The Rainbow Nation has been in lockdown for a few days now and daily social media posts make it clear people are beginning to struggle to keep themselves occupied.

The free Inselelo Rainbow Challenge was launched this week with the simple aim of making it easy for everyone to get active, with the added benefit that it will help stave off some of the lockdown boredom.

The free challenge currently involves either running or cycling (an exercise event will be added in the next few days) and has been created so participants can take part during lockdown without breaking any of the social-distancing rules presently in place.

Entrants can go to to enter for free and then run or cycle, either in a garden by doing laps; or on a treadmill / exercise bike; or even by running on the spot.

Entry is free to all events, but when entering, participants have an option to donate to Gift of the Givers who will pass on the donation to support medical and emergency personnel fighting the Covid-19 disease. Barring bank charges incurred for the donation, 100% of the money collected will be handed over to Gift of the Givers.

The focus when designing the concept has been to keep it simple, make it open and manageable to everyone of any age, and make sure it is free.

The cycling, running and exercising events are separate and competitors will compete in a series of progressive virtual races based on the colours of the rainbow. Runners and cyclists can start at the beginning and take part in the Red Race (running one kilometre or for eight minutes, or cycling for three kilometres or 15minutes), and then progress to the Orange Race and then the Yellow Race until they complete all races. Alternatively competitors can opt to jump ahead and just do the Indigo or Violet races if they are experienced runners or cyclists.

The distance / time does not have to be completed in one day, so people aiming for the 42km Violet Running Race can do as little or as much as they want and add the total up to complete the marathon distance over a few days or even weeks.

The running events start from Red (1km / 8 minutes) and progress through Orange (3km/24mins), Yellow (5km/40mins), Green (10km/1hr 20mins), Blue (10km/2:00), Indigo (21km/2:48) and finally Violet (42km/5:36).

The cycling distances are Red (5km / 15 minutes), Orange (10km/30mins), Yellow (20km/1hr), Green (30km/1hr 30mins), Blue (50km/2:30), Indigo (65km/3:15) and finally Violet (100km/5:00).

After completing a race, entrants can feed in their results via the website. All entrants will be listed in the results when they finish a race and can print out a certificate or share their results to social media.

Competitors who complete a race will also be added to the full Inselelo Rainbow Challenge which has all a competitor’s distances and times added and there will be a certificate for those who complete all seven rainbow races to build the rainbow.

The event organisers are currently negotiating with sponsors and rewards and discounts for entrants are expected to be announced shortly.

“No matter what your ability at the beginning, most people should be able to complete at least some of these challenges,” said FinishTime director Craig Eldridge. “We have launched this challenge with the aim of helping individuals and families stay healthy during these extremely difficult times.

“South Africa has been famously dubbed the Rainbow Nation and we are hoping that, while we are all forced to stay apart, the Inselelo Rainbow Challenge will help to bring everybody together.

“No matter where you are within our borders, no matter what your citizenship, your age, gender, height or weight, we are all in this together and we can all keep active healthy and in support of our country.

“The event organisers strongly believe that a healthy nation, staying fit in this time of crisis, will help in the fight against the scourge of Covid-19.

“We hope families will join up and do the easier races together, but there are some tougher options so the super-fit athletes can challenge themselves as well.”

#HealthyAtHome #StayAtHome