About me

How I started traveling


David Grier is the First person in history to have run the Great wall of China in BOTH directions. 4 200 km each way. Over the past 12 years he has run 25 000 km across the globe. Creating awareness and raising funds for Operation Smile through the Cipla Miles for Smiles initiative.
`` Its not about what you achieve that is important, its about the difference you make along the way`` David.Grier

David’s last challenge

“Back to the Wall” a re-run of the Great Wall of China, but this time from East to West. Starting at Shanhaiguan the eastern terminus of the wall where it meets the Bohai see to the most western part on the plains of the Gobi desert where the wall begins on the banks of the Great White river near the fort of Jaiuguan with his running partner Andrew Stuart a distance of some 4200 km in a time span of 80 days becoming one of the first people to complete this deemed to be impossible feat of running the Great Wall in both directions.

David was born on the 16th of January 1960 into a Cape wine farming family in South Africa, here his love of the outdoors, food, wine and adventure began. He set out to take all his passions to the extreme

To date: David has run The Great wall of China 4200km in 93 days, Run the entire coastline of South Africa 3300 km in 80 days, paddled from Africa to Madagascar 500km in 12 days, run the Island of Madagascar South to north 2700km in 67 days, run the entire length of India 4008 km in 93 days. Run Cuba South to North, 1800 km. Run Thailand and a stint in North Korea.

David is a trustee and ambassador

David is a trustee of the Cipla Foundation and GiveAll foundation. As well as being an ambassador for both raising funds through adventure for Operation Smile South Africa, who perform corrective surgery on children born with cleft lips and palates. David has recently also been appointed an as an ambassador for 54asOne, a foundation assisting with improving of access to medical services and equipment, as well as upgrading of medical infrastructure on the continent of Africa.

David has shaped the experiences of the last four challenges into a series of inspirational talks. His message is of hope and ‘making a difference’ in people’s lives through change, positivity, the right attitude, recognizing opportunity and never giving up.

But remember success lies in your ability to nurture the change within as an individual.

David Grier “the Author”

David has written numerous books on his adventures
Courage and Rice – the run of the Great Wall 2006
Hope in Thyme – The run of South African coast
Burnt Vanilla – The paddle to and run of Madagascar
Lost and Found – The run of India.

“BACK TO THE WALL “the new release



Davids culinary experience.

After studying management at the hotel school in Gauteng David started his career in the hospitality industry. A year later David opened his first string of successful restaurants, running them from the engine room, the kitchen. A challenge never put David off rising through the field, his restaurant became ranked in the top 100 in the country and remained there.

David has spent a lot of time abroad, promoting South African food as well as starting a manufacturing company producing food products for the international markets. This has culminated in his appearance in many cooking shows and food related programs. With adventure being the focus of his life now, David has remained attached to the food industry through his consulting company DGC where he remodels restaurants and hotels in line with current food trends.

Finalist in SA Chef of the year 2001 •

Finalist in SA Chef of the year 2002 •

Top 100 SA restaurants 2002 – 2004 •

2nd SA Chef of the year 2000 •

Guest SA chef with SA ambassador to Kenya 1999 •

Guest SA chef on 6 star cruise liner, the American Crystal Cruise Ship 2001 and 2002 •

Guest SA chef in Germany, 2003 raised R20 000 for Street Kids in Cape Town •

2nd Place SA National Mushroom Festival •

Guest SA chef Singapore international food festival 2006 •

3rd Place National Oyster Festival 2007 •

SA Chef of the Year finalist 2007 •

Guest Chef to Germany 2010 SA promotion prior to the world cup •


Davids Accolades

  • Operation Smile Chairman’s Global humanitarian award
  • Back to the wall 2018 4200 km 78 days
  • Run of Thailand 1100 km 20 Days
  • John O’Groats to Land’s End (1500km in 24 days)
  • South to North up Ireland (600km in 7 days)
  • Hadrian wall (128 km in 23 hours)
  • Running across India, 2011/2012 (4008km in 93 Days)
  • Running across the island of Madagascar, 2010/2011 (2700km in 64 days)
  • Solo paddle from Africa to Madagascar, 2010 (500km in 11 days)
  • SA Speakers Inc. Humanitarian of the year 2010
  • Finalist SA Adventurer of the year 2010
  • Running the coast of South Africa, 2008 (3300 km in 80 days)
  • Simonsvlei Cape Adventurer of the year, 2007
  • Out There Magazine 2007 Adventurer of the Year
  • Great Wall Challenge, 2006 (4200 km in 98 days)
  • Grand Raid, Reunion, 1998, 1999 & 2002 (125 km off-road mountain run)
  • Puffer Challenge, 1999 (80 km)
  • Kilimanjaro 1994
  • Two Oceans 1996, 1997 & 1998
  • Comrades 1996
  • Argus Cycle Tour 1995, 1996 & 1998
  • Men’s Health Adventure Racing Team (250 km & 500km races)

Davids Sponsors

When doing an adventure like ours, being on the road for up to 5 months at a time, it’s essential to have an excellent support team to hold the whole structure in place. These are our sponsors, financial and product. Knowing that this is in place we can concentrate and put everything into the physical and mental battle lies ahead.

The results are there, over 3000 children’s lives have been changed through the Cipla Foundation’s Miles for Smiles Initiative with the incredible support of the following sponsors.

Operation Smile
The most important partner in all of this is the Operation Smile team who facilitate the corrective surgery, with out them all the fundraising efforts would come to nothing.



  • CNN Asia
  • CCTV China
  • French TV travel chanel
  • HSN food channel USA
  • Qwella – Kyknet
  • Top Billing – SABC3
  • Pasella
  • Oor die Koole – Supersport ,
  • SABC News
  • What’s Your Flava?
  • Free Spirit
  • CBNC News
  • Morning Live
  • Espresso Breakfast Show
  • Top Dog
  • Hello Doctor
  • TV advertisements for certain brands
  • Produced and Directed the documentary
    “A Journey along the Great Wall”
  • Cobbing up the coast – a cooking show
  • I like that – travel cooking show


While running the great wall, I was constantly in awe of the beauty surrounding me. The beauty of the planet and its magnificence, but constantly in the back of my mind was the reminder of the paradox, how can this beauty of our planet also be the home of such pain and suffering experienced by our children.


Children born with such facial disfigurement that they are ostracized by those around them, struggle to speak, let alone eat. To me the final measurement of the success of my journey can only be measured by the children that I can help realise their simple dream of a god given right to a smile.


With a simple operation of some 45 minutes a Child’s life can be changed forever. Since we started this foundation, we have been instrumental in helping some 54 children, who during the run received facial surgery in Empangeni in Kwazulu Natal. Having been involved in the inaugural mission in South Africa we are now busy with our next fundraising adventure in order to continue with this worthy cause.


On my return to South Africa I made a trip up to Empangeni with my daughter (who is a volunteer for Operation Smile) to meet some of the children, a moment that I will never forget, to see all those beautiful faces, radiating their new smiles. I am proud to be associated with Operation Smile. To date I have been part of raising nearly 10 million rand and assisting 3000 children with corrective surgery






Fresenius Medical Care is the world’s leading provider of products and services for people with chronic kidney failure. Around 3.2 million patients with this disease worldwide regularly undergo dialysis treatment. Dialysis is a vital blood cleansing procedure that substitutes the function of the kidney in case of kidney failure.

We care for more than 320,000 patients in our global network of more than 3,700 dialysis clinics. At the same time, we operate 41 production sites on all continents, to provide dialysis products such as dialysis machines, dialyzers and related disposables.

Cipla is a global pharmaceutical company which uses cutting edge technology and innovation to meet the everyday needs of all patients. For 80 years, Cipla has emerged as one of the most respected pharmaceutical names in India as well as across more than 100 countries. Our portfolio includes over 1000 products across a wide range of therapeutic categories with one quality standard globally.

Featured in

Connect With Me

Join in with #David

[mkdf_instagram_list number_of_columns=”four” space_between_columns=”small” show_instagram_icon=”yes” image_size=”standard_resolution” slider_loop=”yes” slider_autoplay=”yes” slider_navigation=”yes” slider_pagination=”no” number_of_photos=”8″]

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit sed.

Follow us on