Pridwin 5km Knight Run in aid of Baragwanath Burns Unit – 11 October 2014. Start: Pridwin School, cnr Jameson Ave and St Andrews Str, Melrose (Janion Field) – CG.
A charity run organised by Pridwin in aid of the Baragwanath Burns Unit. There will be food and drinks available after the race.
Entry Details: Entries, with proof of payment, can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Late entries are accepted at the start from 15h30, at a premium. For more information contact email@example.com.
Harrismith Mountain Race - 11 October 2014. Start: Platberg Stadium, Harrismith – FS.
Distance: 15km, 5km
This race started in 1922 as a wager. Major A.E. Belcher bet a local inhabitant that he could scale "that small little hill of yours", the Platberg, in less than an hour. The bet was on and the major finished with eight minutes to spare. Afterwards, Major Belcher presented a floating trophy as a prize and in 1927; the Belcher Cup was awarded to the first athlete to reach the summit of the Platberg. The late, great Wally Hayward said, "Never again. It's the toughest obstacle in the whole world". Dare one argue that this is one of the most difficult 15 kilometre races in the world? This race will be staged for the 92nd time in 2014, a race staged more times than the Comrades Marathon.
Entry Details: Pre-entries have already closed. Late entries are accepted at the start from 08h00, at a premium. Walkers are welcome and start at 11h00. The fun run starts at 11h15. For more information contact Jaco du Toit on 082-8984630.
SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge – Johannesburg - 12 October 2014. Start: Wanderers Club, Illovo – CG.
Distance: 10km, 5km
Spar Grand Prix Settled but the Race is on for First Place
The Wanderers Club in Illovo is the place to be on Sunday, when South Africa’s top roadrunners vie for first place in the SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge.
The Johannesburg race is the last of the five race Challenge series, and the winner of the annual Grand Prix is virtually cut and dried. There is only the smallest technical possibility that Diana-Lebo Phalula will not emerge as winner of the Nissan Micra awarded to the runner with the most points from the five races.
She has a total of 94 points, after winning the Cape Town and Port Elizabeth races in record time, and finishing fourth in Durban and Pretoria.
Her nearest rival is three-time Grand Prix winner Rene Kalmer, who is 28 points behind, with 66 points, just two points ahead of last year’s Grand Prix winner, Mapaseka Makhanya.
Diana-Lebo’s twin sister, Lebogang, and two-time winner of the Grand Prix, Irvette van Zyl, are in joint fourth place on the log, with 57 points. Lebogang won the Durban race and Van Zyl was first across the line in Pretoria.
Although the outcome of the Grand Prix may be known, the top runners have all let it be known that they will be satisfied with nothing less than victory on Sunday.
They have all been in good form recently. Van Zyl followed her record-breaking win in Pretoria with victory in the Nelson Mandela Marathon the following day. She was unable to finish the Cape Town race because of an injury, but she has been running outstanding times and could be hard to beat on Sunday.
Kalmer finished ninth in the Berlin Marathon last month, in a personal best time of 02:29:27. She has not had a win in this year’s Challenge races, and will be determined to change that in the last Challenge of the year.
The Phalula sisters have been running better than ever this year, and either of them is capable of winning the Johannesburg race. Diana-Lebo had a hamstring niggle in Durban and Pretoria, but should be back at her best for the Johannesburg race.
Other runners to look out for include Rutendo Nyahora, Rene’s sister Christine, Marelize Retief, Jenna Challenor and Thozama April, who will all be pushing for a place on the podium.
The evergreen Sonja Laxton will also be running. Last year, she completed her 80th SPAR race when she won the Grandmasters category in Johannesburg. A few weeks later she was struck by a car while training, and suffered multiple fractures. While there were those who thought she might never run again, Laxton had other ideas, and less than six months later, she ran in the Port Elizabeth Challenge, finishing in 57:12 – a time that would put most women of her age to shame.
Women to Take To the Streets in SPAR Challenge
Johannesburg’s northern suburbs will resonate to the sound of thousands of pairs of feet on Sunday morning as more than 11 000 women take to the streets in the SPAR women’s 10km Challenge and 5km Fun Run at the Wanderers Club.
South Africa’s top women runners will all be there, battling it out to cross the finish line first, but the Challenge is about far more than the winners. It brings together women of all ages, shapes and sizes, and most of those taking part on Sunday are doing it for fun. Many of them will walk rather than run, and the sounds of laughter and chatter will echo round the leafy suburbs of Melrose, Illovo, Atholl-Oaklands and Killarney.
Some famous faces will also be taking part, including well-known television sports presenter Vaylen Kirtley, Morning Live’s Andile Masuku, who will be taking a break from telling us about the weather, and fans of ‘7de Laan’ will be delighted to be able to catch up with Melanie du Bois, better known as Felicity.
Other faces not as well-known are those of the women from Reach for Recovery, the Challenge’s designated charity. Reach for Recovery is a support group for women with breast cancer. Its members are all women who have been through the ordeal of breast cancer and are well placed to talk to women who are undergoing treatment. The Reach for Recovery runners are easily recognized by their pink t-shirts and the laughter that accompanies them wherever they go.
Although the Challenge is a women’s race, men are allowed to take part on the condition that they dress in drag.
Social media has become part of the fun of the SPAR Challenge and Fun Run, and the organizers are encouraging participants to enter the spirit of the occasion by tweeting photos and comments. The hashtags are #SparRaceJHB #SPARJozi
As always, there are wonderful prizes on offer, including a lucky draw for a Nissan Micra, the Bring-a-Buddy competition, where an entrant and her friend can win New Balance shoes, and the schools competition, where the school with the most entrants can win prizes from electronics giant Mustek.
Entry Details: Pre-entries have already closed. Late entries will be accepted at registration at the Wanderers on Thursday October 9, Friday October 10 and Saturday October 11, but only pre-entries are eligible for the free race t-shirt. Walkers are welcome. For more information contact Central Gauteng Athletics on 011-8732726 or firstname.lastname@example.org. (Photos: Reg Caldecott)
Mega Sport Classic Voet van Afrika Marathon & MTB Challenge – 17 – 19 October 2014. Start: Mega Park, Bredasdorp – Bol.
Time: Friday 14h00 – Sunday 15h00
Van Der Merwe-Sport Stars Want To Make a Difference in the Overberg
The brothers Fanie and Chris van der Merwe are international stars in respectively the Paralympic T37 category for people with disabilities and in the professional world of the popular X Games and daring skateboard performances.
On Friday, 17 and Saturday, 18 October both Fanie and Chris will make a life changing difference in the lives of youth in the Cape Agulhas region. The cerebral palsy disabled Fanie will be the special guest next Friday at the Mega Sport Classic weekend at Mega Park, Bredasdorp during Bredasdorp High School’s Top 10 Athletics for primary schools.
He will also be at the popular Pink Toontjie Fun Run and Doggie Walk which starts on Friday, 17 October at 18h00. There are 2 500 medals at stake and Fanie will do the prize giving and will inspire youth and participants in the Voet van Afrika Marathon, Voet van Afrika Half Marathon and Voet van Afrika 10km
Recently Fanie grabbed gold for South Africa in the 100m T37 at the Commonwealth Games in Scotland. He also had the world at his feet at the 2012 Paralympics in London when he won the gold medal in the 100m T37 with a dive to the finish line, in a world record of 11.51 seconds. In the process he beat China’s Yongbin Liang by split seconds and Russia’s Roman Kapranov who came in third with 11.57 seconds. He also won gold at the 2008 Beijing Games, where he won the 200m T37 in a world record time.
In 2009 Fanie obtained a BA Sport Science degree at the University of Stellenbosch and also has a level 2 ASA sprint training qualification. In his free time he enjoys rollerblading and skateboarding.
He and his brother Chris grew up in the mining town Virginia in the Free State, where Chris matriculated in 2002 and Fanie in 2004 at Hentie Cilliers High School. They both excelled in sport.
Chris obtained a BCom degree in Communication management in 2005 at Tukkies and a postgraduate diploma in Copywriting at the AAA School of Advertising. In 2008 he qualified as an international professional rollerblader at the Amateur World Rollerblading Championships in the USA and has since come 10th in the Korean World Games in 2010 and overall 6th in the Asian Games in 2012. He also took part there in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013.
A huge indoor rollerblading and skate boarding track is being built in Bredasdorp in the Total exhibition hall at Mega Park. All those who are interested can see Chris and maybe Fanie too, in action that weekend. Children, youth and others who are interested are invited to bring their skateboards and rollerblades and come and share in the fun from Friday 14h00 till Sunday 15h00.
Fanie says, “I never saw myself as disabled at school but when my athletic career began; I knew it was all part of God’s plan for me, to also touch other young peoples’ lives.” He and Chris manage their own non-profit removal organization, Inspired 2 Become. “With this we focus on alternative sports opportunities for people with disabilities. I also train children with visual and intellectual disabilities”, he says.
Entry Details: Toontjie pre-entries have already closed. Late entries are accepted at the start, Mega Park, between 13h00 and 17h50. For more information contact Top Events on 021-5117130 or email@example.com.