The Drostdy lawns were covered on either side with purple, green and blue tents. Water stations, jewelry stands, a ‘King Pie’ stall and jumping castle for the school children line the path that leads to the big banner at the arch where the Makana Green Fun Run will begin. There were some young men tossing a rugby ball around with the younger, more eager schoolboys. Lots of different varieties of the colour green were visible in the form of running shirts and shorts.
There was a diverse group of people milling around the various stands. Ladies in red and blue sun hats brought their dogs along for the fun and environmentally friendly walk/run. The primary school children were excited to participate in the race and couldn’t wait for race to start.
The serious runners were kitted out with their stopwatches and Nike running gear. Vincent Lessing looked like one of these committed runners. He came all the way from Port Alfred to take part in the worthy event. I later discovered that he was in fact more of a mountain biker who just moved from Johannesburg. When asked for his reasons for participating in the event,Lessing stated; “I wanted to get to know the community and see what it was all about.”
Walker House, one of the residences at Rhodes University were dressed in variations of green and white Checkers and Pick n’ Pay plastic bags. Taking the idea: “wear an outfit that symbolizes environmental sustainability” quite seriously. Rhodes Students Tayla Chubb and Madison Bamber who are from Walker Residence said that, as a residence wanted to show their support for the walk/run and that there are other, “inventive ways of using plastic bags.” When asked whether they would be doing the walk or the run they both looked at one another and laughed and said that they would be doing the walk. “Our outfits are not really practical for running,” said Bamber.
The atmosphere was cheerful and the Rhodes and Grahamstown residents made the event a pleasurable one. Community stakeholders and the Rhodes University Environmental Committee set up the Makana Green Fun Run with the main aim of promoting sustainability in the town and on campus and I think it was clear that everyone at the event made an effort to run in some sort of environmentally friendly colour. Each participant took home a spekboom with planting instructions attached.