Cape Town runner, Zane Franklin ran all the way from Cape Town to Knysna to compete in the Pick n Pay Cape Times Knysna Forest Marathon, which was then cancelled.
inset: Running an average of 70 gruelling kilometres per day in his journey from Cape Town to Knysna to run the full Knysna Marathon, Zane Franklin raised funds and awareness for Nature Conservation (Photo: Knysna-Plett Herald).
Franklin challenged himself to raise funds for a conservation cause of his choice in Southern Africa. "Challenge one began on July 6 when I ran from Cape Town to Knysna to complete the Knysna Forrest Marathon," said Franklin. He averaged around 70km per day and reached Knysna by July 13 in order to run the final 42km event on Saturday, July 14.
"The final marathon was going to be the real test for my legs, not in terms of distance, but rather to finish within the 5:30 minutes cut-off time. I was ready and just wanted to begin running and pushing."
Lucy van Spuy, his seconder throughout the long journey, was due to join him for the marathon, which was to be her first and Franklin's inspirational mother's return to marathon running from her triumphant green number Comrades almost ten years ago. "Due to unforeseen weather conditions the marathon was called off for the first time in over 20 year, the disappointment in the house was huge," said this tenacious runner.
Franklin explained that the weather conditions during his long run from Cape Town, although favourable most days, were extremely cold. "Dark, early mornings as well as rain on some occasions were a challenge, but after a little self-pep talk and remembering what I was doing this for, it was up and out onto the road again," he said.
A knee injury which started to niggle after only the first 30km out of Cape Town, set Zane back physically but not mentally.
He said that he had new-found respect for his right leg and his body but especially of how powerful one's mind can be.
"Challenge one is complete, and I hope that you will look towards challenges to come as we gain momentum, to create ripples, to make waves, to raise awareness and perhaps some funds for worthy nature conservation initiatives like those driven by the Endangered Wildlife Trust," enthused Franklin.
Franklin and Course for Africa (a drive to raise awareness and money for nature conservation in Southern Africa) are in the process of planning the next expedition, which will take place in the second quarter of 2013 over a total of 52 weeks.
"All funds raised will go directly to funding conservation efforts. All running and events will be self-funded unless personal sponsors are found. Therefore, if R100 is donated to Course for Africa, then the whole R100 would go towards charity," he said.
Franklin and his team would like to thank their main sponsor, Lifestruck, a movement which allows individuals to unlock parts of themselves both professionally and personally. "Those that have been inspired by Lifestruck go on to inspire in others the belief to do the same," read their website.
For further information about Franklin's Course for Africa, view www.courseforafrica.wordpress.com.
By Fran Kirsten