educated over 600 children from this community; some attend university; some earned high paid jobs in Bangladesh and abroad and moved out of the slum to become resourceful members of the society. So for Maria, this makes all the emotional and physical battles that she goes through to accomplish these feats, well worthwhile.

Join us in supporting Maria and her children by following her next challenge and donating at: (http://www.mariacristinafoundation.org/). Maria’s new challenge – to attempt to become the fastest female to complete an ironman (3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42km run) in 6 continents, starting in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.



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