Feel the Difference with the ASICS Virtual Run Challenge

Run your way out of Lockdown for a chance to win one of 300 pairs of ASICS running shoes and a trip to the 2021 Paris or Tokyo Marathon, by entering the ASICS x Virtual Run!

Amidst the isolation of lockdown, the world has fallen in love with running – that is, according to the findings of a new, ongoing research study by ASICS. More importantly, the research shows nearly three-quarters of runners around the world plan to stick with their new exercise routine. And out of this study was born an initiative, a series of virtual runs, to help people get moving and guide them in their newfound love for running.

Take note, however, that this Virtual Run is unlike any of those you’ve done before. It’s a six-week programme – see it as your motivation to get back out there and in hot shape for summer – with six levels to unlock as you progress, one each week starting now in September and running into October. And with that comes 300 pairs of ASICS shoes up for grabs, plus a trip to either the Paris or Tokyo Marathon in 2021, plus tons of other gear from our partners, so sign up here to kick your running into high gear!

unnamed-2-600x313 Feel the Difference with the ASICS Virtual Run Challenge News

The World Loves Running

The study, which ASICS is conducting to better understand and support the changing needs of runners, spoke to 14,000 regular exercisers[i] across 12 countries. It found that:

  • Since the start of lockdown, more than a third (36%) of regular exercisers are more active now than before – despite most sports being brought to a standstill by social distancing measures.
  • 79% of runners say running is currently helping them feel saner and more in control, and 65% of runners say its mental benefits outweigh any other form of physical exercise; and
  • 73% of runners want to keep running as much as they are now after this pandemic ends.

Meanwhile, figures from the fitness-tracking app, Runkeeper™, show that runners of every level are clocking up more strides, more often. During April 2020, the app saw a 252% rise in registrations globally and a 44% increase in monthly active users compared to the same time last year. It also reported a 62% spike globally in people heading out for a weekly run. Put in context, in the days around Global Running Day during our national lockdown, there was a +47.3% (globally) increase in people running compared to last year.

The study also reveals that for the majority of people, this activity surge is down to more than just physical health. Two-thirds (67% globally) say exercise helps them cope mentally when faced by challenging situations like this pandemic, and eight in ten (79% globally) runners insist that being active is making them feel saner and more in control. A similar number (81% globally) say running is playing a key role in helping them clear their mind while two-thirds (65% globally) insist its mental benefits outweigh any other form of physical exercise.

Furthermore, runners across the board are keen to keep their active habits going when this crisis is over. Nearly three-quarters of runners (73% globally) say they want to continue running as much as they are now after the COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end while seven in ten (70% globally) people who exercise regularly are determined to hang on to the important role sport and movement is currently playing in their lives. Perhaps most encouragingly, among those who only took up running after the COVID-19 crisis started, nearly two thirds (62% globally) say they plan on sticking with it in future.

Helping South Africa Run
With all this wonderful, healthy running momentum, ASICS has launched its ASICS x Virtual Run. You can see it as your motivation to get back out there and in hot shape for summer, and a great challenge to add to your lockdown running programme. Six levels to unlock, running challenges to tackle, and amazing prizes to be won, including those 300 pairs of ASICS shoes up for grabs, an overseas marathon experience, plus tons of other gear from our partners. So sign up here to kick things into high gear, get moving and Feel the Difference with ASICS.

#VersusVirtualRun  #FeelTheDifference  #ASICS

SPAR Spreads A Little Sunshine

SPAR Launches South Africa’s Most Beautiful Virtual Challenge!

SPAR is aiming to put some sunshine back in your life during these challenging times with the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge.

2020 has been a strange year, as the world struggles to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. In South Africa, large gatherings have been banned until further notice, resulting in the cancellation of the six city SPAR Women’s Challenge races that make up the SPAR Women’s Grand Prix.

However, despite the cancellation of the ever so popular series, on September 26 2020, women who would normally be taking part in the SPAR Challenges are asked to #BeSunshine by taking part in the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge. Supported by the SPAR Inland region, women from Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Free State, North West and Northern Cape will be able to enter South Africa’s most beautiful SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge with limited entries available for interested women in Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Kwa Zulu Natal.

Bringing the Sunshine Back

Women of all ages can run or walk any distance between 5km and 10km between six in the morning and six in the evening, and then post about their experiences on any platform, using the hashtags #BeSunshine or #SPARVirtualChallenge.

“2020 was meant to be a year of celebration, as we marked 30 years of our involvement in women’s road running,” said SPAR Group Marketing Executive Mike Prentice, adding, “We know that thousands of women look forward to taking part in the SPAR Women’s Challenge races and their associated Fun Runs each year, and so we have decided to run a virtual challenge to give women something to look forward to and a motive to exercise.”

Taking on World Records!

Mike wants to go big, “We also want to try to set a Guinness world record for the biggest women’s virtual challenge. Our target is 30 000 entries,” while also highlighting an important cause he adds, “We will also be giving hope and assisting survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) at the same time. GBV is a scourge in South African society and appears to have worsened during the national lockdown. We at SPAR want to do something to help the survivors, and all the money received from entry fees will be used to help them.”

Race Ambassador Philicity Reeken (Jacaranda FM presenter, actress and GBV survivor) applauded SPAR in their strong stance against gender-based violence. “I’m so happy to see SPAR turn a spotlight on the scourge of GBV in this country and use their platform to support women.”

This Challenge is for Everyone 

Entry to the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge is R50, and for every entry, SPAR will donate a food parcel to a GBV survivor. Jacaranda FM’s Good Morning Angels will coordinate the distribution of the food parcels. Each entrant will also receive a limited-edition race t-shirt, a lightweight buff, and a race magazine.

Ambassadors Lend Their Support

Virtual1-600x361 SPAR Spreads A Little Sunshine News
Ready for South Africa’s Most Beautiful Virtual Challenge, the 2020 SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge are pictured from left: 2017 SPAR Grand Prix winner, Kesa Molotsane; South African Netball Captain, Bongi Msomi and Olympian athlete, Rene Kalmer. The SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge will take place in September this year. Picture Credit: Reg Caldecott

There will be thirty ambassadors invited to promote the message and goodwill of the challenge. One of these is Rene Kalmer, who has been running in the SPAR Women’s Challenge 10km races for more than half her life and is also the first to win three SPAR Grand Prix titles. “I love the Sunshine theme,” says Rene.

“The SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge colour yellow symbolises happiness, optimism, and positivity. These have been dark days and we all need a little sunshine. It is also time for the athletes to give back to SPAR, who have supported us for the past 30 years. My fellow athletes and I will give the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge our full support,” says Rene, adding,  “I am pregnant and will be well into my pregnancy by September 26, so I will be shuffling rather than running, but you can bet my family and I will be taking part and spreading some sunshine.”

Captain of the SPAR Proteas netball team, Bongi Msomi, is another ambassador, “I have taken part in SPAR Women’s Challenge series for the vibe and the party feeling, so I am excited to be an ambassador for the virtual challenge,” says Bongi, adding, “GBV is a serious problem in South Africa and it is time we send messages to everyone, not just men, that it is not acceptable. I am happy to help survivors of GBV.” Bongi said the SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge would send a positive message at a time when people needed some sunshine in their lives.

How Do I Enter?

It’s simple, click on this link, www.sparvirtualchallenge.co.za which will take you to the 2020 SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge website where you can enter!

Sanlam CT Marathon

Sanlam Cape Town Marathon cancelled; Virtual Race to go ahead as planned!

Following lengthy discussions, detailed review and careful consideration of all options and alternatives, the organisers and sponsors of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon have confirmed the cancellation of the 2020 event.

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon was scheduled to take place on Sunday, 18 October 2020. The event is one of many major South African mass participation sporting events that had to be removed from the SA racing calendar amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Athletics South Africa President Aleck Skhosana said, “Cancelling this year’s edition of the Cape Town Marathon was a difficult decision to make because it is also home to the ASA Marathon Championships. This is the only World Athletics Gold label marathon in Africa and it’s an influential nation-builder with a massive economic impact. We know that it will come as a great disappointment to thousands of runners who were looking forward to the race. However, the decision had to prioritise the health and safety of all involved, as well as the lives of all South Africans.”

Sanlam Cape Town Marathon Chairman, Francois Pienaar, calls the cancellation a sad and disappointing moment. “This decision did not come easy, but was one that had to be made after exhausting all our options. The reality is that we simply cannot risk the health and well-being of our participants, volunteers, supporters and stakeholders. We are grateful for the ongoing support of our sponsors, partners and service providers who share our disappointment but agree that this is the most prudent option in these uncertain times.”

Sydney Mbhele, Chief Executive of Brand at Sanlam, the race’s headline sponsor, commended the organising team for taking the appropriate steps during these challenging times.

“At Sanlam, we fully support this decision. We feel deeply for all those people whose lives are positively impacted by the race each year. We are working alongside our partners to ensure that we are still able to generate as much economic activity as possible from the virtual race to allow us to continue to support our charities this year.

“In particular, we have made a pledge that CANSA, our biggest beneficiary, will continue to benefit from the race this year, no matter its format. We encourage runners to not only support the Virtual Race, but to also add a sense of meaning to their participation this year. Make this the year you Run For Something – whether it is to beat your personal record, celebrate your training journey during a challenging lockdown, or to raise money for a good cause like CANSA.”

The City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, JP Smith, added, “The country, along with the rest of the world, is faced with a serious crisis which has put a stop to mass participation events indefinitely . This is important in safeguarding the health and safety of participants, spectators as well as officials working in the events hosted in our beautiful city.  The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is one of the most important spectacles on the city’s annual events calendar and as the City of Cape Town, we remain committed to supporting Africa’s only Gold-label status marathon and we look forward to hosting the race again in 2021.”

Full Refund

Sanlam Cape Town Marathon Race Director Renee Jordaan confirms that entrants will have the option to receive a full refund, or donate their entry fee to charity.

“All donated entry fees will be distributed between the Peninsula School Feeding Association and Community Chest of the Western Cape to support the increased social needs during the pandemic.”

The refund and donations process will be facilitated through entrants’ entry profile on Webtickets.

Affected entrants will receive detailed communications and instructions in this regard in the coming days.

All Systems Go For Virtual Marathon

While the iconic road race may no longer be going ahead this year, the inaugural Sanlam Cape Town Virtual Marathon is set to take the world by storm on 18 October, with the introduction of a Virtual Marathon, Half Marathon and 5km or 10km Peace Run/Walk.

The Sanlam Cape Town Virtual Marathon enables athletes from across the globe to be a part of the iconic city marathon on 18 October 2020, by running their choice of the 42.2km marathon, 21.1km half marathon or the 5km / 10km Peace Run.

Through combining cutting-edge technology, advanced tracking features, and pre-recorded audio and video within the Virtual Marathon App, participants get to enjoy the full Sanlam Cape Town Marathon race experience, no matter where they are in the world – from the start line ceremony, the lighting of the Peace Torch and the promenade sounds of seagulls and crashing ocean waves, to the local crowds and Cape minstrels cheering them on.

Runners’ race experience will be further enhanced by real-time tracking of their own run, while they are also informed of their virtual progress along the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon route. And as the race will be run in athletes’ local time zone, participants will be able to challenge their mates elsewhere in the world while they wait for their own race to start.

This is the new face of virtual racing – a world first, coming from the heart of the Mother City

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon was recently awarded the prestigious World Athletics Gold Label Status for the fourth consecutive year – the only marathon on the African continent and one of only a select group of marathons in the world to have this status. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic that continues to sweep across the globe, and the postponement of the Olympic Games, all Gold Label Status races will retain their status for 2020 and 2021.

2020 MiWay Wally Hayward Marathon Cancelled

The MiWay Wally Hayward Marathon has been officially cancelled. The event, which was initially scheduled to take place in Centurion on May 1, will not be held at all this year, to assure the safety of the running community. Race Director, Francois Jordaan says the decision to cancel the event was not an easy one to make, however the health and safety of the organising personnel and thousands of participants is top priority.

Jordaan says, “Following many discussions with various stakeholders, we feel it is time to end the uncertainty and make the tough call to cancel the 2020 MiWay Wally Hayward Marathon. Although no-one can predict the future and the longevity of the Coronavirus or lockdown restrictions, we expect our government to remain cautious and conservative in its mitigation measures. We believe large sporting events will likely be off-limits for some time to come.”

The race, one of the largest in the country, attracts over 13,000 entries and includes a 42.2km Comrades Marathon qualifier, a 21.1km half marathon, a 10km race, a 5km fun run and a 1km kiddies’ dash. It is supported by over 800 volunteers, including staff, points men, and water station helpers.

The Head of Marketing and Brand at MiWay, Nthabiseng Moloi says, “While the cancellation may be disappointing, the health and safety of participants, sponsors, suppliers, supporters and members of the public is of utmost importance.  We know that South Africans from all walks of life will continue to make use of the daily three-hour exercise window to keep training, to make next year’s event a record-breaking celebration of health and wellness.”

Registered participants’ entry fees will be transferred to the 2021 event at no additional cost. Participants also have the option of requesting a refund or donating their entry fees to the event’s selected charities. Jordaan confirmed that all registered participants will be emailed with further details.

NOTE: MiWay Insurance Limited (‘MiWay’) is a direct short-term insurer and a financial services company, offering customers a range of short-term insurance products including motor, household, homeowners, business insurance as well as liability cover. MiWay is a licensed insurer & FSP 33970. Ts & Cs apply.

Jasure Insurance

Flatten Your Insurance Spend with JaSure

We all know that happiness can’t be bought. But those special things — your smartwatch, smartphone, bike — sure are nice to have, aren’t they? The problem is, insuring them usually doesn’t come cheap, or hassle-free. It’s one of the reasons local insurtech JaSure, underwritten by Santam, was born. It’s insurance done differently: instant, easy, all on an app, and the best part, you only pay when you need cover.

Insurance Only When You Need It

Planning a Saturday morning trail run, with your smartwatch strapped on? Or maybe, as we all strive to flatten the curve, your favourite things like that smartwatch, golf clubs and camera, are stowed safely at home. Why pay for insurance when your valuables are temporarily collecting dust? With the JaSure app, you only pay if you switch on cover.

From tech gadgets to sports and photographic equipment, to camping gear and musical instruments, insurance is as simple and flexible as adding your assets in the app and switching on cover when you need it. And when you’re done, switch off with the tap of a button. If you’re looking to save, JaSure’s on-demand insurance app is for you!

Win Win Win

In the spirit of saving, JaSure has partnered with the Modern Athlete Flatten the Curve Challenge, in an effort to help those less fortunate during this challenging time. By joining the challenge you are supporting FoodForwardSA to feed those who face dire situations brought on by the National Lockdown.

Don’t miss out on your chance to win a R1000 Takealot voucher. To enter, download the JaSure app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, use the code MODERN when you sign up, and add an asset. Double your chances of snagging the prize by liking us and sharing the competition on Instagram. Ready, steady,…go!

Santam Limited is an authorised FSP (3416). JaSure is a juristic representative of Santam.

Cape Town leg of SPAR Women’s Challenge Series Cancelled

SPAR Western Cape has taken the difficult decision to cancel the SPAR Women’s Challenge in Cape Town, one of six road races in the SPAR Grand Prix series, run throughout the country. The race was to be held on Sunday, 5 April in Green Point.

The announcement follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent address to the nation in which he laid out drastic measures to contain the spread of the deadly Coronavirus. These include the prohibition of gatherings of more than 100 people, and an embargo placed on large events.

“It is with a heavy heart that we have decided to cancel the event for this year,” commented Elsabe van Zyl – Felix, advertising manager for SPAR Western Cape. “The race has a loyal following and we are mindful of how disappointed the women who have entered will be.

“However, we fully embrace the bold initiatives of Government and all their healthcare partners, who are doing everything in their power to overcome the global threat of this virus.”

Race entry cut off was scheduled for Sunday, 22 March. SPAR has taken the decision to refund the R120 entry fee to all entrants. The race organisers have requested patience in this regard, as they prepare all the reconciliation and administrative needs. They further confirm that entrants will receive official correspondence from the Race Office regarding refunding details and the process thereof. No refunds will be made via any SPAR store, please refer refund queries to: info@topevents.co.za.

The sponsors have also committed to honour the race beneficiaries, and an amount of R100 000 each will be donated to Operation Smile SA and the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children.

“This is a time for all of us to pull together and beat this deadly virus. We need to stay positive and be sensible if we are to flatten the curve.” Van Zyl – Felix said that she would like to thank Western Province Athletics for all their hard work to date. As well as media partners, Heart FM and Die Burger, and all other stakeholders.

Update on the SPAR Grand Prix series

The Port Elizabeth race, which would have been run on Saturday, 28 March has been postponed. The organisers have reserved Saturday October 17, 2020 as a revised date for the race.

SPAR Group Marketing Executive, Mike Prentice, said the sponsors of the Challenge were disappointed but needed to act in the best interests of all South Africans.

“We live in uncertain times,” said Prentice.

“We have to act in accordance with the Government’s directives, and with the best interests of all South Africans in mind.  Our chief concern is the health and safety of everyone.

“We will review the situation in six weeks and make any further announcement then, when we will also announce a decision on the Durban SPAR Women’s Challenge, which is scheduled for the end of June.”

The SPAR Women’s Challenge Series is run annually in Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Durban, Tshwane, Pietermaritzburg and Johannesburg, with top runners earning points towards the SPAR Grand Prix. Despite the cancellation of the Cape Town event, the SPAR Grand Prix will continue but will be calculated over five instead of six races.

The Tshwane and Maritzburg races are scheduled for August and the Joburg SPAR Women’s Challenge for October 5.

Race Status Update by Province

With the South African Government declaring COVID-19 a national disaster and putting strict interventions in place meaning no mass gatherings of more than 100 people till the 15th April a lot of running, triathlons and cycling events have been affected. We are doing our best to keep runners updated with the status of upcoming events status, please see all immediate events listed below with links to race contacts, courtesy  Runners Guide, to guide runners on affected races.

JHB_HEADER-BANNER-600x97 Race Status Update by Province News

Zwartkop Nite Race Series 4
Date: 18 March 2020
Venue: Zwartkop Country Club
Organiser: Bout Time Events
Status: Postponed TBC Date
Click for More Information

Adventure Trails Simparica Avianto Run/Walk
Date: 21 March 2020
Venue: Avianto Clubhouse
Organiser: Adventure Run
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

Sunnypark Right to Run/Walk
Date: 21 March 2020
Venue: Sunnypark Mall
Organiser: Arcadia Running Club
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

Vaal Mall 4 in 1 Challenge
Date: 21 March
Venue: Vaal Mall
Organiser: Arcelo Mittal Athletics Club
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

AdventureRun Rockfalls Trail Walk/ Run – Rock Falls Ranch
Date:22 March 2020
Venue: Rockfalls Ranch Conference Centre
Organiser: Adventure Run
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

Joburg North City Marathon
Date: 22 March 2020
Venue: Marks Park Sports Club
Organiser: RunZone
Status: Postponed, New Date TBC
Click for More Information

West Rand Marathon
Date: 22 March 2020
Venue: Greenhills Stadium
Organiser:
Status: Postponed, New Date TBC
Click for More Information

Barn Pizza Adventure Night Trail Run
Date: 25 March 2020
Venue: The Big Red Barn
Organiser: AdventureRun
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

J.P Morgan Corporate Challenge
Date: 26 March 2020
Venue: Wanderers Athletic Club
Organiser: Wanderers Club
Status: Postponed New Date TBC
Click for More Information

AdventureRun Sunset Trail Run/Walk
Date: 28 March 2020
Venue: Komga Show Grounds
Organiser: AdventureRun
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

AdventureTails Barn Walk/Run – Big Red Barn
Date: 28 March 2020
Venue: Big Red Barn
Organiser: Trail Adventure
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

Kingskloof 4 Seasons Trail Run-Autumn
Date: 28 March 2020
Venue: Kingskloof at Laurentia Farm
Organiser: Master Event Timing
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

Barn Adventure Trail Run/Walk – Big Red Barn
Date: 29 March 2020
Venue: The Big Red Barn
Organiser: AdventureRun
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

Jackie Gibson Marathon & Alan Ferguson Half Marathon
Date: 29 March 2020
Venue: Klipriversberg Recreation Centre
Organiser: Johannesburg Harriers Athletic Club
Status: Postponed, New Date TBC
Click for More Information

Kosmosdal 8 & 5km Fun Run/Walk
Date: 29 March 2019
Venue: Kosmosdal Checkers Shopping Centre
Organiser: Kosmosdal Athletic Club
Status: Unknown
Click for More Information

Kimiad Adventure Night Run/Walk
Date: 1 April 2020
Venue: Kimiad Golf Course
Organiser: AdventureRun
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

AdventureRun Houghton Golf Course Night
Date: 2 April 2020
Venue: Houghton Golf Club
Organiser: AdventureRun
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

AdventureTails Cow Trail Run/Walk
Date: 4 April 2020
Venue: Hazledean Valley Trails
Organiser: Trail Adventure
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

Cool Ideas Cradle Mountain Trophy Trail Run
Date: 4 April 2020
Venue: Maropeng Amphitheatre
Organiser: The Leverage Corporation
Status: Unknown
Click for More Information

Ford 3-in1
Date: 4 April 2020
Venue: Ford Motor Company Sports Grounds
Organiser:
Status: Unknown
Click for More Information

Alan Robb 32km & 15km
Date: 5 April 2020
Venue: Germiston Stadium
Organiser: Germiston Callies Harriers
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

Fresh @ Wolwespruit Trail Run
Date: 5 April 2020
Venue: Wolwespruit Trail Park
Organiser: Fresh Trails
Status: Postponed to 3 May
Click for More Information

Gandhi 12 & 6km Walk
Date: 5 April 2020
Venue: Gandhi Hall
Organiser: Gandhi Walk Committee
Status: Postponed, New Date TBC
Click for More Information

Ingaadi Spa AdventureRun
Date: 5 April 2020
Venue: Ingaadi Spa
Organiser: Trail Adventure
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

JointEze Irene Ultra Marathon
Date: 5 April 2020
Venue: ARC Irene Campus
Organiser: Irene Athletics Club
Status: Cancelled Now Virtual Race
Click for More Information

Smuts Irene River Night AdventureRun
Date: 8 April 2020
Venue: Smuts Irene
Organiser: AdventureRun
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

Randburg Harriers Easter 100
Date: 10 April 2020
Venue: Ranbdurg Sports Complex
Organiser: Randburg Harriers
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

AdventureTails River Walk/Run – Smuts Irene
Date: 11 April 2020
Venue: Jan Smuts Irene River
Organiser: AdventureRun
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

Frenus Zietsman Race Against Drugs 10km
Date: 11 April 2020
Venue: Pilditch Stadium
Organiser: Mamelodi Athletic Club
Status: Postponed, New Date TBC
Click for More Information

Ekurhuleni Chris Hani Half Marathon
Date: 12 April 2020
Venue: Vosloorus Stadium
Organiser: Vosloorus Runners Athletics Club
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

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CT_HEADER-BANNER-600x97 Race Status Update by Province News

Hero Adventure Night Trail Run Series
Date: 18 March 2020
Venue: Spice Route Estate
Organiser: Hero Adventure Trails
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

Die Poort Half Marathon & 10km
Date: 21 March 2020
Venue: Uniondale Show Grounds
Organiser: Grasshoppers Outeniqua Harriers
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

Paarl Mall Half Marathon & 10km
Date: 21 March 2020
Venue: Paarl Mall
Organiser: Boland Masters
Status: Unknown
Click for More Information

Tyger Half Marathon & 10km Run/Walk
Date: 21 March 2020
Venue: Tyger Valley Centre
Organiser: Top Events, Durbanville Athletic Club
Status: Postponed New Date TBC
Click for More Information

Trail Series Super League 4 of 7 – Paarl Mountain
Date: 22 March 2020
Venue: Oak Valley
Organiser: Wild Runner
Status: Postponed New Date TBC
Click for More Information

VWS Nuweberg Trail Challenge
Date: 22 March 2020
Venue: Cape Canopy Tours
Organiser: Volunteer Wildfire Services
Status: Postponed New Date TBC
Click for More Information

Merrel Autumn Night Run Series powered by Black Diamond
Date: 25 March 2020
Venue: Simon’s at Groot Constantia
Organiser: Mountain Runner Events
Status: Postponed New Date TBC
Click for More Information 

Outeniqua Quest 108km Nonstop & Ultra
Date: 26 March 2020
Venue: Millwood Hut
Organiser: CSM Sport & Entertainment
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

KKI Volstruiswedloop Half Marathon & 10km
Date: 28 March 2020
Venue: Wesbank Primary School
Organiser: Oudtshoorn Athletic Club
Status: Unknown
Click for More Information

Leapfrog Gordon’s Bay Half Marathon & LabourWise 10km
Date: 28 March 2020
Venue: Gordon’s Bay Primary School
Organiser: Strand Athletic Club
Status: Leapfrog 21.1km will be replaced by the False Bay 50km for 2020 on 10 May
Click for More Information

Tygerberg 30km
Date: 29 March 2020
Venue: Tygerberg Athletic Track
Organiser: Tygerberg NLC Athletic Club
Status: Postponed, New Date TBC
Click for More Information

Merrell Autumn Night Run Series powered by Black Diamond
Date: 1 April 2020
Venue: Groot Constantia Wine Estate
Organiser: Mountain Runner Events
Status: Postponed, New Date TBC
Click for More Information

Kingfisher MTB & Trail Run
Date: 4 April 2020
Venue: Beyond the Moon
Organiser: Chain Gang Events
Status: Postponed, New Date TBC
Click for More Information

Ravensmead 15km
Date: 4 April
Venue: Florida Park
Organiser: Ravensmead Athletic Club
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

SPAR Women’s Challenge
Date: 5 April 2020
Venue: Green Point Precinct
Organiser: Western Province Athletics
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

Merrel Autumn Night Run Series powered by Black Diamond
Date: 8 April 2020
Venue: Simons at Groot Constantia
Organiser: Mountain Runner Events
Status: Postponed, New Date TBC
Click for More Information

AdventureRun Barn Run/Walk
Date: 10 April 2020
Venue: Big Red Barn
Organiser: AdventureRun
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

Two Oceans 24km & 12km Trail Run
Date: 10 April 2020
Venue: UCT Grounds
Organiser: Two Oceans Marathon NPC
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

Two Oceans Fun Run
Date: 10 April 2020
Venue: UCT Grounds
Organiser: Two Oceans Marathon NPC
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

Legends 10 & 5km
Date: 11 April 2020
Venue: Church Square
Organiser: Worcester Athletics Club
Status: Unknown
Click for More Information

Two Oceans Ultra Marathon
Date: 11 April
Venue: Main Road
Organiser: Two Oceans Marathon NPC
Status: Cancelled
Click for More Information

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EC_HEADER-BANNER-600x97 Race Status Update by Province News

SPAR Women’s 10km – Port Elizabeth
Date: 21 March 2020
Venue: Pollok Beach
Organiser: Walmer Athletics Club
Status: Postponed to 17 Oct 2020 (Provisional)
Click for More Information

Real Gijimas Ultra Marathon
Date: 22 March 2020
Venue: Masizakhe Children’s Home
Organiser: Real Gijimas
Status: Postponed, New Date TBC
Click for More Information

Cabbage Patch 15km
Date: 28 March 2020
Venue: Komga Show Grounds
Organiser: Border Athletics
Status: Postponed, New Date TBC
Click for More Information

Correctional Services 10km Classic
Date: 4 April 2020
Venue: Farmers Market
Organiser: St Albans Correctional Services
Status: Unknown
Click for More Information

Royal St Andrews Hotel Amanzi Challenge
Date: 10 April 2020
Venue: Royal St. Andrew Golf Course
Organiser: Kowie Striders
Status: Postpone, New Date TBC
Click for More Information

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FREESTATE_HEADER-BANNER-600x97 Race Status Update by Province News

Standard Bank Black Mountain Challenge – Two Days
Date: 21 March 2020
Venue: Black Mountain Hotel & Spa
Organiser: Cityrun (Pty) Ltd
Status: Postponed to 22-23 August 2020
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Mwelase Half Marathon, 10 & 5km
Date: 21 March 2020
Venue: HTS School
Organiser: Real Lions Athletic Club
Status: Unknown
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Potato Pride Wilge Marathon, Half & 10km
Date: 4 April 2020
Venue: GJ Humans Sports Ground
Organiser: Goudveld Multisport
Status: Unknown
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Date:
Venue:
Organiser:
Status:
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KZN_HEADER-BANNER-600x97 Race Status Update by Province News

Drakensberg Northern Trail Run
Date: 21 March 2020
Venue: Border Post
Organiser: KZN Trail Running
Status: Postponed New Date TBC
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The Solly M Crescent Challenge
Date: 22 March
Venue: Kings Park Stadium
Organiser: Crescent Sporting Club
Status: Postponed New Date TBC
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AdventureRun Port Shepstone Golf Course Run/Walk
Date: 25 March 2020
Venue: Port Shepston Country Club
Organiser: AdevntureRun
Status: Cancelled
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Route Six 2 Two Trails
Date: 28 March 2020
Venue: Oaksprings Farm
Organiser: Six 2 Two Trails
Status: Postponed to November 2020
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Checkout Half Marathon & 10km Run/Walk
Date: 29 March 2020
Venue: King Park Athletic Stadium
Organiser: Checkout Verulam Falcons AC
Status: Postponed, New Date TBC
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Rocky Bay Trail Run
Date: 29 March 2020
Venue: Rocky Bay Resort
Organiser: KZN Trail Running
Status: Postponed, New Date TBC
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Tronox Umhlathuze Marathon & Half
Date: 29 March 2020
Venue: Umhlathuze Athletic Club
Organiser: uMhlathuze Athletic Club
Status: Cancelled
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Umgeni Water Marathon, Half & 14,47km Run/Walk
Date: 29 March 2020
Venue: Baynesfield Recreational Club
Organiser: Collegians Harriers
Status: Postponed, New Date TBC
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Giba Gorge Night Fun Trail Run
Date: 1 April 2020
Venue: Giba Gorge MTB Park
Organiser: Giba Gorge MTB & Adventure Park
Status: Postponed, New Date TBC
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Arthur Creswell Memorial Ultra Marathon & Half Marathon
Date: 4 April 2020
Venue: Oaklahamba Municipality
Organiser: Ladysmith Athletics Club
Status: Postponed, New Date TBC
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Bushman’s Trail Run
Date: 4 April 2020
Venue: Wagendrift Dam Campsite
Organiser: KZN Trail Running
Status: Postponed, New Date TBC
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Durban City Marathon and Half
Date: 5 April 2020
Venue: Kings Park Stadium
Organiser: KwaZulu-Natal Athletics
Status: Postponed, New Date TBC
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Holla Trails Classice
Date: 5 April 2020
Venue: Fairview Estates
Organiser: Holla Trails
Status: Postponed, New Date TBC
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Status:
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MPUM_HEADER-BANNER-600x97 Race Status Update by Province News

Standerton Goldi 4-in-1
Date: 21 March 2020
Venue: Standerton High School
Organiser: Standerton Marathon Club
Status: Cancelled
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Gert Sibande District Marathon
Date: 28 March 2020
Venue: Gert Sibande District Office
Organiser: Ermelo Marathon Club
Status: Unknown
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Richkim & John Henry Consultants 10km & Fun Run
Date: 1 April 2020
Venue: Kees Taljaard Stadium
Organiser: Midack Athletic Club
Status: Unknown
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Buffalo Gorge Trail Series
Date: 4 April 2020
Venue: Buffalo Gorge Eco Adventure Centre
Organiser: Buffalo Gorge Eco Adventure Centre
Status: Continuing limited to 90 people
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Great East 3 in 1
Date: 11 April 2020
Venue: Great East Sports Club
Organiser: Great East Athletic Club
Status: Cancelled
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York Dusk Till Dawn Race
Date: 12 April
Venue: York Engelhard Park
Organiser: Fresh Trails
Status:
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Venue:
Organiser:
Status:
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NW_HEADER-BANNER-600x97 Race Status Update by Province News

Bushveld 32 & 10km
Date: 21 March 2020
Venue: Hoerskool Brits
Organiser: Amanzi Athletic Club
Status: Postponed to 5 December 2020
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Carletonville Half Marathon
Date: 21 March 2020
Venue: Carletonville Mall
Organiser: Pulsesport
Status: Unknown
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Ale Trail Run
Date: 28 March 2020
Venue:  Black Horse Brewery
Organiser: Wild Africa Experiences
Status: Still Continuing Limit of 90 Runner for two Days, pls monitor website
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NC_HEADER-BANNER-600x97 Race Status Update by Province News

Phakamile Madija Human Rights Half Marathon
Date: 21 March 2020
Venue: Galeshewe Stadium
Organiser:
Status: Postponed New Date TBC
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Konica Minolta Kimberley Road
Date: 28 March
Venue: Bishops Old Boy’s Club
Organiser: Vodacom Kimberley Road Runners
Status: Postponed New Date TBC
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LIMPOPO_HEADER-BANNER-600x97 Race Status Update by Province News

Mall of the North Marathon
Date: 4 April 2020
Venue: Mall of the North
Organiser: Polokwane Athletic Club
Status: Postponed, New Date TBC
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2020 SPAR Grand Prix Likely to be Closest on Record

Closest Series Yet!

The 2020 SPAR Grand Prix appears likely to be one of the closest in its 14-year history. The SPAR Grand Prix, which is one of the most important contests in South African road running, recognises the most successful athlete in the six SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge races, which take place around the country from March until October.

Prize money this year amounts to just under R550 000, not counting the prize money for individual races.

Runners accumulate points according to their position in each race, with the winner earning 20 points and the 20th placed runner earning one point.  They can also earn points by beating the winning time in the corresponding race in 2019.  All runners who beat this time receive 10-time incentive points.

Will Helalia Dominate Again?

Namibian runner Helalia Johannes dominated the 2019 SPAR Grand Prix winning all six races in record time.  She finished the competition with a full house of 180 points – the maximum possible. She was the first person to achieve this. In several races, the fast pace set by Johannes saw several other runners earning bonus points as well.

SPAR Grand Prix coordinator, Ian Laxton, says this is what will make the 2020 SPAR Grand Prix so competitive. “I don’t think we will see so many runners earning time points this year,” said Laxton, adding, “In fact, I think even Johannes will find it hard to beat the times she set last year.  This means that every point will count – I think there will be just two or three points between the top runners.”

“They won’t have that nice cushion of 10 points and they will have to run every race,” said Laxton.

Rewards for Up and Coming Runners!

Young up and coming runners will also be eligible for an exciting new award – the Breakthrough Runner of the Year.  This will be awarded to a South African athlete, who, in the opinion of the panel of judges, has shown the most improvement, and who has made an impact on the SPAR Challenge Series for the first time.  The winner will receive prize money of R20 000.

Race Ambassadors!

Three-times SPAR Grand Prix winner Rene Kalmer has once again been named an ambassador for the SPAR Grand Prix and this year she has been joined as ambassador by the 2017 winner, Kesa Molotsane.

“I am very happy and excited to be an ambassador for the SPAR Grand Prix,” said Molotsane. “Through the Grand Prix, SPAR has done much to empower women and I am very pleased to be able to give something back.  I believe I can offer hope to other women.”

Modern Athlete have been named media partners of the 2020 SPAR Grand Prix season and the series is endorsed by Athletics South Africa.

The first SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge race takes place in Port Elizabeth on Saturday March 21 and the second in Cape Town on Sunday April 5. The Grand Prix then moves to Durban (21 June) followed by Tshwane (1 August), back to KwaZulu-Natal for the Maritzburg race on 16 August and ends in the City of Joburg (4 October) which this year celebrates its 30th race Birthday.

Globetrotting FrontRunner

Had you asked a younger Wandisile Nongodlwana if he could see himself someday travelling the world for work and running, while inspiring people to follow a healthy lifestyle and develop the self-belief to get out and go for a run, he would probably have stared at you blankly. Yet in spite of his incredibly humble background, this inspirational athlete is the reason many people have started running. This is the story of his journey from the rural areas of the Eastern Cape to the farthest corners of the globe.

By Manfred Seidler

If you are an ardent follower of running on social media, you may have seen Wandisile Nongodlwana’s trademark jump as he crosses the finish line of his latest event or adventure. You may also have seen recently that the 43-year-old Wandi, as he is known to many, was part of an international team of runners that took on the London to Paris Challenge organised by Asics in April this year. 10 runners from all over the world, all part of the global Asics FrontRunners programme, were selected to run from London to Paris and then finish the journey with the Paris Marathon. “We had to send a motivational letter to Asics on why we should be doing this, and I got in. The goal was to test various shoes for Asics. We ran in their new Metaride and had to give feedback, and it was quite an experience,” says Wandi.

While the challenge was supposed to be a marathon distance every day for 10 days, including the Paris Marathon, it turned out differently, with one day even being 75km long. “We had to deal with blisters, and people had shin splints. We had to carry our food with us during the day, as only breakfast and dinner was catered for. So the first day was a marathon, day two was over 50km, and day three became 75km. We were not all at the same fitness level, and ran at different speeds, so that did cause some friction, which was made even more difficult by the language barriers. We had a massive blow out in the group on day three, but that seemed to be needed, as from then on there seemed to be a better understanding and tolerance level. It was very interesting to see how people reacted to different stress levels and situations.”

Unsurprisingly, the trip left Wandi with many memories and indelible impressions. Perhaps the most profound came on the morning of day four, as the group ran along the famous white cliffs of Dover in the UK, before departing Newhaven on the ferry to cross the English Channel to France. “That was really special. And high!” he exclaims. “I lay down on my tummy, crawled to the edge and looked down. I was literally looking down on the seagulls flying around the cliffs. But lying there was also a spiritual experience for me. It was so peaceful. I lay there looking down for about five minutes. Initially the adrenaline was pumping, but then I calmed down and felt this amazing sense of peace and awe. It seemed that all the troubles in the world had become insignificant. I was that much at peace.”

Humble Origins

This jet-setting life as an international runner and brand ambassador is a far cry from Wandisile’s humble start to life. He was born on 24 December 1975, in the remote village of Soto Location in Mooiplaas, some 40km outside of East London, the eldest of five siblings. Life was challenging for Wandi and his family: Water had to be fetched from the river in buckets, there was no electricity, the family slept in one hut, and afternoons and weekends were spent herding the cows and goats. His mother had no education, and his father had left school in Standard 2. Life was a battle… so for Wandi, the escape was education. He learnt from a very early age that he needed to excel at school if he wanted to leave the rural and humble surroundings he was growing up in.

Wandi is a talented runner, but not in the realms of those select few who could earn a living from it – only a tiny number of South Africans fall into this category – and his running started much later in life, anyway. At school his first love was soccer. “I was a number nine, a striker,” says Wandi with that infectious laugh of his. When asked who his idol and inspiration was amongst the world’s top players, he replies that he didn’t have any specific heroes that he followed. “We did not have TV when we grew up. It just happened that way.”

Once Wandi hit Standard 8, he moved in with his uncle in Duncan Village, a township in East London. As with primary school and his junior high school years, Wandi threw himself into his studies in East London, and when he matriculated, he was awarded a full bursary from Liberty Life to go study Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at Wits in 1994. The hard work was beginning to pay off!

The Big Smoke

That bursary literally changed Wandi’s life, but it was a big move for the 18-year-old. “I literally only had 50 bucks, which my grandmother gave me. I also had the clothes on my back and a tog bag full of other clothing and toiletries. That was it.” As he says that, he holds up a regular sports tog bag to demonstrate how little it actually was. “Fortunately, the bursary covered everything, all my tuition and my accommodation. I went into a fully-catered res, so all meals were catered for. All my books, stationery, everything.”

The bursary also changed the fortunes of Wandi’s family, as it effectively made him the ‘bread-winner’ in the family. The small amount of pocket money he got from the bursary funds was supplemented by tutoring on weekends and in school holidays, and all that money went back home to help the family. After Wandi finished his studies and started to work, the money continued going to the family. “My first job, my first salary cheque went straight to my younger brother, who was in his first year at PE Tech.” That trend continued with his other siblings, too, and he then brought one sibling after another up to Johannesburg, paid for their tuition and also rebuilt the family home in Soto Location. His parents have passed on, so he is now the head of the household.

Today Wandi works for De Beers in IT, as a system manager, a position that sees him travel frequently to places as far-flung as Canada. His travel schedule for work, on top of frequent travels for running, means that he needs to spend as much quality time as he can with his wife and two children. “It isn’t always easy, but I make sure that the time I spend with them is the best time ever.” Wandi is a very private person and keeps his family life away from the exposure of social media, even though he is very active on social media as part of his running. “That is my life and is separate from my running, and the columns I do for Asics as an Asics Front Runner. That will always be sacred to me, and I will not expose them to that side of my life.” 

The Running Bug

Wandi’s introduction to running came some years back when he was part of a business relay event for work. “My leg was 7km long and the guy I handed over to was to run 11km, but at the changeover, he wasn’t there. You know, at these changeovers, there is always a big crowd and the person you hand over to is not always right there, so you sometimes have to look for them. But this guy wasn’t there, so I ran through the changeover point, thinking that maybe he would be further down the road. He wasn’t, so I just ran the next leg. I ran 18km that day, and I was like ‘Hmmmm, I can do this running thing.’ And that is how the running bug bit.”

“I then met a guy in the gym who would get there in the morning for training, but he was already sweating. He told me he was training for Comrades and ran in the mornings before doing his gym. It was quite funny… I knew nothing about having to qualify for Comrades. I knew absolutely nothing about running, I just knew I had to do Comrades.” And with that Wandi began training for and ran his first Comrades in 2008, finishing in 9:55:59. Having now run the race 12 consecutive times, he has posted a best of 6:39:45 in 2018 and has seven silver medals to his credit, including six in the last six years.

These days Wandi races in the veteran category and occasionally finds himself on the podium, which he says has reignited his passion for racing, but adds that his focus has changed from always trying to improve his times and chasing medals and podiums, to rather trying to inspire others to run. “In the past three, maybe four years, my focus has changed. It is now more about inspiring people. I want to show people that you can do well, whatever ‘well’ means to each individual. I won the Golden Gate stage trail race a few years ago with no sponsor. It was literally through dedication and hard work, so that is the message I am now trying to send.”

Becoming a FrontRunner

The biggest impact on his running career has been in the last three years, thanks to his successful application to become an Asics Frontrunner. In 2016 Asics advertised on social media that they were looking for brand ambassadors, or as they call it, FrontRunners, and Wandi’s friend Charmaine Mohokare encouraged him to apply. “She told me I had nothing to lose, so I applied and I became part of the crew in 2017. Through being a FrontRunner, I have had so many opportunities and experiences to run races, so it has been really good for me. But being an Asics FrontRunner does come with responsibilities, and I still want people to just be inspired to be their best. After all, I became a Frontrunner because of trying to motivate people.”

By far the biggest opportunity that has come Wandi’s way through his association with Asics is the London to Paris Run, which he describes as a life changing experience. “I learned so much. We had runners from Russia, Portugal, the UK, Germany, and more, 10 runners from 10 different countries, and of course very few spoke decent English, which made communication very difficult. There were also different cultures, different outlooks on life, which made it a very interesting trip. For starters, not all of us ran at the same level, so we had to figure out how each person would run, and subsequently ended up in broadly two groups. Obviously there were also interpersonal dynamics.”

Having gotten through the longer than expected first few days and overcome the initial problems of communication and approach within the group, the 10 Frontrunners duly made it to Paris and lined up for the marathon, which they all ran and finished together. Wandi says the sense of achievement they felt as a group was immense, of having conquered a huge challenge, but even more gratifying was the newfound friendships, and all that they learnt along the way.

“That journey was one of deep introspection for me. I learnt so much, grew as a person, and discovered things about myself of a deeply personal nature, which show me that your background does not limit you. Work hard, look for opportunities and when these are presented to you, embrace them with open arms,” says Wandi. “I am deeply grateful for the opportunity provided to me by Asics, and I am looking forward to new adventures.”

Dave’s 50 in 50 Dream

For most ultra-runners, tackling the Two Oceans Marathon once a year is more than enough, but this year Dave Chamberlain tackled the ultra route 50 times in 50 days in the build-up to the 2019 race. Here is the story behind this incredible feat.

By PJ Moses

When it comes to long distance running, Dave Chamberlain has done quite some distance on his feet. In years gone by he ran the length of Argentina, then ran across Canada, and followed that up with a run through the Namib Desert. Then in April this year he undertook his most recent running adventure, tackling the Two Oceans Marathon 56km route 50 times in 50 days, including running the race itself as his 50th ‘Voyage,’ to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the race in 2019.

So, the last thing you would expect to hear the man from Pretoria say is, “I don’t actually like running. I think I might even hate it.” Well, he sure has a funny way of showing it, given his various running exploits, but he quickly explains further: “Running is just plain uncomfortable for me, so I have a strong dislike of running just for the sake of running. It makes little sense to me.” However, add a charitable cause to the run, and then whatever the distance, Dave is your man!

For the Penguins

Thus in March he began his 50-day challenge, to raise much-needed awareness and funds for BirdLife SA, with the goal to raise over one hundred thousand rand to help save the African penguin from extinction. His daily run along the race course soon caught the attention of the Cape running community, and the media, and he was given plenty of support, sometimes had running company, and did a number of interviews as well. Naturally, he was asked again and again why he was doing such a seemingly crazy thing, and he gave the same answer each time.

“Over the past seven or eight years, I’ve completed other running projects, but what drew me to this most recent one was the desire to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Two Oceans in a way that had local appeal. Also, I mostly try to run for environmental causes, and so chose penguin conservation due to the position that penguins hold, especially from a tourism perspective and the threat of their extinction. They are even more endangered than rhinos! All those times spent birdwatching with my Dad when I was a kid just made them the obvious choice. Also, I chose to run for BirdLife SA, because they do amazing work, even while being under financial pressure to simply continue being viable,” says Dave.

Calling the campaign 505050 and working in conjunction with BirdLife and Utopia (who did the marketing pro bono), Dave started a crowdfunding campaign and even had a dedicated website where people could follow his journey on a daily basis, through vlogs and updated stats. With the logistics and marketing taken care of, all he needed to do was concentrate on the running, but a lot more went into the challenge than just doing 50 kays a day!

Preparing to Run

Initially, all planning for the event went along the lines of ‘that seems doable,’ says Dave, and he made sure not to let himself think too much about the distance, or else it may have become a major stumbling block to his success. “I’m actually the laziest person I know – sometimes even too lazy to order Uber Eats. In that case, I’ll usually just drink two litres of milk for lunch. So if I did any deeper research, then it might have scared me off from the idea entirely. Instead, I spent three months leading up to the start of it, travelling around SA and Lesotho, looking for hills to run up and scenery to photograph.”

He used the Sport Science Lab at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria for his base during his training, and focused especially on strengthening his core during this conditioning phase. He also had to work on his mental preparation for what lay ahead. “I seem to always learn – or perhaps re-learn is more accurate – that I’m an idiot. Mostly in a charming, naïve way, thankfully, but still. The repetitive nature of running the same route for 50 days, through a city, was interesting from a psychological perspective. It’s certainly opened my eyes to looking at different ways to approaching future projects.”

He says that he is lucky to count on a supportive family to back him up during his running adventures, although he says that it is a challenge trying to live up to his two sisters. Both are accomplished ultra-distance athletes themselves, having completed iconic races such as Comrades, Maraton Des Sables and IronMan, and Dave says they are a tough crowd to impress. “I am sure they were impressed at the beginning of my running exploits, but I think they have become used to it now.”

Looking Within

Given his apparent dislike of running, it comes as no real surprise that Dave did not really enjoy running when he was younger, either. “I was at an all-boys school and sport was always a part of the culture at the school. It was used as a tool to promote participation and a chance to try out different codes, but for me it was just a way to pass the time and nothing really stuck. I never developed a passion for any one particular sporting code.”

He may not have found a passion for running back then, but somehow it found him again some years after school. “My first running project was motivated by the need to catch a boat at the southern tip of Argentina, before it sailed, but since then these challenges have morphed into finding a way to travel cheaply, while supporting conservation, and also while fulfilling a desire to understand human psychology. Finding someone to be my ‘crash-test dummy’ seemed like a tricky undertaking, so I decided to ‘experiment’ on myself.”

Doing such long distances by oneself can appear to be a lonely experience, but Dave enjoys the time spent in his own mind. “I never get lonely on my runs. There is so much happening, whether in the world that I am running through, or inside my head. It is very exciting to see what is around the next corner. Also, when I run, I don’t listen to music, because it serves as a distraction. My big motivation for running is travelling, and I want to be present in the environment that I am passing through, so I don’t want to intrude on that experience with music. Also, from a safety perspective, I want to be able to hear approaching cars and bicycles.”

Challenging Undertaking

Even though this was not his first running project, Dave says it was by far one of the toughest. “The lowest point of the project came on days 19 and 23. “I am not a big fan of cities, but ironically I went through a dark space because I could not participate in and enjoy the city life that I saw everybody else immersed in. Being in Cape Town and not being able to go to a Kirstenbosch concert, for example.”

One of the other challenges he faced was getting himself out of bed in the mornings. “Once I was at the start in Newlands and began running, I was fine. I think that it helped to not have a reason not to do it. In much the same way that many people don’t have a reason not to go to work, in spite of the rush-hour traffic that they know awaits them.” And when running became hard and the pain and discomfort felt like it may overwhelm him, Dave would remind himself that “This too shall pass.” He uses this phrase as his “reminder to endure the bad times, enjoy the good times and to embrace life, because they are all just transitory.”

But no man is an island, and even though he was the one running solo most days, the support of others helped to carry him through. “You can’t do these big runs without some much-needed support from others, and I was lucky to have some very good friends who live on Constantia Nek, so I could get sandwiches to nibble on and jump into the pool to refresh. I was also ‘adopted’ by Harfield Harriers as an honorary club member, and their support meant the world to me. All the help just meant that I only had to focus on doing the actual running and not much else.”

With a Little Help from Friends

The project was initially a self-funded and self-supported effort, but Pick n Pay stepped up and joined Dave in making it a success. “Being self-supported, I was looking for three watering holes along the route where I could maybe buy a snack and drink. I approached Pick n Pay with a request for a couple of drinks and an energy bar discount, per day, but they came back and sponsored my entire nutritional needs for the project. For that I owe them a very big thank you.”

“Also, the people I encountered on the route each day were fantastic. It meant a lot to me, even if it was just a hoot or a wave as I ran by them. It was interesting seeing how the various suburbs along the route responded to my repeated presence, but if I am to give out medals for support then it would have to go to the folks of Muizenberg, Noordhoek and Hout Bay.”

Ironically, his biggest obstacle came during the actual race, at kilometre 17, when the crowd of runners around him felt like it was suffocating him. “I’d run the course for 49 days, with all the space in the world, and found the crowds on race day claustrophobic. Luckily, I was able to start running along the pavement, and escape the crush. And after that, with the gradient starting to kick up to the base of Ou Kaapse Weg, the road opened up nicely. So, I stopped being grumpy.”

Next Challenge, Please

This former scuba diving instructor is a man trying to keep busy, and when he is not working in the family business, Dave is usually looking for his next running adventure. “The moment that I finish, I’m already thinking of the next possibility. I think that it comes down to the fact that I don’t do these projects for running reasons, so the physical completion of the project is merely part of the cycle towards the next chance to travel, or to explore my psychological state.”

He is not a bucket list type of guy, but he has a few ideas for interesting adventures that may be worth a go. “I already have my eye on something for January. Without running projects, I would quickly turn into a blimp. I am keen to find out how many marathons I can do in a row, other than that I would love to run the original routes of the Tour De France, Giro Da Italia or the Vuelta Espana, just to annoy the cyclists.”

He is even considering a run across Japan or Nepal, but that would depend on how much cash he can save between projects. Other than running vast distances, Dave is also a keen photographer… or at least, he tries to be. “I sometimes try to take photographs, but then I’m struck with the dreaded thought of having to hop in a car, and drive five kilometres to my sister’s house, to go develop them in my darkroom, so I have a lot of undeveloped film in my camera bag.”

Dave the Dreamer

Dave is a big believer in chasing dreams, and doing the things that bring joy to your life. “We have no control over the past, nor the future. And, we only have marginal control over the present. When presented with these brief moments, take control, no matter how silly they may seem. Kids live in their own realities, and I challenge you to find a happier sound than a bunch of little hooligans running around living their best lives. Taking control of the present is the best way that I know to add value and direction to my life, and a sense of peace,” he says.

“How you choose to manifest that control is up to you. If you like stamp-collecting, dedicate an hour a week to completely immersing yourself in stamp-collecting. If you love to bake, but don’t know how to give back to society, go to a nearby orphanage, get a list of birthdays, and bake each child a cupcake for their birthday. The sense of recognition that that child will receive is far greater than anything that I can achieve through running, and it takes so little of one’s time. Change is possible, and opportunities are all around us. You don’t need to save the world. Bringing a smile to a strangers face is all that is required.”

The challenge he sets for all of us is a simple one, but one that many people struggle to fulfil in their own lives. “Never let anyone destroy your dreams, and never destroy anyone else’s.” Dave is doing his best to live true to those words, and so should we.