Parkrun Virtual SPAR Comrades Running for animals - SPCA running long walk Parkrun Blisters
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Maretha Smit would have run her 5th consecutive Comrades this year, but the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented it; instead, she is doing it at home for charity.


Cape Town, South Africa (13 May 2020) – This year would have seen thousands of runners taking on the iconic Comrades Marathon to complete 89km of this world-famous race in the great outdoors, alongside fellow competitors, friends and family members.

Many runners have sadly had to hang up their trainers as the harsh reality of COVID-19 derailed their Comrades’ dreams. #TEAMSPCA athlete Maretha Smit, from Mowbray Cape Town, was not deterred. Instead of giving up, she decided that her new #Comrades4Change race would happen – just a little differently than previously anticipated.

As a Registrar in Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, Maretha faces the stark reality of the Corona Pandemic far closer than many of us ever will. For her and many of the hospital staff the only way to burn off stress and remain healthy is through a quick jog in the hospital parking lot.

“This year I would have run my 5th consecutive Comrades Marathon, with the ultimate goal of reaching that green number with no interruptions. The Covid-19 Pandemic has generated disappointment after disappointment ranging across the spectrum of personal to professional goals. I work at Groote Schuur Hospital and one of the very few coping mechanisms many of us have, is to be able to run in the fresh air, albeit in the parking lot.” 

“Earlier this month, on the 11th of April 2020, I ran the Two Oceans 56km, now referred to as NO Oceans, on my treadmill at home – it was one of the most difficult things I have ever attempted. I’ve decided that I will revert to the parking area for my very own Comrades Marathon Challenge. In these uncertain times, we all have to try and continue with small victories or we will lose the only quality that will get us through – hope!”

Animals ask so little of us but we must remember that we still have the ability to make a difference to their lives. We can connect and make the change by taking up Maretha’s #Comrades4Change parking lot challenge and do it for the love of all animals.

Let us join together in hope and do it for the voiceless and vulnerable.

Sign up to take part and donate to this fantastic cause

Sources: SPCA – Supplied
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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