When Buks van Heerden decided to run the 2020 Two Oceans Marathon he probably never envisioned running it in his back yard.  After recently becoming a father again, Buks’ outlook on life changed completely.  Instead of doing a typical birthday fundraiser, he decided to make an impact on the lives of vulnerable children during the particularly difficult times we are currently experiencing – by running a marathon.

The marathon, which attracts thousands of runners to Cape Town every year, has been canceled amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic.  Inspired by many runners who have taken to backyard running during the current lockdown period, Buks decided to attempt the 58km-long Two Oceans on Saturday, 11 April 2020 at 7 am – as if he was running the actual race.   All he asks for his efforts is a donation of R1 per kilometer – equating to only R58 per person.

Buks hitting the road

Buks recently met two grieving mothers and was completely blown away by their passion and dedication to their mission.  All proceeds of the run will go to Rainbows and Smiles, a charity very close to his heart for the acquisition of much-needed COVID-19 pediatric relief supplies, including sanitizer and face masks.

Who are Rainbows and Smiles?

The Rainbows and Smiles foundation is a registered Public Benefit Organisation that aims to provide social, emotional, and financial support to the families and caregivers of children with a life-threatening illness such as cancer.  The foundation is passionate about advocating for awareness initiatives and continuous education pertaining to the warning signs of childhood cancer.


They believe in providing not only hope but fun and laughter as well to families embarking on the childhood cancer journey.  The foundation works closely with medical professionals and various treatment facilities to support and complement their own efforts.  Rainbow and Smiles are currently supporting COVID-19 pediatric patients in South Africa while still continuing their work among other vulnerable children.

Please support Buks’s BackaBuddy Campaign for Rainbows and Dreams here:

A friend in need is a friend indeed

Buks won’t be tackling his Two Oceans Garden Run alone.  He has roped in his running buddy, Ivan Schweers to tackle the challenge with him.  Ivan is aiming to complete the 21km half-marathon in a time of two and a half hours.   Dad to three beautiful children, Ivan lost his mother to cancer.  The chosen charity Rainbows and Smiles resonated particularly well with him as the ladies involved with the association either lost children to cancer, or were directly affected by cancer in one way or another.

Ivan in action

Ivan’s goal is to raise R10,000 for Rainbow and Smiles and his BackaBuddy campaign can be supported here:




Compiled By:  Justine Bishop

Please submit your story to us HERE

For more positive and uplifting stories visit us at #ImStaying