Bennie’s Backyard Comrades

4th April 2020 – Bennie Roux’s Residence

It’s the year 2020 and I was looking forward to yet another great year of running. I was busy training hard for the Ultra-Trail Drakensberg 100 miler when all plans changed. The moment we received news about the Coronavirus, things for sport went pear-shaped and very quickly too. The first event to be canceled was a real big blow for SA sport, the Cape Epic, and all the other events were soon canceled within the next week. This left us with absolutely no sports to watch or participate in.

I was busy scrolling down on Facebook when I saw that a French man ran a full marathon 42km on his 7-meter balcony (during lockdown); from that moment, the seed was planted!

So on day 1 of the SA lockdown, I decided to run a full marathon in my yard – at least my lap was just shy of 250 meters. I completed the marathon in a super slow time of 5h50. Exactly 3 hours slower than my PB. As you all know by now, I’m a sucker for a challenge and a friend challenged me to run a 90km Comrades marathon in my yard. I was keen, but I needed a reason, I needed motivation. I received a phone call from a fellow trail runner who needed some advice on running 42km in her yard, she said that they were being sponsored for every km run and that all proceeds would go to the Con Amore School and Intervention Centre, which is a special school for Autistic and Intellectually Challenged kids. She offered to sponsor me R50 per km.

After a post on Facebook, I received more donations, and the donations just kept on coming! It was awesome! What wasn’t as awesome was the day I picked to run this challenge on. It was the worst day to run as it was raining the whole day, I constantly stopped for dry gear and shoes – I went through 7 shirts 5 rain jackets and 4 pairs of shoes.

I passed my house 360 times;
I thought about quitting 360 times;
I thought about cheating 360 times.

The only reason I didn’t stop, was because of the donations for the kids.

Roughly R 70 000 was raised!

Bennie’s older son giving his dad some energy snacks 🍌


If you require any further information on COVID-19, visit the sacoronavirus.co.za