We runners and walkers in the Johannesburg/Pretoria area are extremely fortunate in being able to participate in a road race in one or both cities virtually every weekend, but do we ever stop to consider the cost? The inconvenience caused to motorists and residents is one thing, but this is temporary and something race organisers try to minimise. Far more costly is the damage we cause not only to our reputations, but more importantly to our environment – a route littered with discarded water sachets is never a pretty sight.
Why can’t we simply hold onto our empty sachets till the next water point, or find a bin to drop them into along the way? Do we really need to throw them into the bushes or drains to further pollute our already threatened environment? Do we ever spare a thought for the helpers, whose thankless, back-breaking task it is to clean up the mess afterwards, and how much easier it would be for them if we were to throw our sachets into the ample waste bins usually provided at the water points?
At Phobians, we have embarked on a campaign to ensure that all our members are made aware of this litter problem – and how easily it can be countered. We encourage all clubs to join our campaign by placing notices on their websites and in their newsletters requesting members NOT to drop empty sachets between water stations. We also call upon race organisers to ensure that the announcers repeatedly remind participants of these requests before the start of each race. Let’s see if we really can make a difference.
– ELISE MCFADYEN, PRETORIA
Ed’s Reply: Well said, Phobians! The mess we leave on the roads is simply not
good enough, and we all need to do our part to change this.
Tough One Is Tops
What an awesome race. All clubs wanting to organise a road race or fun run, please come and see the organisation/logistics of this superb event! Well done, RAC, and all the sponsors. Thanks for the Corn Syrup, Bar One chocolates, for the cold water and cold drinks, for the Jelly Babies. When I went to
work on Monday morning, not one plastic water bag or cold drink cup… awesome. The friendly supporters and helpers at the water points, the traffi c marshals and the JMPD, a week after the 94.7 Cycle Race, and the patient public… thanks a million! May this race go from strength to strength.
– PETER BADENHORST, VIA E-MAIL
Ed’s Reply: Well done, RAC!
Thanks for the magazine – it’s a great read, and I enjoyed the article on Ryan Sandes and of course, Regent Harriers, my old training group. I did loads of training with them when I lived in Durban. It really is an amazing group and I know Stephen Light very well – used to run with him quite a bit. Good luck
with the mag.
– SUE ULLYETT, CAPE TOWN
Ed’s Reply: We’ve received so much positive feedback on the Regent Harriers article – seems half of South Africa has run with them – or wants to!
More Walking, Please
Just a short note to congratulate you on a superb magazine. It far surpasses any other publication on the market. I am the manager of Run/Walk for Life in Edenvale PM and I make sure that all my members take one each month. I too give out a newsletter each month and you have helped me in that you have taken a lot of the pressure off me regarding tips, advice, etc. I can concentrate more on what’s happening in the club and forthcoming races. Having been in the printing industry and publishing sector, I recognise class when I see it. The articles are well written and the layout is tops. AND there are no boring articles! Well done again to all of you and may you grow from strength to strength. PS: The walkers asked if you could sneak in an article or two for walkers.
– XAVIER KUUN, EDENVALE
Ed’s Reply: Walkers are just as much a part of the Modern Athlete family as runners, so look out for more walking articles.
Where To Get It
Where can I get your mag? Do I need to subscribe? I am in Pretoria, in the Waterkloof area, and I belong to Phobians running club.
– CANDICE, VIA E-MAIL
Ed’s Reply: Phobians and other clubs in your area receive copies of the mag each month, which are handed out free to members. The mag is also available for free at several sports retail outlets as well as a number of physios in your area – see the full listing of stockists at www.modernathlete.co.za, under the Contact Us section. If you would like the mag delivered to your postal address, to ensure you never miss an edition, then consider taking out a subscription – details also on the website.
I really must compliment your magazine, for all the effort you make. I was reading the latest edition along with all the other editions – it really is a nice, positive, INTERESTING, honourable thing you are doing, and I love reading about other athletes.
– LESLEY TRAIN, BOKSBURG
Ed’s Reply: And we love reading about our readers’ running experiences – see page 41 of this edition…
Need Your Help
I would like to know if it would be possible to send you some info regarding our race. We as a club in the ’platteland‘ need a bit of help to survive – to be here next year. While we at Warmbaths/Bela-Bela were very fortunate with our 950 athletes for the second year, a lot of clubs in the Limpopo region were not so lucky and were not able to host their races this year – some of the clubs even closed down. Would it be possible for you to put our race report in the Modern Athlete?
– RIANA VORSTER, WARMBATHS MARATHON CLUB
Ed’s Reply: To all clubs: send us your race reports and pics, and to all runners: send us your My Experience articles about races you’ve run. What we can’t publish in the magazine, we’ll put on the website, so send, send, send! More details bottom left on this page.
Walkers’ Start Times
I am responding to your online survey about the starting times for walkers and runners. I am an official at races and on the board of CGA, and this has been discussed but we are still looking for ways to resolve this issue. At races where there are walking prizes, there is a different start time and little stickers are stuck onto race numbers indicating that the walkers are in the same race and have started with the group. But at races where there are no prizes, I have personally tried to separate the two groups and requested walkers to move to the back. Boy oh boy, what a mission – I am sure you will know the abuse the officials get.
Yes, it would be a great idea if we could separate the start times or even start areas. Doing this would also stamp out the problem of walkers running with the runners, as this does happen when there is no separate prize. I am open to any help or suggestions from runners and clubs, so it can be discussed at board level.
– STEVE, VIA E-MAIL
Ed’s Reply: We will pass on all ideas and input from our readers, Steve, and see if we can make some helpful suggestions.
Sean, I am busy with your ever so interesting mag and I just realised how much fun you’re having there when I read your piece, ‘Good to be back’. I have resigned from my job to take a bit of a break before trying something new, so your piece made me realise how nice it would be to work where one can have fun.
– RATSELA, VIA E-MAIL
Ed’s Reply: I reckon most of the runners in SA want my job!