- More than R70 000 has already been raised for the SPCA at this year's Two Oceans Marathon.
- Dr Colin Marais ran his 10th ultramarathon and for the first time in a cat costume.
- The SPCA has participated in the Two Oceans for the past 10 years.
The Cape of Good Hope SPCA has for the 10th time this year taken on the Two Oceans Marathon to raise much-needed funds.
The animal welfare organisation annually invites fellow runners to participate in the half and ultramarathons.
And this year was no different, with a whopping R70 000 already raised as eager runners took up the challenge.
Among them were a clinical specialist from the Cape Gate Mediclinic, Dr Colin Marais, who ran his 10th ultramarathon, for the very first time in a cat costume.
The cat costume was specifically designed using breathable, lightweight running material with a three-quarter shorts made for athletes.
"I started running at the age of nine. Like most athletes, I cultivated the desire to run 'the big ultra' early on. It was only in 2010 that I challenged my brother Brian Marais to do the Two Oceans Ultra and Comrades in 2011. Our father, 61, at the time, heard of the challenge and decided to join in. We all completed our first Oceans and Comrades together in 2011 and a true love for running an ultramarathon was born," Marais added.
Marais said he had adopted a little girl Jack Russel named Katy from the SPCA in 2009 and since then he had been a great supporter of the organisation.
The SPCA had actively participated in the Two Oceans for the past decade to raise awareness and funding for the prevention of cruelty to animals.
A total of 86 runners signed up to run for team SPCA in 2020, however, the event was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Despite the cancellation, the organisation still managed to raise more than R 150 000.
Last year, the SPCA participated in the Two Oceans Marathon Virtual Charity Challenge with six participants raising a collective amount of R15 430 with a matching donation from Two Oceans of R15 540, bringing their total funds raised to R30 970.
This year 27 runners took part in Run2Heal animals: four ultramarathon and 23 half marathon runners.
Organisation spokesperson, Natasha Johannes, said the runners had generously committed to raising funds which goes towards the Run2Heal campaign where every cent raised would directly impact the SPCA animal hospital and its critically injured/ill patients.
"Because of our team of SPCA athletes, their incredible support and efforts, we will be able to continue offering the life-saving services to many animals who depend upon us," said Johannes.
The SPCA saw an average of 45 000 cases per year, of which more than 60% were classified as moderate to severe.
32 000 of these cases require clinical intervention with treatment costs that can escalate over R850 per animal per day.
"The animal hospital sees an average of 107 cases per day, translating to nearly 14 animals clinically treated every hour. Nearly 80% of all animals admitted to the animal hospital are treated successfully and return home with their owner," she added.
"At the heart of this significant caseload, the hospital, our veterinarians, and animal welfare assistants demonstrate the capability to oversee, manage and execute high volume operations without compromising quality," Johannes added.
This year marked the first time the two races were run separately for health and safety reasons, as previously, the Two Oceans ultramarathon and half marathon races were held on the same say.
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