Climbing Kilimanjaro seventh quest for RTP

By: Martin Parnell

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Feb 20, 2013 10:47 am

Baba Mlezi (Martin Parnell) poses with Baby Oasis, his goddaughter.
Baba Mlezi (Martin Parnell) poses with Baby Oasis, his goddaughter.

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In three days, my wife Sue and I are heading over to Tanzania.

As I packed, I thought about how this trip came about. In late August 2012, Sue and I went on a road trip to Edmonton, to visit our friends Leesha and Lau Mafuru and their baby Oasis. I had met Leesha and Lau the previous year at a Rotary club meeting in Cochrane. Leeshaís mom Donna is a member and they were her guests.

I sat next to Lau and we hit it off right away. He is from Tanzania and has his own Trekking Company, Boma Africa. Over the next few months we played Scrabble together and Lau took part in Netball Quest 61.

Baby Oasis came along at the end of October 2011 and Sue and I came to know her well.

We were thrilled when Leesha and Lau asked us if we would be her godparents. Our Swahili names are Baba Mlezi and Mama Mlezi. They then asked the big question: would we come to Tanzania in early 2013 for Oasisís naming ceremony? We of course said yes.

During that Edmonton trip, Lau and I went for a run along the North Saskatchewan River and I was trying to get an idea for Quest No. 7.

During that one hour jog, Kilimanjaro Quest 95.2 was born.

Lau and I hope to complete the Kilimanjaro marathon on March 3 and, three days later, climb the mountain. The twist being that, instead of taking the usual 5 days, we will attempt to do it in 24 hours.

Preparing for this Quest has been tough. Iíve put the treadmill on a steep incline and run up and down Horse Creek road a number of times.

Kilimanjaro is at 19,341 feet while my house in Cochrane is at 3,891 feet. Last Thursday I went for a hike with my friends Andrew and Mike.

The plan was to attempt to summit Moose Mountain. This peak stands at 7,995 feet and, after hiking for five hours, we reached the saddle below the summit. We hit 7,562 feet but time was running out and we had to turn back. A tough pill to swallow.

So, with only a week and a half to the marathon and two weeks to the climb Iíve completed my training.

Kilimanjaro Quest 95.2 is my seventh quest. Iím hoping to raise $25,000 for Right To Play and this will go towards my BIG goal of raising $1 million in five years.

Right To Play partners will match every $1 raised with $3 more.

If you want to follow my progress I will be blogging each day on and if you want to support my efforts for the kids you can donate at


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