Sally and Colin Price-Smith’s decision to run the #56KMForMakana marathon in their garden started as a bit of a joke.
“The idea took seed and we decided that if we were going to tackle this interesting physical challenge we should make it count for the community in which we live,” said Sally.
She is running the full 56km ultra-marathon — about 230 laps of the garden — while Colin will do the 21km half marathon or roughly 88 laps of the garden.
The couple, both aged 58, have planned a circuitous route around their beautiful, large Makhanda garden — which is bordered by two of the small city’s historic streets, Worcester and Durban streets — to avoid the inevitable tedium that is likely to set in.
The Two Oceans, dubbed “the world’s most beautiful race”, has stunning scenery.
In line with this, Sally said they had planned loops through their garden for variety.
The “Chapman’s Peak” route consists mostly of their long driveway.
The “Kirstenbosch/Constantia” loop takes them through the most scenic parts of their lovely garden and they are planning a “Muizenberg” loop via the swimming pool.
“We are still going to be fed up by the end of it and it is going to be a huge mental challenge,” said Sally.
They are calling their marathon the “Two Streets Marathon” and will not leave their garden while running it. It will be livestreamed for those interested in watching.
“It’s the safest and most beautiful ultra-marathon in Makana.”
Like most crazy ideas, Colin said, this one sounded good at inception but was becoming rather intimidating as the day got closer.
“We are quite certain we will be doing it in a slower time than we would in a ‘normal’ marathon situation, especially with all the tight turns.”
Sally had hoped to do a sub-six hour in the real ultra-marathon but realistically hopes to make it in just over seven in her garden.
But as eccentric as the idea may be, Colin said it was vital to keep going during lockdown or face going “stir crazy”.
They hope to raise R200,000 for food and safety mask donations to communities in need as unemployment has spiked in the already economically depressed municipal area due to the lockdown.
As of Monday, they had raised some R14,000 from donations on global fundraising site GivenGain and another R4,000 deposited in the Grahamstown Residents’ Association bank account.
This will go towards supporting the Makana community during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.