Nedbank Tour de Tuli Route Launch

Organisers have proudly unveiled the awe-inspiring route for the exclusive 2022 Nedbank Tour de Tuli, the internationally acclaimed mountain bike tour, and one-of-a-kind wilderness adventure that traverses three countries, namely South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. Kicking off on 19 July, the Tour serves as the primary fundraiser for Children in the Wilderness (CITW), Wilderness Safaris’ non-profit partner, which facilitates sustainable conservation through leadership development and education of rural children in Africa.

Each year, the route is tailored to ensure that the Tour remains exciting and continues to incorporate new regions and cultural sites. This year’s route will once again traverse the Greater Mapungubwe Transfrontier Conservation Area. Upholding its 16-year tradition, the riders predominantly follow ancient elephant trails and rural tracks, allowing participants the opportunity to experience cultural interactions with villagers, while also spotting wildlife against the backdrop of Africa’s unspoiled natural wilderness – a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list journey.

Starting and ending at the World Heritage Site in South Africa, the riding route takes adventure-seekers through two protected wilderness areas – the Northern Tuli Game Reserve, in Botswana, and the multi-country Mapungubwe National Park. Riders cover between 60 km and 85 km per day, over a course of four consecutive days, by which time they will have covered approximately 300 km of mountain biking trails.

Impactful Conservation

“As the sole beneficiary of the Tour, the Children in the Wilderness programme is an environmental and life skills, educational initiative for children that is focused on producing the next generation of decision-makers. The programme is intended to inspire them to care for their natural heritage and to become the custodians of these areas in the future,” noted Tour Director, Bronwen Blunden.

Bronwen points out that corporate sponsorship remains the backbone for the work done by CITW, which primarily focuses on the natural heritage within communities to develop proactive skills and leadership for children. It utilises an organised structure covering mentor training, Eco-Clubs, annual educational camps, youth stewardship programmes and scholarships for schooling and tertiary education.

Long-term sponsor

“Nedbank is proud to have been associated with this unique and exciting African adventure for the past decade. Supporting the Tour and the work done by CITW aligns directly with the ethos of our brand, and we are actively involved in supporting surrounding communities,” added Kelly Thompson, Sponsorship Manager at Nedbank

Conservation remains top of mind for Nedbank, and all funds raised by the Tour de Tuli are channeled into the CITW programme, helping to ensure the sustainability of the programme across all the regions within which it operates.

“Over the last 15 years, the Tour has hosted approximately 3 900 participants and raised over R20 million for CITW. This, in turn, has enabled over 5 600 children to be hosted on our CITW camp programme, and over 11 000 children on the Eco-Club programme,” commented Grant Woodrow, COO of Wilderness Business Development and Children in the Wilderness South Africa board member.

This world-class mountain bike tour is renowned for the unique experience it offers, riding through some of Africa’s most pristine wildlife and geologically rich areas. The event follows strict environmental practices, working with communities and traversing unforgettable routes, allowing participants to fully immerse themselves in their amazing wilderness surroundings.

Our Race Calendar is Back – Bigger and Better!

Our Race Calendar is back at last after more than two years on hold due to the COVID pandemic, and we’re going bigger than ever before with it! Compiled by our Ed Sean Falconer, it is now two months instead of one, so this edition contains May and June fixtures, allowing you to plan further ahead.

Secondly, we’ve included hyperlinked icons that you can click right here in the mag to take you to the event website, or to send a mail to the event organiser, and best of all, you can go straight to the online entry portal for those events that offer this option, so you can get your entries in quickly and easily!

Our goal is to make this calendar your ‘one-stop shop’ for all your racing planning, and in coming editions we plan to add still more to this expanded Race Calendar.he has combed through all the races to make sure our version includes all the fixtures for running, obstacle racing, track & field and so much more! Find your province, find your event

Launch of 2022 Comrades Marathon

It’s the much-awaited Comrades comeback!

After nearly two years of adhering to the National State of Disaster, the subsequent suspension of sporting events and the cancellation of both the 2020 and 2021 Centenary Comrades Marathons, the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) is thrilled to launch its #Comrades2022 campaign and announce its plans for this year’s race.

CMA Chairperson, Mqondisi Ngcobo unveiled the very appropriate campaign slogan, “The Return – Sishay’ Ibuya”, signaling the long-awaited return to road-running and a celebration of the comeback of The Ultimate Human Race.

The launch, hosted in Johannesburg today (Thursday, 17 February 2022) was attended by the nation’s top media, road-running dignitaries, CMA sponsors, stakeholders, former winners, elite athletes, and sports personalities.

Ngcobo has cautioned however that, “Runners will still need to exercise a degree of care and attentiveness when out running – be it exercising, training, spectating or participating in events. However, amid all the precautions and safety measures, we are just extremely pleased to be able to host the 2022 Comrades Marathon in August and invite the nation and the world to celebrate this milestone with us.”

He added, “The slogan is such a natural fit for this year’s upcoming event. The return of the Comrades Marathon, let alone all other road-running events, is something that runners have been eagerly awaiting. It is therefore with a great sense of pride and pleasure that we unveil this campaign, issue details around our upcoming 95th Comrades Marathon and create the conditions for our athletes to run the race that they love so much.”

The 95th Comrades Marathon will be a Down Run on Sunday, 28 August 2022. The race starts at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall at 05h30 and ends 12 hours later at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, covering a 90,2km distance. This will be the 47th Down Run in Comrades history.

Considering the current National legislation limitation on mass participation events, the entry limit has been capped at 15,000 entries. Due to Coronavirus and other health and safety implications, all entrants will need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and produce their vaccine certificate to complete their entry status by 12 July.

The opening date for entries is Wednesday, 23 March 2022, when the first entry window period commences and runs for 1 week until 31 March 2022. During this window period, only those entrants who had successfully entered the 2020 Comrades Marathon will be able to enter, be they South Africa, the Rest of Africa, or International.

The entry fee for South African athletes will be discounted from R1200 to R1000 in the first entry window period, as per the CMA commitment when the 2020 race was cancelled. The rest of Africa and International entrants in the 2020 Comrades Marathon had their entries deferred to either the 2022 or 2023 race; and will therefore not pay an entry fee. 

During the second entry window period, from 20 April to 16 May 2022, all other athletes will be allowed to enter.

Entry fees for these entrants in the 2022 Comrades Marathon are as follows:

  • South Africa: R1200.00
  • Rest of Africa: R2000.00
  • International: R4500.00

Entry is free to all runners who have completed the Comrades Marathon 25 times or more.

This second entry window period will not apply should the entry cap have been reached during the first entry window period.

  • ASA rules only allow for online entries and will be done via the Comrades Marathon website: www.comrades.com;

A special larger than normal commemorative medal denoting the 95th edition of the Comrades Marathon will be struck for this year’s race. A new trophy will also be introduced to the 20–39 years Women’s 2nd place team prize.

CMA Race Director, Rowyn James says, “We have exciting plans in place for this year’s Down Run which will finish at Durban’s acclaimed Moses Mabhida Stadium for the second time. Qualifying for the 2022 Comrades Marathon is applicable as of 1 September 2021 till 12 July 2022. The qualifying criteria for this year’s Comrades Marathon remains unchanged requiring completion of a standard 42.2km marathon in under 4 hours and 50 minutes, or a 56km ultra-marathon in under 6 hours and 45 minutes.”

The Substitution Process will run over the month of June. More details will be revealed closer to the time.

Since its inception, the Comrades Amabeadibeadi charity drive has raised more than R60-million for the CMA’s six official charities. The benefitting charities for 2022 are Childhood Cancer Foundation SA (CHOC), Community Chests of Pietermaritzburg & Durban, Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust, Hospice KZN, Rise Against Hunger, and Wildlands Conservation Trust.

The Race4Charity fundraising platform requires that runners raise a minimum of R6000 for the Amabeadibeadi charity of their choice, in order to qualify for the charity seeding batch on the start line. 500 entries have been reserved for Race4Charity runners. For more details on the Race4Charity initiative, click through to www.comrades.com/charities/race-4-charity 

Ngcobo has called on all runners to support the charitable fundraising initiatives of the CMA, saying, “We urge all Comrades entrants to select the Official Charity closest to their heart and commit to running for a cause greater than themselves. As the CMA, we have placed great focus on benefitting the communities in which we operate and continuously adding value to the sport of athletics.”

Totalsports Backs Iconic Two Oceans Marathon with Title Sponsorship

Totalsports, part of The Foschini Group (TFG), is proud to announce that it has entered into a three-year agreement as the new title sponsor of Cape Town’s iconic Two Oceans Marathon, which will now be known as the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon. The sponsorship supports the return of one of South Africa’s most prestigious running events after a two-year absence due to the COVID pandemic.

“We fully appreciate the heritage of the Two Oceans Marathon and we are honoured to be the title sponsor,” says TFG CEO Anthony Thunström. “Totalsports is a firm believer in the unifying power of running and our investment is a celebration of the enduring spirit of runners everywhere, in overcoming the challenges of the past two years. It’s great to finally see our running community excited about taking part in landmark events like Two Oceans again.”

The Two Oceans Marathon (TOM) will once again be run over the Easter Weekend, but for the first time in the event’s history, the race will be run over two days. While the Half Marathon takes place on Saturday 16 April, the Ultra Marathon will be run on Sunday 17 April. Entries opened on Friday 11 February and will close at midnight on Sunday 20 February, with ballot draws taking place on Monday 21 February to determine which entries will be successful.  

TOM Race Director Debra Barnes says, “We are excited to be staging our world-class, globally iconic event in partnership with Totalsports, a leading retail sports apparel brand. The commitment to enhancing the runner experience underpins much of who we are as an organisation, and when it comes to doing more for the runner, we could not have asked for a better alignment than with a brand that is as runner-centric as we are.”

The 2022 running of the ultra will be its 51st since inception for this jewel event on the Western Cape’s calendar of highlights, and an economic impact study showed that the 2016 event contributed up to R670 million to the local provincial economy annually, making it one of Africa’s biggest running events when measured by this metric.

In speaking to this new and exciting partnership with Totalsports, TOM NPC Chairperson William Swartbooi says, “In building this organisation, we trust those who add value, and value those whom we trust. We are confident that this partnership represents a value-add on several fronts, but most importantly for our key constituents, our runners.”

President of Athletics South Africa, James Moloi, has also warmly welcomed news of the sponsorship: “We welcome on board the new partners of the Two Oceans Marathon, Totalsports. This welcome sponsorship will continue the tradition of offering career development for athletes, coaches and teams,” he says. “I take this opportunity to congratulate the race organisers on the new sponsorship and trust that it is a beginning of a long relationship between the two parties.”

Totalsports Head of Business, Jonathan Stein, adds, “We are committed to making running accessible to all South Africans, no matter the goal, distance, or motivation for running. We want to inspire runners to live their best lives, and we know many runners dream of completing the Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon. It represents inclusivity, the natural beauty, and protection of the environment, as well as the excellence of the athletes who compete, and the world-class standards the event has maintained over its long history. As the leaders in running footwear and apparel, we share these values and look forward to supporting the Two Oceans Marathon to come back stronger than ever.”

As part of its support for the sport of running, Totalsports also sponsors the Phantane running club, promoting the development of elite athletes from disadvantaged backgrounds. Members of the club who are expected to participate in the 2022 Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon include KZN marathon champion Bonginkosi Zwane and 2:11 marathoner Sboniso Sikhakhane, who will both run the 56km  ultramarathon, and Mbuleli Mathanga will tackle the half marathon.

“Totalsports wishes all runners in this year’s Totalsports Two Oceans Marathon a successful, enjoyable and exciting race,” says Stein.

Our January Favourite is Back!

After a one-year absence, Bedfordview Athletics Club in partnership with Dis-Chem Pharmacies is proud to once again bring you the Dis-Chem Pharmacies Half Marathon. Taking place on Sunday 16 January 2022, this will be the 20th edition of this long-time favourite on the Johannesburg racing calendar.

Having seen this year’s race cancelled due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, the club is incredibly excited to be able to invite runners to once again visit the famous 21.1km course – some will say infamous – which winds its way through Bedfordview, Morninghill and Primrose. Though challenging, runners will be rewarded with spectacular views, particularly as the road crests and dives down Primrose Hill.

Unfortunately, the Centrum 5km dash will not take place in 2022, due to the entry limitations, and spectators and supporters will not be allowed at the event, especially at the race venue itself. However, there will be marshals stationed along the route, to offer runners words of encouragement as well as make sure all are kept safe on route. Also, due to the current restrictions, the race will only offer four water points, and runners are therefore encouraged to break out the hydration packs and bring their own water.

More Entries Than Originally Expected

Traditionally one of the biggest half marathons on the Central Gauteng calendar, the race will be restricted in numbers of entries this year, but as Race Director Charn Swart explains, this is already more than originally expected. “Under current guidelines from Athletics South Africa, we originally applied for a live event with 2000 runners, but they looked at our event plan and granted permission for 3000.

“Then, after entries were launched, we negotiated further with ASA and are delighted to announce we have received the go-ahead for a further 500 live entries! Our live event plan is viable for 4000 entries, so we are confident that we are able to cope with the approved 3500 entries safely, within, all current restrictions.”

More good news is that a further 500 virtual entries will be available for runners who cannot get a live race entry. The Virtual run will be untimed and unsupported and can be run from 17-23 January 2022. All 4000 entrants will receive a Dry-fit event T-shirt.

Charn is obviously just thrilled to see the race back on the calendar. “Hosting this race means a lot to our club. Runners are eager to compete after months of training without a real purpose, and we are also hopeful that races like ours will encourage new runners to get involved in road running, especially when they get a taste of the enjoyment of taking part in shorter distances. Most importantly, this gives running clubs a chance to recover financially after losing members that left due to there being no races on the calendar, and it also brings in much-needed revenue earned from hosting the race.”

Ready to Pick Up Your Race Pack?

As with all events, the topic of vaccinations is front of mind, and will come into play with the Dis-Chem Half Marathon as well. The event is open to both vaccinated and unvaccinated runners, but your vaccination status will determine when you can collect your race number and T-shirt. The three days of registration will be:

Thursday 13 January

Dis-Chem Nicolway

09:30-17:00

Friday 14 January

Dis-Chem Park Meadows

10:00-17:00

Saturday 15 January

Virgin Active Bedfordview

09:30-15:30

  • Fully vaccinated runners will be able to collect their race packs on any of the three collection days, and they will need to produce their vaccination certificate (note, not an SMS) and ID.
  • Partially vaccinated and unvaccinated runners will only be able to collect their race packs on Saturday 15 January – the day before the race – and will need to provide a valid negative Covid PCR test result not older than 48 hours. Alternatively, they can undergo an on-site Rapid Antigen test at race pack collection, at their own expense.
  • All athletes will be screened and have their temperature taken at collection venues and on race day.

On the topic of vaccinations, both Charn and Stan Goetsch of headline sponsor Dis-Chem are encouraging all runners to get vaccinated. By being vaccinated, mass events can operate again, knowing that all runners entering the event space have the ability to fight COVID-19. As Stan says, “While it is difficult to plan with certainty in these uniquely challenging times, Bedfordview Country Club Athletics and ourselves are looking ahead to once again witness the joy, the spirit and the excitement of the challenge of a live road running event at this traditional season opener.”

Charn leaves us with this, “Runners will have the best possible experience that we can offer on the day, within the COVID-19 protocols necessary to host a race.” So, will you be one of the lucky runners taking to the streets of Bedfordview? Then make sure you get your entry in right away, as they will be snapped up quickly!

Last Week to Take it Forward!

It’s the last week that you can join thousands of others worldwide by joining the Take It Forward challenge in the adidas Running app! A lot of you will be well on the way to reaching your 30km target. But those just starting you can see the running programme here 

adidas wants to reward you for taking on this journey so for simply downloading the app and joining the challenge you can win your very own 4DFWD shoes and a R1000 voucher to spend in store!

 

How do I Join?

To mark the shoe’s release, adidas is launching the Take It Forward Challenge where runners or walkers of all abilities are challenged to complete 30km in three weeks in the adidas Running app!

(download on 
Apple/Android).

Weekly Schedule!

adidas Runners Cape Town
adidas Runners Durban
adidas Runners Joburg

Sign Up to the Take it Forward Challenge in the free adidas Running App

Enter to Win!

How do I Join?

Win Your Very Own 4DFWD adidas Shoes!

Join thousands of others worldwide by joining the Take It Forward challenge in the adidas Running app! Completing the challenge is crucial to making the most of your running plan since it will help keep you accountable to your goals through a community of supporters.

adidas wants to reward you for taking on this journey so for simply downloading the app and joining the challenge you can win your very own 4DFWD shoes and a R1000 voucher to spend in store!

 

How do I Join?

To mark the shoe’s release, adidas is launching the Take It Forward Challenge where runners or walkers of all abilities are challenged to complete 30km in three weeks in the adidas Running app!

(download on 
Apple/Android).

Sign Up to the Take it Forward Challenge in the free adidas Running App

Enter to Win!

How do I Join?

Jacaranda FM & Tracker’s Off The Beat’n Track Postponed After Coronavirus Outbreak Declared National Disaster

With the South African Government declaring COVID-19 a national disaster and putting strict interventions in place on 15 March 2020, Jacaranda FM and Tracker have moved to postpone Off the Beat ‘n Track 2020 – Gauteng’s favourite family fun day of mountain biking and music – until further notice.

According to Jacaranda FM’s Marketing Manager Leith Smith and Head of Marketing at Tracker, Charlette Roetz: “COVID-19 poses a significant health risk to all South Africans and it’ll take a proactive, collective effort to prevent the spread of this disease and further loss of life. The health and safety of those in attendance are always paramount at any of our events and, following the announcement that gatherings of more than 100 people will be prohibited within South African borders, the event has been postponed until further notice.”

Jacaranda FM & Tracker encourage those who have already bought tickets to hold on to their tickets until a new date for the event has been set. Those who wish to request a refund can contact the race office at info@advendurance.com or (012) 012 5205.

Stay tuned to Jacaranda FM and www.jacarandafm.com, listen via the Jacaranda FM app – available for IOS and Android, DStv Channel 158 or tune in via https://www.jacarandafm.com/listen-live/ for further updates.

Jacaranda FM & Tracker implore South Africans to take the necessary precautions to stay healthy and to be vigilant in spotting and addressing symptoms of COVID-19:

According to the World Health Organization, precautions include washing your hands regularly, covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs and avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

 The WHO states that signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome and kidney failure which, if not timeously addressed, could have dire consequences.

We are here to help

Calling All Race Organiser

These are uncertain times we live in… the world is going into a state of shut-down and self-isolation to try curb the spread of the coronavirus, and people everywhere are asking questions that governments, leaders, doctors, scientists, retailers and event organisers simply cannot answer as yet. Nobody knows what is going to happen next, so we’re all trying to work out how best to deal with the situation.

Those of us involved in the running and endurance sport industry have seen all events up till mid-April cancelled with immediate effect, due to the necessary government decision to prohibit any gathering of more than 100 people. Many races have already officially announced that they are cancelling outright, while a few have announced postponements and proposed new dates, and more races are expected to follow suit in coming days. However, nobody is yet sure what is happening to races scheduled to take place from mid-April onwards.

This has all led to many runners posing questions, especially on social media, about alternative dates, refunds on entry fees, virtual races, the availability of T-shirts and goodie bags already paid for, and more. No doubt, race organisers are being inundated with such messages across all channels of communication.

As one of the leading publishers in the running and endurance sport domain, the Modern Athlete team would like to offer our services to all in this community to help get through this difficult time.

  • We have a weekly newsletter going out to more than 77,000 runners, so it is a great way to communicate updated event news.
  • We are setting up a free portal for all races to communicate their status, i.e. cancelled, postponed, decision pending, etc, which we will distribute across all our channels, including social media.
  • We will create article pages on our website for each province and update info as it comes in, giving all our readers the latest available info on event news.
  • We will carry this info through to the magazine as well.

While most thoughts right now are on health and safety issues, there are many people also worrying about their finances and their jobs or careers, because the virus-induced shut-down has already denied or will deny them an income. We all know that the coming weeks are going to be really hard, but if we work together, we can try to get through this as best possible.

So please let us know if we can help you and your event in any way. You can speak to any member of our team and we will explain where we can help you:

Richard Laskey –  richard@modernathlete.co.za

Roxanne Martinroxanne@modernathlete.co.za

Jason Martinjason@modernathlete.co.za

Sean Falconer –  seanf@modernathlete.co.za

Alternatively, you can simply send an email to info@modernathlete.co.za with your race information and we will load it onto our portals, please include the following:

Race Name
Race Status
Cancelled/Postponed
Procedure for Participants
Contact for Race

Running regards

The Modern Athlete Team

Ragnar Trail South Africa Relay registration dates released

It’s the social, festival-vibe trail running relay event that has created a tribe out of the fit and fun folk around the world and it’s coming to SA in 2020.

Registration for the Ragnar Trail Relay events open on Friday the 29th of November. The Joburg event is scheduled for the 2nd and 3rd May in the Hennops Valley, which provides an ideal venue close to the city. The ever-popular Elgin Grabouw Country Club will host the Cape Town event on the weekend of the 23rd and 24th of May 2020.

The race weekends are set to bring something new and exciting to the realm of trail running in South Africa with the unique team relay format run non-stop through the day and night. Runners will be able to choose from three different team options. The Standard Team, where 8 people each complete the 3 different trail loops in a relay format, totaling 21km per runner and averaging 7km per loop. The Ultra Team of 4 people double up on the distance and the Black Loop Team consists of just 2 people who complete the 3 loop course on the Saturday and then take on the infamous 20km “Black Loop” on the Sunday.

Added to this is the great energy of the Ragnar Village. Teams set up camp for the weekend and enjoy the festival type atmosphere of the whole event where activities, food and of course marshmallows abound.

It’s running. It’s social. And it’s madness. But “It’s not crazy if we’re all doing it!”

Find out more at www.runragnar.com/za