Endurance Athlete of the Year

Trail Running

When Deo Kato set out from Cape Town in July, he was embarking on a truly epic endurance challenge: running from Cape Town to London. It’s no wonder that he has been crowned the Endurance Athlete of the Year.  

Deo Kato, the Ugandan-born, London-based runner, began a truly astonishing 381-day challenge on July 24. His goal: to become the first person to run from Cape Town to London, while at the same time shining a spotlight on the history of human migration from Africa to the rest of the world. 

You read that right: Cape Town to London. Deo is aiming to run 9,053 miles / 14,570 km through 15 countries, across two continents, with some 175,196ft / 53,400m of elevation gain along the way. That elevation gain alone is the equivalent to covering eight times the height of Everest. To complete the challenge by August 7, 2024, Deo needs to average 24 miles / 40 km every day.

It’s little wonder no one’s ever done this before.

But it's not just about the physical feat; Deo's journey has a deeper meaning. In a world where people are often told to "go back to where they came from," Deo wants to shout from the rooftops that humanity started in Africa. His mission is to break down racial barriers and inspire a younger generation of athletes through representation in an extreme endurance challenge. He's literally tracing the trails where humanity first walked on Earth.

Inspired by the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955, where African Americans protested for civil rights over 381 days, Deo's journey echoes that same resilience. It's more than running. 

In his own words: “Going on this journey is important because it matters to tell our history from an African [perspective]. I will also show the next generation that nothing is impossible. If you can see it and believe it, you can become it. We all come from the same land; mother nature doesn't care who you are. We should all be appreciated in the same way.”

Needless to say, training for this monster run involved more than your typical gym workout. It was all about mindset and mental strength – respecting the distance and appreciating the time it was going to take him.  Deo believes that any runner needs to have a great, worthwhile cause to achieve a goal of this magnitude. Luckily for Deo, he certainly has that. 

Mark your calendars because, all going well, this epic challenge will conclude at Downing Street in London on 7 August, 2024. In the meantime, follow him along his journey as he documents each section onStrava and onhis social media. Best of all, we’ll be able to relive the adventure with him once his journey is complete, as he plans on sharing it as a film.