At 6:30am on 13th June 2021 – far too early for a Sunday morning – and while much of Makhanda was either still partying or sleeping, a few of us started to gather for a mini adventure. A few months ago, our Albany Runners group had set ourselves a challenge – inspired by the Comrades Marathon we would do our own “Comrades Challenge” – hoping to break some personal distance records while raising awareness (and hopefully attracting some sponsorship!) for our favourite cause – Coaching Conservation!

The best thing about starting a run in the dark is the reward of a beautiful Eastern Cape sunrise and the chance of seeing wildlife as it starts its day. And this morning, we were not disappointed. Gemsbok, roan antelope, waterbuck, buffalo, impala, warthogs and a caravan of giraffes greeted us along the way to Kenton-upon-Sea.

Along the way we were joined by supporters and more runners. Five kilometres into our journey, Colin arrived with cokes, cold water, oranges, and some motivational and navigational advice! More support arrived 15 kilometres along the road to Kenton, as Sam and Juan arrived with their cheerful support crew Emily and Tasmin to commence their 45km challenge.

The final members of the team achieved the following distances:

Kennedy, Sam and Juan ran 45km (more than doubling previous personal distance records for Kennedy and Sam).

Pedro and Sinalo ran 57km (more than doubling Pedro’s previous distance record).

Peter (at 73 years young) ran 10km.

Sally ran 60km (extending her personal distance record).

Ghida ran 54km (a new personal best)

Kirsti and Viv ran 21km.

Despite the fact that it is a 500m drop from Grahamstown to Kenton this was NOT a downhill journey. Our running devices show that our elevation gain was 723m!

All Finished! With thanks to David, Colin, Cate, Emily and Tasmin for great support and Kirsti for much needed Boerie Rolls!

Please consider rewarding the team’s efforts in this challenge:

To support the Coaching Conservation project at Amakala and fund the training of three new coaches to join our this programme, helping teach children to understand how we are all connected and “Inspire Kids Who Care” you can donate here: https://www.givengain.com/cc/coaching-conservation–comrades-challenge/

 

 

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