Feature

Answer the Clydesdale call

MARATHON EFFORT: Clydesdales Greg Smith and John Marshall return to the Maidenwell Oval for the final hundred metres of their marathon.
MARATHON EFFORT: Clydesdales Greg Smith and John Marshall return to the Maidenwell Oval for the final hundred metres of their marathon. Callum Dick

Running: Self-proclaimed city-slickers Greg Smith and John Marshall normally spend their time at the Maidenwell Running Festival cheering from the sidelines, but this year was different.

Weighing in at close-to 300kg combined, the pair participated in the inaugural Clydesdale Challenge and were the talk of the weekend.

"You have to be over 100kg to qualify,” Greg said.

"We did the distance of a marathon over four days, so approximately 10km per day with a little extra to make the 42.195km.”

They were difficult to miss even among the trees, with the ear-to-ear grins and good natured banter bested only by their fluorescent yellow get-ups.

John had no qualms labelling himself a "village idiot”, but to organisers they were a symbol of the all-inclusiveness of the event.

"The idea behind it was to get the non-runners involved,” Greg said.

"Even if you're not that fit you can still come out and get involved.

"Don't care what people think of you, because no one cares. There's 300kg between us and we can do it, so anyone can.”

John added it was a fun and easy way to stay healthy, as well as an excuse to indulge.

"We've done some walks together before, both our partners are marathon runners, so it's always been a bit of a struggle (to stay off the track),” John said.

"We have a few secrets too - we're at the pub each night and we have a bacon and egg roll ready to go each day.”

The trailblazers are hoping to inspire bigger numbers for next year's Festival.

"We're nothing special, just two big blokes having a laugh and making something out of the event,” John said.

"Come and have fun - with Darryl (Otto) calling you in (to the finish line) it's the best weekend you'll have”

Topics:  clydesdale challenge maidenwell maidenwell running festival

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