The second Comrades Virtual Challenge, organised by FIT2000 Athletics Club, took place on 13 June in Oriel Park and featured 5km 10km, 21km 45km and 90km distances.
Participants could take part in their chosen distance anytime from 6am for 12 hours until the final cut off at 6pm. All routes were on a 2.3km circuit around Oriel Park, as per the distances above.
At least three FIT2000 athletes, including Paul Selby, completed 90km, having started at midnight from home and then continued on the same 2.3km Oriel Park route used last year. Those aspiring to complete this distance, as well as the 45km, were aided by their GPS/smart watches.
‘Having started at midnight, it required considerable mental strength to keep going ‘non-stop’ for over 17 hours,’ said Selby, who added that what got him through it was ‘knowing that every step of the way was in aid of helping folk less fortunate than ourselves. The hardship experienced for me was no different from that which many folk have to endure on a day to day basis’.
The entry was free of charge, but participants were asked to donate food in support of the Bedfordview Methodist Church (BMC) food pantry and soup kitchen to feed the homeless, or sponsor R1 per km for the same cause for those who achieved 90km.
FIT2000 invited Bedfordview Athletics Club to join them for the challenge. ‘I would like to thank the Club for their participation and the generous food and cash donations that they made in support of our cause,’ added Selby. He said they are busy reconciling donations coming in but so far, over R10,000 has already been received plus an additional ‘mountain’ of food.
‘Due to Covid-19 and the restrictions that applied for staging events, we were unable to advertise apart from circulating flyers throughout the neighbourhood. Many residents came forward to support us by participating and making donations, and I thank all who got involved in one way or another,’ he said.
‘Many people expressed appreciation for hosting an awesome run in a nice, safe and friendly environment and for a good cause,’ added Selby.
Donations are still greatly appreciated. To contribute, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
FIT2000 ATHLETICS CLUB