July Newsletter

July Newsletter

The winter solstice has come and gone so in theory we have started the slide towards summer.  It certainly doesn’t feel like it.  This festival week has been bitterly cold.  Those runners heading off to Knysna this weekend are packing extra blankets, gloves, beanies and hot water bottles to give to those in need at the start of the Forest Marathon and Half Marathon.  The dedication to running though, has not abated.  The early morning running groups are still gathering in the dark – even if the layers hide their identity – for their run and it is always fabulous to see runners out on the road enjoying the crisp air.  Our time trial will be back in full swing from next week, 10 July, and we look forward to seeing many of you at the start at 5:15pm.

A reminder of our AGM on 31 July at 6:00pm, immediately after the time trial.

Chairman’s report

Hi Everyone,

Halfway through the year and with the Festival atmosphere in the air I realise that a lot has happened behind the scenes in a short amount of time.

At last I can confirm that Cathy Gorham will be joining our club committee to assist with the cycling division.

Cathy is one of the original Saints & Sinners pillars and I’m very happy to have her on board to assist us in getting the cycling situation back on standard!

At the same time, I want to say thank you to Adrian Stoltz who is stepping down as our treasurer. I hope that now he can join our cyclists and relax a bit without worrying about the club finances.

Also a big thank you to Rose Hurford who has been managing our new athletic clothing project. We will be showcasing these garments and our new club Gazebo at our AGM.

Talking about the AGM – Please diarise this date:

31 July 2018 at 6:00pm after the time trial.

This is your platform to discuss any issues or ideas and we can update our members in person on the future of the club regarding events, club runs/cycles and socials.

Regarding events – we have been meeting with Eastern Province Athletics(EPA) quite a bit in trying to improve our experience for hosting events and to improve our club management. There are always places for improvement and we want to ensure that our club’s standard is on par with the rest of South Africa’s.

Lastly – we have a few members who have signed up on our website who have not paid us yet – we will get in contact with you to discuss your requirements as we are required to pay the EPA and the Albany club for each member and we need to ensure that these monies are paid – otherwise the club will fall into disrepute and we will no longer be able to host any events.

Otherwise enjoy the rest of the Festival and don’t forget to hit the road! Jaco

Race Report Backs

In June I had the pleasure of joining a few other super excited athletes for the third trail run in the Oxpecker Series, The African Oxpecker.  What an event! The Green family, of Winterton, have put together a superbly organised weekend with every eventuality thought of and catered for, from hot water bottles in the goody bags to strip stations at the start and 3km mark of each stage of the race to drop off the layers we wore to survive the cold start.  Catering was handled by the amazing ‘Farmer’s Daughter’ team who ensured all the athletes went home heavier than when they arrived.

Day 1 was 21km.  The first 10 was a climb to the top of Spioenkop Mountain.  This was really tough but the ‘compulsory’ selfie stops meant we got to catch our breath as we were distracted by the unbelievable views.  The remaining 10 was a leisurely jog all the way down the hill to the last flat kilometre around the camp to the finish line.

IMG_8135

Day 2 was 16km and a lot less strenuous.  I think some athletes were very grateful for this after the disco under the trees from the previous night that went on into the small hours of Sunday morning.  We were taken to our secret start by local taxi drivers early Sunday morning driving us safely through the mist which only added to the thrill of the event.  This leg started with a 3km jog through the mielie fields into the beautiful acacia forests.  This leg was slightly more technical with narrow, rocky single track and a floating bridge river crossing but that really just added to the fun. Prize giving was a jovial affair with the African Oxpecker winner taking the honours of overall winner (from all three events) in a record time NINE minutes faster than any previous winner. The Green family wanted to make their event as green as possible and each participant went home with a tin cup and some seeds.  The participant who sends in the best photograph of their sprouting seed can win their entry for 2019.

I certainly am planning on being there but in the mean time – if the sound of this kind of event appeals to you – have a look at the Kudu Classic just outside Bedford.  This event is a bit smaller but just as awesome!!! It is on 11 and 12 November.  Hope to see you there.

Exciting Cycling News and Updates

Cycling membership as we know has taken a bit of a knock. Some of us have been discussing how to revive cycling activities. We will continue to do this, but how successful we are depends very much on whether we meet cyclists needs and if we have the resources to do so. That means identifying how to support and encourage cycling as well as attracting members who will assist in the process.

Using feedback from the recent rider survey, we decided to focus first on getting group rides going again. Over the last couple of months, there’s been growing turn-out at the Saturday morning ride.

In May and June, we had rides to

  • Riebeeck East, where everyone stopped off for coffee and muffins at Mooimeisies Guesthouse,
  • Bathurst, via Penny’s Hoek and stopping of course at the Pig and Whistle,
  • Kenton, where we enjoyed freshly prepared boerewors rolls at middle beach We asked people to organise their own transport back but also offered some space to bring back those who didn’t have someone to fetch them.

Rides to the microwave tower on the Highlands road also proved popular. Cold and galeforce winds could not stop a large group enjoying a hard ride out but a fast return for coffee at Noom!

The plan is to offer varied, regular rides with a social element that caters for as wide a range of cyclists as possible. No one is left behind – there is always an experienced rider to check on back-markers.

Just Pedal Cycles (in Cuyler Street) have been organising the rides and making sure everyone has a fun, safe ride that is as challenging as they feel up to. They have lots of ideas and info for anyone wanting to know about routes and rides in our area, so do pop in and speak to Andre or Denise if you need any help or want to know more about the group rides.

Not everyone is ready, has time, or is keen to ride 2 to 3 hours. So we are looking at shorter routes and ideas for newcomers or those getting back into cycling. There are plans too for a “get to know your bike”, bike-skills workshop aimed at encouraging women in particular to join us.

The focus is very much on G2C right now but we do have some exciting plans, so watch this space, and the club’s Facebook page!

Huge thanks to Jaco, Ian, Oliver, Ken, Jolandi, Denise, Andre and “newby” Fretson for their input and commitment to getting the wheels turning again. We agreed to meet every few months to see how we are doing and make plans. Anyone is welcome to bring energy and ideas. We will be meeting in August (after the AGM) so keep an eye out for that date. If you would like to share news, feedback, ideas and cycling stories, please contact me in the meantime – cmgorham@gmail.com is best, or whatsApp on 0825622388 Keep the wheels turning!

Club News

  • Please join us for our AGM on 31 July at the Albany Sports Club at 18:00. We’ll run the Time Trial together at 17:15, and then grab a drink and settle in for the meeting.
  • News of our club revival must be getting out there as I received two emails last month from online sports kit shops who wanted to tell us about their kit. Do have a look at their websites:
  • 1) Enjoy Fitness is a company that manufactures a range of sports gear, specialising in cycling, running and triathlon. http://enjoyfitness.co.za/store/
  • 2)The second company is Bioracer. The kit is made in Belgium. Internationally, they manufacture the Dimension Data kit as well as the Belgium, German and Netherlands Olympic teams kit to mention a few. Here in SA, corporate companies like Old Mutual, Absa  and the latest, Team Vitality Discovery allows them to produce their kit.They also have retail kit that is available to purchase.You are welcome to visit the website at www.bioracer.com Please note, I have not personally tried the merchandise, this is just a medium to let you know what is out there.  Please do share your purchase experience with us if you choose to use either of the companies mentioned.
  • The GBS Mountain Drive Half Marathon is round the corner. It’s wonderful to see so many club members planning to join the run – however, it would be great if you can ask your cousins and aunties and adult colleagues if they can help out with the marshalling. If you can convince someone to help, please ask them to personally whattsapp (0826436733) or email David Stoloff (dstoloff@vghs.co.za). There will be a volunteers run the previous weekend too. It would  be a huge help if you could each try to find someone for the marshalling.
    Image-1-1

Any other news? We want to hear from you. kirstiwells03@gmail.com

Weekly Events

•Grahamstown Parkrun

Every Saturday morning at 8:00, starting at the Makana Botanical Gardens, Lucas Avenue. Contact: Nicola Brown grahamstownoffice@parkrun.com

072 180 1594

  • Albany Saints and Sinners Time trial

5:15pm every Tuesday from Albany Sports Club

  • Rhodes Athletics Club Time Trial

5:15pm every Wednesday from Rhodes Sport Building next to the field at the end of African Street

  • Trail Running

5:20pm every Wednesday from Gray’s Dam •Weekend Long Runs

We will confirm the details.

Upcoming Races and Events
Screen Shot 2018-07-03 at 11.20.02 AM

  • Saturday 14 – Sunday 15 July

JBayX Trail Run 2-day 60km, Saturday: 20km (7am) & 20km (7pm), Sunday: 20km

(7am), SuperTubes Park, Da Gama Road, Jeffreys Bay, 7am, Rieghard Janse van Rensburg 071 896 6831

  • Sunday 15 July JBayX Trail Run 10km & 5km, SuperTubes Park, Da Gama Road, Jeffreys Bay, 7am, Rieghard Janse van Rensburg 071 896 6831 – Saturday 28 July Nelson Mandela Bay SA Half Marathon Champs and 5km Pollock Beach, Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth.

7am(21km) and 9am(5km)

Contact: Alan Taylor 083 658 0050 – Sunday 29 July

Gulu Trail Challenge 10km and 4km

Farm 19 Gulu, near East London

Contact: Nadia Lucouw 078091 7200

  • 29 July Tsomo Half Marathon, 10km and 5km

Mtsheko Bridge, Cofimvaba

8am

Contact: Nomakwezi Manqaba 083 602 2801

’Til next time, keep fit, healthy and stay warm.

Kirsti

July Newsletter

The winter solstice has come and gone so in theory we have started the slide towards summer.  It certainly doesn’t feel like it.  This festival week has been bitterly cold.  Those runners heading off to Knysna this weekend are packing extra blankets, gloves, beanies and hot water bottles to give to those in need at the start of the Forest Marathon and Half Marathon.  The dedication to running though, has not abated.  The early morning running groups are still gathering in the dark – even if the layers hide their identity – for their run and it is always fabulous to see runners out on the road enjoying the crisp air.  Our time trial will be back in full swing from next week, 10 July, and we look forward to seeing many of you at the start at 5:15pm.

A reminder of our AGM on 31 July at 6:00pm, immediately after the time trial.

Chairman’s report

Hi Everyone,

Halfway through the year and with the Festival atmosphere in the air I realise that a lot has happened behind the scenes in a short amount of time.

At last I can confirm that Cathy Gorham will be joining our club committee to assist with the cycling division.

Cathy is one of the original Saints & Sinners pillars and I’m very happy to have her on board to assist us in getting the cycling situation back on standard!

At the same time, I want to say thank you to Adrian Stoltz who is stepping down as our treasurer. I hope that now he can join our cyclists and relax a bit without worrying about the club finances.

Also a big thank you to Rose Hurford who has been managing our new athletic clothing project. We will be showcasing these garments and our new club Gazebo at our AGM.

Talking about the AGM – Please diarise this date:

31 July 2018 at 6:00pm after the time trial.

This is your platform to discuss any issues or ideas and we can update our members in person on the future of the club regarding events, club runs/cycles and socials.

Regarding events – we have been meeting with Eastern Province Athletics(EPA) quite a bit in trying to improve our experience for hosting events and to improve our club management. There are always places for improvement and we want to ensure that our club’s standard is on par with the rest of South Africa’s.

Lastly – we have a few members who have signed up on our website who have not paid us yet – we will get in contact with you to discuss your requirements as we are required to pay the EPA and the Albany club for each member and we need to ensure that these monies are paid – otherwise the club will fall into disrepute and we will no longer be able to host any events.

Otherwise enjoy the rest of the Festival and don’t forget to hit the road! Jaco

Race Report Backs

In June I had the pleasure of joining a few other super excited athletes for the third trail run in the Oxpecker Series, The African Oxpecker.  What an event! The Green family, of Winterton, have put together a superbly organised weekend with every eventuality thought of and catered for, from hot water bottles in the goody bags to strip stations at the start and 3km mark of each stage of the race to drop off the layers we wore to survive the cold start.  Catering was handled by the amazing ‘Farmer’s Daughter’ team who ensured all the athletes went home heavier than when they arrived.

Day 1 was 21km.  The first 10 was a climb to the top of Spioenkop Mountain.  This was really tough but the ‘compulsory’ selfie stops meant we got to catch our breath as we were distracted by the unbelievable views.  The remaining 10 was a leisurely jog all the way down the hill to the last flat kilometre around the camp to the finish line.

Day 2 was 16km and a lot less strenuous.  I think some athletes were very grateful for this after the disco under the trees from the previous night that went on into the small hours of Sunday morning.  We were taken to our secret start by local taxi drivers early Sunday morning driving us safely through the mist which only added to the thrill of the event.  This leg started with a 3km jog through the mielie fields into the beautiful acacia forests.  This leg was slightly more technical with narrow, rocky single track and a floating bridge river crossing but that really just added to the fun. Prize giving was a jovial affair with the African Oxpecker winner taking the honours of overall winner (from all three events) in a record time NINE minutes faster than any previous winner. The Green family wanted to make their event as green as possible and each participant went home with a tin cup and some seeds.  The participant who sends in the best photograph of their sprouting seed can win their entry for 2019.

I certainly am planning on being there but in the mean time – if the sound of this kind of event appeals to you – have a look at the Kudu Classic just outside Bedford.  This event is a bit smaller but just as awesome!!! It is on 11 and 12 November.  Hope to see you there.

Exciting Cycling News and Updates

Cycling membership as we know has taken a bit of a knock. Some of us have been discussing how to revive cycling activities. We will continue to do this, but how successful we are depends very much on whether we meet cyclists needs and if we have the resources to do so. That means identifying how to support and encourage cycling as well as attracting members who will assist in the process.

Using feedback from the recent rider survey, we decided to focus first on getting group rides going again. Over the last couple of months, there’s been growing turn-out at the Saturday morning ride.

In May and June, we had rides to

  • Riebeeck East, where everyone stopped off for coffee and muffins at Mooimeisies Guesthouse,
  • Bathurst, via Penny’s Hoek and stopping of course at the Pig and Whistle,
  • Kenton, where we enjoyed freshly prepared boerewors rolls at middle beach We asked people to organise their own transport back but also offered some space to bring back those who didn’t have someone to fetch them.

Rides to the microwave tower on the Highlands road also proved popular. Cold and galeforce winds could not stop a large group enjoying a hard ride out but a fast return for coffee at Noom!

The plan is to offer varied, regular rides with a social element that caters for as wide a range of cyclists as possible. No one is left behind – there is always an experienced rider to check on back-markers.

Just Pedal Cycles (in Cuyler Street) have been organising the rides and making sure everyone has a fun, safe ride that is as challenging as they feel up to. They have lots of ideas and info for anyone wanting to know about routes and rides in our area, so do pop in and speak to Andre or Denise if you need any help or want to know more about the group rides.

Not everyone is ready, has time, or is keen to ride 2 to 3 hours. So we are looking at shorter routes and ideas for newcomers or those getting back into cycling. There are plans too for a “get to know your bike”, bike-skills workshop aimed at encouraging women in particular to join us.

The focus is very much on G2C right now but we do have some exciting plans, so watch this space, and the club’s Facebook page!

Huge thanks to Jaco, Ian, Oliver, Ken, Jolandi, Denise, Andre and “newby” Fretson for their input and commitment to getting the wheels turning again. We agreed to meet every few months to see how we are doing and make plans. Anyone is welcome to bring energy and ideas. We will be meeting in August (after the AGM) so keep an eye out for that date. If you would like to share news, feedback, ideas and cycling stories, please contact me in the meantime – cmgorham@gmail.com is best, or whatsApp on 0825622388 Keep the wheels turning!

Club News

  • Please join us for our AGM on 31 July at the Albany Sports Club at 18:00. We’ll run the Time Trial together at 17:15, and then grab a drink and settle in for the meeting.
  • News of our club revival must be getting out there as I received two emails last month from online sports kit shops who wanted to tell us about their kit. Do have a look at their websites:
  • 1) Enjoy Fitness is a company that manufactures a range of sports gear, specialising in cycling, running and triathlon. http://enjoyfitness.co.za/store/
  • 2)The second company is Bioracer. The kit is made in Belgium. Internationally, they manufacture the Dimension Data kit as well as the Belgium, German and Netherlands

Olympic teams kit to mention a few. Here in SA, corporate companies like Old Mutual, Absa  and the latest, Team Vitality Discovery allows them to produce their kit.They also have retail kit that is available to purchase.You are welcome to visit the website at www.bioracer.com Please note, I have not personally tried the merchandise, this is just a medium to let you know what is out there.  Please do share your purchase experience with us if you choose to use either of the companies mentioned.

  • The GBS Mountain Drive Half Marathon is round the corner. It’s wonderful to see so many club members planning to join the run – however, it would be great if you can ask your cousins and aunties and adult colleagues if they can help out with the marshalling. If you can convince someone to help, please ask them to personally whattsapp (0826436733) or email David Stoloff (dstoloff@vghs.co.za). There will be a volunteers run the previous weekend too. It would  be a huge help if you could each try to find someone for the marshalling.

Any other news? We want to hear from you. kirstiwells03@gmail.com

Weekly Events

•Grahamstown Parkrun

Every Saturday morning at 8:00, starting at the Makana Botanical Gardens, Lucas Avenue. Contact: Nicola Brown grahamstownoffice@parkrun.com

072 180 1594

  • Albany Saints and Sinners Time trial

5:15pm every Tuesday from Albany Sports Club

  • Rhodes Athletics Club Time Trial

5:15pm every Wednesday from Rhodes Sport Building next to the field at the end of African Street

  • Trail Running

5:20pm every Wednesday from Gray’s Dam •Weekend Long Runs

We will confirm the details.

Upcoming Races and Events

  • Saturday 14 – Sunday 15 July

JBayX Trail Run 2-day 60km, Saturday: 20km (7am) & 20km (7pm), Sunday: 20km

(7am), SuperTubes Park, Da Gama Road, Jeffreys Bay, 7am, Rieghard Janse van Rensburg 071 896 6831

  • Sunday 15 July JBayX Trail Run 10km & 5km, SuperTubes Park, Da Gama Road, Jeffreys Bay, 7am, Rieghard Janse van Rensburg 071 896 6831 – Saturday 28 July Nelson Mandela Bay SA Half Marathon Champs and 5km Pollock Beach, Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth.

7am(21km) and 9am(5km)

Contact: Alan Taylor 083 658 0050 – Sunday 29 July

Gulu Trail Challenge 10km and 4km

Farm 19 Gulu, near East London

Contact: Nadia Lucouw 078091 7200

  • 29 July Tsomo Half Marathon, 10km and 5km

Mtsheko Bridge, Cofimvaba

8am

Contact: Nomakwezi Manqaba 083 602 2801

’Til next time, keep fit, healthy and stay warm.

Kirsti

May Newsletter

May Newsletter

Welcome back to a slightly chillier, a slightly darker, but a no less busy Grahamstown, after the Easter holiday. Looking at the wonderful race report backs in this issue it is obvious that our club athletes used the extra holiday time to put in the extra hours to participate in some amazing events around our beautiful province.

The moon was still up on my run this morning and it’s size and beauty once again reminded me how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful little town where we can really appreciate the simple pleasures life has to offer.

Chairman’s Report

Winter is knocking at our door which means that it’s getting darker much earlier these days.

Please remember to be safe and wear bright clothing when you’re out on the road.

Our time trial will also start 15 minutes earlier from this week (17:15) so please feel free to join us in a safe environment. 

This past weekend myself, David Stoloff and Nadia Czeredrecki-Schmidt ran the 21km route that we want to use for the GBS 1/2 Marathon and it was actually quite enjoyable.marathon_route

I believe that this will be quite a fun race and invite you to join us on the 25th of August for a great event!

The A.S.S. committee will be meeting on Thursday, the 3rd of May to discuss:

– The date for the AGM,

– Our current cycling situation in town,

– Our commitment and vision to our development runners and

– Benefits for our club members for 2019.

Thank you to everyone who assisted and completed our cycling survey.

Some much needed information was received that will hopefully help our committee make some informed decisions towards cycling in the club.

Also worth mentioning – we have been accommodating all our ex members with our e-mail communication.

This will unfortunately be the last e-mail sent out to our ex-members.

If you would like to continue receiving these emails, please consider becoming a member again.

For our runners we have kept the membership the same as last year(R340.00) and R230.00 for our Cyclists/Triathletes/Social club members.

We are slowly but surely chipping away at the historical issues that have plagued the club and we are focusing on value added services to our members.

Unfortunately, as we are a small committee our capacity and time restraints work against us but we are moving forward…slowly but surely.

I do however believe that we have made some great progress in the past 4 months and we will continue to do so.

Race Report Backs

Argus 2018 – Ian Siebörger

In Tandem

In June 2014, my father, Andrew Siebörger, suffered from a stroke while cycling home from work in Cape Town.  The stroke damaged the connection between the language centres in his brain, leaving him with conduction aphasia.  He got back on his bike and rode the Cape Town Cycle Tour in 2015, before retiring from work and cycle races and moving to Jeffreys Bay.  This is the story of how we came to ride the 2018 Cape Town Cycle Tour together on a tandem, as written by my father. – Ian Siebörger 

“I’m tired of doing the Argus. I’ve done it 13 times; that’s enough.” I said to Ian at lunch, after the very disappointing gale-blowing-non-Argus-2017. We had deposited Ian at the start of the race that morning, the howling wind blowing bikes “in horizontal mode”! Within an hour he had phoned us from the CBD to say that the race had been cancelled while he was in the chute, so we had to pick him up again.

I continued, “The only thing that would make me want to ride in another Cape Town Cycle Tour is to ride with you on a tandem. Maybe we could borrow a tandem for that.” That was just a throwaway comment.

In July my wife Sandy and I skyped Ian for one of our weekly chats. “I have tried to borrow a tandem, but I haven’t been successful. I don’t think I can find one in Grahamstown,” Ian said.

Oh rats, Ian,” I thought to myself. “Did he really think that I was being serious? I’m completely unfit anyway and I don’t relish the idea of training for months.” So that was the end of that short conversation.

We went to Cape Town for two Siebörger birthdays in August. One night I was not sleeping well, thinking about all sorts of random things. Suddenly I thought, “I know! Brian and Frances [my parents’ friends who happen to be the parents of Olympic cyclist Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio – Ian] have done many Arguses, including the two of them on a tandem.” Next day I WhatsApped Brian: “Do you know of anybody who has a tandem that I could borrow for the Argus next year?”

In a few minutes Brian replied: “Sure, you can use our one. Today Frances and I have just talked about selling it. You can train on it and ride it in the Argus.” What a generous couple, even though we would have to take it to Jeffreys Bay for the six months of training. We visited their home and we tried to fit the bike into our Polo Vivo(!) because our bike carrier and / or our trailer were back in Jeffreys Bay. Incredibly Brian said, “OK, we do have another bike carrier, so you can borrow this one for the six months.” Wow.

Back home Sandy said to me: “You can’t just practise on it alone. You need to have a training buddy. I’ll try to see if I can ride with you on the tandem.” In the long-lost past we had ridden our homemade heavy tandem in Jeffreys Bay, for about a kilometre or two, especially on the hard sand along the seashore at Kabeljous. Our rusty tandem is now an artwork on the gable of our house.

I changed the pedals on the tandem: I (the Pilot) have cleated shoes; Sandy (the Stoker) wore takkies with the ordinary flat pedals. Next I adjusted the two saddles, the nice padded saddles, according to our heights. Finally we donned our helmets. So we were ready – or were we?

On the verge of the road we hopped on. And that was our first argument – a tandem can make or break a marriage. And we were still stationary! Of course, on a bike, I have always started off with my right pedal high up. Of course, Sandy had always started off with her left pedal high up! Soon we realised that we, perversely, are opposite footed: I am right-footed and Sandy is left-footed. I won: the Pilot always has to win every argument! I cleated into my right pedal and we set off, starting with our right feet high. We wobbled wildly like drunken decrepit pensioners. And we landed, mercifully, on the grass! And with me still cleated into my right pedal.

Immediately I realised that I needed to change my pedals to flat ones. (Over the six months of training I became a master-pedal-exchanger.) A week later we bought gloves, for obvious reasons.

Try #2. We started again, warily, managing to keep our balance and we lurched along the pavement, scattering children, dogs, garbage bins and zimmer-frames. (A little poetic licence.) After navigating the block, victoriously, we disembarked at our front gate. We had strong cups of coffee.

Next day we encountered Granny. In Jeffreys Bay there are many grannies (and we are not in that bracket yet). I am referring to using the granny gear, obviously. We had mapped out a route on which we could train; we were trying to give wide berth to uninsured cars. Turning westwards we would tackle the vicious hills by going inland, rather than riding on the level Da Gama Road, past the Beach Hotel Offsales and Spar Tops.

Once again, the Pilot was in charge – of the gears. After 10 minutes I encountered the brakes with an almighty screech as we came down from Wavecrest. “STOP! You’re going far too fast,” came the shrill voice from the Stoker. Mercifully we came to a halt at the four-way stop sign. Phew!

Turning left we got back onto Da Gama Road, named after the guy who navigated round the Cape of Good Hope. So we were about to circumnavigate Jeffreys Bay. The Pilot started to use the rear-view mirror, and the bicycle bell, some very important pieces of equipment. The only problem was that I, the Pilot, couldn’t look back because I was fixated on our unbalanced-ness and the hallmark J-Bay potholes. [Mere dimples compared to our Grahamstown craters! – Ian] Eventually, when we got back home we moved the mirror to the back handlebars. From then on the Stoker took charge of the mirror.

We turned left onto the old West Way road. First we climbed the little hill; then came the Middle Hill and, in a kilometre or two, the BIG HILL. At the bottom of the valley I fluffed the gear-change, crashing from the middle ring to granny gear. We couldn’t get the bike moving to go uphill. Praise the Lord there were no cars from behind and we managed to get going again using a side road. With a huff and many puffs we made it to the top. Thank the Lord for Granny!

With a few narrow scrapes we went down to the southern side of the town and we passed Dolphin Beach, looking at the beautiful ocean. Once again we came adrift at the one-and-only traffic light in J-Bay because the hill-approach is steep, and we couldn’t start off into the intersection. We were quite chuffed with our first 15km ride.

Over the next few weeks we became professional tandem-cyclists. We communicated with each other continuously.

Pilot: “Hole!”; “Big ring”; “Granny”; “Gearing down” (especially for a stop street); “Going right”; “Rolling” (free-wheeling), and “Getting off left”.

Stoker: “Car 40m / 20m” (looking in the mirror); “Easier / Harder” (Stoker needed a gear-change), and “Clear behind”.

Day by day we got a little fitter. At 5:40am we would start out so that we would have minimal traffic. We settled into our daily 21km rides. At the beginning we clocked in at 60 minutes, and then by the end of our training we did our best time: 50 minutes. Sometimes, on a lovely morning, we did our 33km route around town including Marina Martinique, Aston Bay and the causeway to Paradise Beach. Between December and February we ventured further, first Humansdorp (33km), then on to Hankey (64km) and eventually to St Francis Bay on a very blustery day (74km).

At Christmas, training started in earnest when Ian came here to practise with me. (Ian’s wife Cathy and Sandy were the enthusiastic supporters.)  For our first ride I piloted for a few kilometres, while Ian was stoking. Very soon we were not stoked about those respective roles, so we swapped saddles. For a tandem, the Pilot should be the heavier one, for the steering and the stability. (Ian had overtaken me by a few centimetres in height while I had become thinner over the last three years.) So father and son have changed roles in my retirement days. And Ian has powerful hill-climbing legs.

We had lovely weather for the last few days of 2017. Riding to St Francis Bay and towards Hankey we zoomed down and we got up the hills in record time. At the beginning of February, Sandy and I (with the intrepid steed on the back of the car) went to Grahamstown for the last training ride. It was another wonderful day when over the big hills and dales, Ian and I rode for 90km to Carlisle Bridge (on the road to Cradock) and back. Ian got the gears working well, and he did his personal best time on that route. So we were ready and raring to go to the Herald Continental Cycle Tour in Port Elizabeth.

On Saturday 24 February the weather was threatening and rainy. On the Sunday the gentle rain continued as we drove from J-Bay, then offloaded the bike in PE at the beachfront.  As we went to the start of the race, it stopped raining. The westerly wind was a bit tiresome, but we came back into the city in triumph and with a very good time. Once again Ian and I had cycled very well, in spite of a little glitch near the beginning.

Sandy and I drove to Grace Cottage, our second home in Edgemead, Cape Town at the end of February. “I’d love to show you my old routes, especially cycling up and down Chappies and Suikerbossie. We can suffer together!” I said to Sandy. So a week before the Argus we drove to Three Anchor Bay and parked there. At six o’clock in the morning it was still dark, the full moon was glistening on the ocean, there was no wind and there was not too much traffic either. What a magnificent cycling day.

At Camps Bay the sky was lighter; with orange on the horizon and aquamarine above. We left behind the suburbs and we took in the pleasures of nature, the cool Atlantic air, moonlight over the sea and a nice smooth road. Victoria Drive was not too steep, but going down into Hout Bay we really motored. (The speed is classified.) Going up Chapman’s Peak was not a doddle, but pleasant enough. At the top, looking across the bay, we saw the full moon setting behind the Sentinel. And, of course, going down the other side was quite exhilarating, but also nerve-wracking – especially for the Stoker.

At Noordhoek we popped in on our friends the Fryes, who were having breakfast, before turning back. Then it started: little Chappies, BIG CHAPPIES, little Bossies in Hout Bay Republic, then (%$#@) SUIKERBOSSIE. We did it!! We really did it! We didn’t need to get off the tandem at all. Of course the Stoker did most of the work. From Bakoven to Bantry Bay and Sea Point the traffic, at 8:30am, was a bit scary, but we enjoyed the route very much, 64km of it.

On Tuesday, Sandy and I did our last training ride going into the Tygerberg hills, from the smelly cowsheds at Fair Cape to Nitida up Tiekiedraai, but the Cape traffic has got much worse. On Friday 9 March Ian and Cathy drove westwards from Grahamstown to Grace. We went to register at the Cape Town Cycle Tour Expo: (tick). Tandem clean and working well: (tick). Son and father helmets (tick). Energy food and drinks: (tick). We were ready!

And what an immaculate, breathtaking day dawned on 11 March 2018! Between Ian and me, we have had 24 Arguses, and we have had only about 5 amazing days, weather-wise. Wound-up, we waited to get into our 3D start chute on the Parade.

“Hoopla!” the announcer shouted, and 600 cyclists responded. (In the whole race there were 804 tandems, but all except for the racing tandems at the front were put into the normal open / seeded start groups.)

One by one the Pilot picked off other cyclists as we went up Nelson Mandela Drive; apparently our seeding was not strenuous enough. At Mostert’s Mill Cathy and Sandy were waiting at their customary place beside the road, cheering us on. At Wynberg Hill my sister Helene and daughter Lyn were also trying to spot two blue shirts, a black helmet and a luminous green one. We passed trains and buses of bikes on the Blue Route and the now-Stoker kept yelling to the Pilot: “Don’t overtake; keep our energy for later,” meanwhile the Pilot was shouting to other cyclists: “Tandem passing right!”

The sea looked quite magnificent as we rode at 40km/h from Kalkbaai to Fish Hoek. I have never, ever, heard a poem recited on a Cycle Tour, but the Pilot shouted: “i thank You God for most this amazing day” (by e.e. cummings) to whoever was within earshot, especially the Stoker. What a strange Siebörger tandem-team we are!

Ian loves Smitswinkel hill, on the way to the Cape Point reserve. Meanwhile on the 13 Arguses I have ridden, I have always languished on that deceptive rise. (Here is an excursus, an off-the-point story, from 2014, three months after my stroke:  Sandy and I were hiking in the foothills of the Helderberg and we looked out over False Bay. “See that hill?” I gesticulated into the distance, somewhere between Simon’s Town and Cape Point lighthouse. But, very frustrated, I could not find the name of that hill that I knew from my cycling days. So I had to act out the name, a charade. “Um…um…um a fire” and then “Urr…urr…urr a horse”; “grrr……(gripping my fists)… a hammer”; finally “a shop.” Patient Sandy! For 15 minutes she tried to guess. Eventually: “Smitswinkel”. Victory!)

We whizzed through Scarborough to Sun Valley, even though we were riding into the northwest breeze. And there were Sandy and Cathy, again clapping and photographing, at Noordhoek this time, as we prepared for Chappies! What a champion hill-climber, towing me along! And Suikerbossie was even better than I had hoped. I didn’t have a cycle computer, but I was sure that our time must have been pretty good as we coasted past Llandudno down to the coast.

Camps Bay was very quiet – were the roads blocked off? And Clifton? I can’t even remember much about that. In a minute or two, we crossed the line! What a fast ride. We got off the bike and we still felt fresh – I have never felt that good after any of my previous tours. My medal is now resplendent in our lounge to prove it. Both Ian and I did our best personal time(s): 3hr 38min. (Ian came first, closely followed by me!)

As we offloaded the tandem in Edgemead, casually I said to Ian: “It is OUR tandem now.” “What?” he said flabbergasted.

Brian and Frances had told us the previous day that they wanted to give us the tandem after all the fun that we have had on it. What an amazing gift! Two days later we had dinner with them and we presented them with a tandem also! Fifteen years ago a dear friend had given us a wonderful ornament, a beautiful artwork made of steel: a fully-functioning tandem, about 40cm long. Brian and Frances were very touched, and all four of us left the restaurant with very warm hearts. They had given us a very generous gift, and, by no means of comparison, we had passed a blessing on to them.

Ironman 2018 – Nolan Berriman

Once again, Ironman proved to exceed all my expectations.  I am extremely privileged to have now completed my 5th Ironman.  This year was a particularly special race.  I had a wonderful swim, and while out on the bike I was once again reminded how blessed one is to live this life.  The magnificent views and ocean breeze on one’s face makes all the sacrifice and training to get to this point, worthwhile.  I felt strong and comfortable on the run and soaked up the vibrant atmosphere from the spectators.  Reaching the point of running across the red carpet epitomises why one keeps coming back.  A big thank you to my loved ones, family and friends.  Ironman is a truly humbling experience and you will never feel more alive in that moment.

Sole Sisters 2018 – Megan Hobson

Sole Sisters complete 107km fundraising run from Blanco to Bedford

9 local women, under the banner of the Sole Sisters, have, for the second year in a row, completed a three-day 107km run from Blanco to Bedford – and in the process raised over R100,000 towards empowering and supporting their charity of choice for 2018, Lukhanyiso Village. More than that, they have provided a powerful example of community-building around a purpose, and realised the possibility of stretching personal limits when working as a team.

The Sole Sisters first did this exact same run in April of 2017 and found it was so enjoyable and the awareness efforts so successful that they decided to do it again. This year’s Sole Sister individuals were mostly the same from 2017 with the addition of 3 newbies.

The Sole Sister event is not so much a race as it is a journey. There are no time limits or cut offs and instead it is an opportunity to experience team work, endurance and mutual support. The journey started shortly after sun rise at Blanco Guest Farm near Tarkastad on Friday the 20th of April. The route traverses the Baviaans Conservancy to eventually finish at The Mill Cricket Ground, near Bedford 3 days later. The 107km are broken into 3 legs of each 38, 37 and 32 km segments, each taking around 6 hours to complete.

The 9 women endured three very warm days on the gravel roads, many plasters and running repairs on blistered feet, and sore muscles and joints – but were treated to the spectacular scenery along this isolated and mountainous route, urged on at every step by each other. The local farming community also came out in strong support, with homemade placards and encouragement (and welcome ice-cubes) along the route, as well as providing meals and accommodation each evening. On the final day, the runners were, once again, accompanied by the women of the Siyatinga Craft project – one of the organisations to benefit from the funds raised – singing and dancing encouragement for the last few kilometres from the back of a bakkie.

This community of support, centred in Grahamstown and the Eastern Cape, but drawing in from much further afield through a social media and online donation campaign, has raised a staggering R100,000 in cash. The amount raised has exceeded expectations and is more than R30,000 compared to last year.

The beneficiary organisation chosen for the 2018 Sole Sisters fund raising effort is Lukhanyiso Village. A vision of community support for children held by Lara Kruiskamp (one of the 2018 Sole Sisters).

The Sole Sisters would like to thank each and every person who has bought into their vision and are thankful for all the support and well wishes by friends and family.

Website: http://www.solesisters.co.za

YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJfCN6eQo6l0Z8qvj5f_nTA

Club News

Anything you want to tell us?  We’d love to know.

Please share your news with us

Weekly Events

•Grahamstown Parkrun

Every Saturday morning at 8:00, starting at the Makana Botanical Gardens, Lucas Avenue.

Contact: Nicola Brown grahamstownoffice@parkrun.com

072 180 1594

•Albany Saints and Sinners Time trial

5:15pm every Tuesday from Albany Sports Club

•Rhodes Athletics Club Time Trial

5:15pm every Wednesday from Rhodes Sport Building next to the field at the end of African Street

•Trail Running

5:20pm every Thursday from Gray’s Dam

•Weekend Long Runs

We will confirm the details.

•Cycling: http://www.saintsandsinners.co.za/cycling/

•Triathlon: http://www.saintsandsinners.co.za/triathlon/

Upcoming Races and Events

  • Long Club Run

1 May

Albany Sports Club 06h00

20 km

There will be two unmanned water points along the route but please feel free to bring your

Own.

  • SPAR Ladies 10km

5 May

Pollok Beach Front, Summerstrand.  Pre-event festivities from 06h00 and race starts at 07h00.

Contact: Loynes Jenkerson 082 644 6422

  • Mazars Diesel Depot Challenge 15km

5 May

Hamilton’s Athletic Club, Pearce and Chamberlain Road, Selborne, East London

Contact: Bronek Urban 082 577 0932

  • Blanco Trail Half Marathon and 10km2018-01-10-PHOTO-00000685

12 May

Old Selbornian Rd Runners

 

  • Sunridge Village 10km Family Fun Run

12 May

Port Elizabeth Amateur Athletic Club

Contact: Kevin Benade 079 490 0427

  • Grahamstown’s Get Out and Run Series

20 May

goar

  • Aspen Pharmacare Panamor Gel Half Marathon

26 May

Aspen Athletics Club, Maranatha Street Children’s Home, Southdene, PE

Contact: Wendy Denston 076 8348124

 

Look forward to seeing you all at our time trials every Tuesday

’Til next time

Keep warm and happy running

Kirsti

A.S.S. Cycling Survey

A big Hello to all our current members and ex-members.

The club is currently aware that not much is being done for cycling in Grahamstown.
We have spoken about cycling in our past couple of newsletters and in the background we have met with various stakeholders to try and get a general idea regarding the current cycling landscape.

A lot of information has been gathered but we need you to indicate to us what your needs are.

 

We created a survey on our club website with 6 short questions:
http://www.saintsandsinners.co.za/

 

Please take a few minutes to complete and allow us to try and find a solution to enable cycling in Grahamstown for the near future.

 

Thank you!

Jaco

March Newsletter

March Newsletter

 I’m finding it hard to believe that I am already writing my second newsletter of the year.  The days seem to be passing by with incredible speed.  The fact that I have to keep my headlamp on for most of my early morning run, to avoid the potholes and cow pats in the road, is proof that Autumn is fast approaching.

Our new committee has been working tirelessly behind the scenes, and we are happy to report that our running club seems to be increasingly busy this month.

Our weekly Tuesday time trials are growing slowly which is most encouraging to see.

The first ever Public Holiday fun run held on Human Right’s Day was very well attended.  Aside from our beloved chairman’s accident, the day went off without a hitch and many of the runners stayed behind to enjoy a social coffee at Noom.  Trevor Davies, from Crossfit, enthusiastically offered us the gym’s facilities for any future events – an offer we will most certainly take him up on.

 

Chairman’s Report

 Hi Everyone

It is Two Oceans season and we have quite a few athletes running this weekend.  We wish them all the best.  We would also like to thank everyone who sponsored our three development runners, especially the Bannatynes and our Cape Town member Ryan Bruton who assisted with transport and accommodation.  The club donated R3000 to them plus an additional R1000 was sponsored.

– Cycling:

We are aware that the previous newsletter didn’t reach all our members. We spoke about support for cycling in it and a transcript is available at:

http://www.saintsandsinners.co.za/february-addendum/

Fundamentally we accommodate the cyclists but we don’t have the capacity to support them at present as we have no cyclists involved in the club.
This is a problem as there is an assumption that the club will assist with the hosting of cycling events for little/no compensation.

At present we are busy with negotiations for the G2C and I call on all members to support us as we are busy with long term planning that will benefit our club members and the cycling community in the not too distant future. More about this in our next news letter.

Historically A.S.S was hugely involved with the organisation of this event however as the cycling landscape changed and cyclists didnt require club membership/licensing the clubs role waned and at present we there is no benefit for us to continue our support.

However – As we are a multisport club we would be naive not to consider supporting our cycling community and we have a a plan to involve the cyclists but we need our running members to meet us 1/2 way.
Once the negotiations are complete we will send further communication to you all.

-Time Trials:
A huge thank you to everyone who has joined us for our Tuesday evening time trials.
It is slowly but surely becoming more popular and I would like to see more of our club members join in on the fun.
We have members from all ages and speeds running with us and I believe the networking is valuable as new friendships allow for more frequent runs.
Please try and join us on the next one!

– Future Events:
* At present we are looking at hosting a possible 3 local events this year.
This largely depends on the joint efforts with other clubs and/or parties and we will update you once we have more information.

* Also – there seems to be interest from a few members to start training for the 2019 Comrades. Should this be something you are interested in contact me(Jaco) and we can get the ball rolling.

– The Mountain Drive 1/2 Marathon:
This historic race has a new sponsor for then next 3 years – GBS Mutual Bank in Grahamstown.
The Rotary Club is managing the organisation and the previous A.S.S committee will be assisting with various tasks.
We might reach out to our members for some assistance but at present we have everything under control.

– AGM:
I would like to propose the date for our next AGM to be 14 June 2018. We will confirm the details in good time.
Please note, these meetings can be long(between 2 to 3 hours) however there is a bar and it is not to formal.
These meetings are rather crucial as we as a committee needs to ensure that we understand your challenges plus requirements and this is your platform for these discussion.
We also need to update our members with important information on the club’s future, the state of our finances and various other issues.
Please pencil this date in and commit, I cannot stress the importance of this enough.

– Club Kit:
We have had a few requests to update our closet and we have already met with all the local suppliers and are awaiting feedback from a few out of town options.
A couple of our members have indicated that they are willing to assist in this matter and we’ll have all the options ready for you at the above mentioned AGM.

Jaco

 

Membership Fees

 At the AGM we also made decisions about this year’s membership fees for cyclists, trail runners and social members of the club.  You’ll be glad to hear that, unlike VAT, our fees aren’t going up a cent!  This is a perfect time for all our cyclists and trail runners to get up to date with their subs.  To find out how, please visit http://www.saintsandsinners.co.za/fees2018/.

 

Race Report Backs

 We’d love to hear what you’ve been up to, please email us and let us share your experience with our members

 

A COMMUNITY TAKES TO CITY STREETS FOR NITE RACE

The Makana Brick Race over eight kilometres of Grahamstown’s streets as the sun sets is undoubtedly one of the biggest and most popular social-cum-sporting in the city each year. Essentially it’s a fun run that brings together people from all parts of the community.

Hundreds of runners, joggers and walkers take to the well-marshalled streets with two refreshment stations for their fun-filled jaunt under starry skies.  This year’s race on Wednesday 14 March attracted a huge entry of about 500 townsfolk, Rhodes University students and hundreds of pupils from local private and public schools.

The atmosphere was on the jovial side as local battle re-enactment specialist Basil Mills set the field on its way at Somerset field on the Graeme College campus with some booming help from his hand-held ‘mini-cannon’, as one participant described it.

Among those in the field were a good number of Rhodes students sporting their athletics club colours.

A feature of the race, and indicative of the support given by sponsors Makana Brick, is that every finisher receives not only a medal, but also a freshly-harvested pineapple from a farm in the Lower Albany district.

There were also spot prizes for lucky finishers and prize-money for the faster finishers.

A sight to behold on race evening was the looks on the faces of schoolchildren as they proudly held up their medals and pineapples upon finishing the journey on foot along city streets.

Another all-important feature of the event is that proceeds go to Grahamstown Hospice, an organisation that performs invaluable work within the Grahamstown community.

For the record, the men’s and ladies’ winners this year were Masixole Xhayiya and DSG pupil Kendal Rose respectively. Runners-up were Lubabalo Bokuva (men) and DSG pupil Emily McLean (ladies). Third-placed finishers were Sisa Camagu (men) and Terri-Lynn Penney (ladies).

 

Club News

 We want to hear from you!!! Please let us celebrate your news with the club.

 

Upcoming Races and Events

1_1_orig

 

–  Autumn Trail Series

There’s a great series of trail running races happening soon in the PE area.  The final race is on Sunday 8 April at Crossways Farm Village.  Each race has a 5, 10 and 15km route.  For more info check out http://www.bigosports.co.za/events/34.

 

  • Old Mutual AC Half Marathon

14 April

Hamilton Sport Club, Selborne

21,1km; 10km; 5km

Contact: Boitumelo Lepman 082 565 9737

Tendani Mufamadi 083 236 2825

 

  • African Wildlife Artistry 40th Bruintjieshoogte Ultramarathon

21 April

Gill Primary School, Somerset East.

Ultramarathon; 25km; 15km; Fun Run

Contact: Henrico Marais 083 446 5598

Ronette Marais 083 505 7700

 

  • East London Pacers 10km

21 April

Beacon Bay Country Club

Contact: Sharonne Dewing 083 318 3853

 

  • Merrell Hobbit Trail Runs

28 April

Arminel Hotel – Hogsback

16-20km; 22-41km; 42,2km and up

Entries:  www.mountainrunner.co.za / www.entrytickets.net

 

  • Siza Vitality Half Marathon

28 April

Port Alfred High School

21,1km; 5km

Contact: Michael Mbambani 079 149 6796

Noluthando Vithi 083 553 6323

Mthuthuzeli Pikoli 071 308 8870

 

 

Weekly Events

 

  • Grahamstown Parkrun

Every Saturday morning at 8:00, starting at the Makana Botanical Gardens, Lucas Avenue.

Contact: Nicola Brown grahamstownoffice@parkrun.com

072 180 1594

  • Albany Saints and Sinners Time trial

5:30pm every Tuesday from Albany Sports Club

  • Rhodes Athletics Club Time Trial

5:15pm every Wednesday from Rhodes Sport Building next to the field at the end of African Street

  • Trail Running

5:20pm every Thursday from Gray’s Dam

  • Weekend Long Runs

We will confirm the details.

 

Have a happy, healthy and energetic Easter.

’til next time

Kirsti

February addendum

Hi everyone

My apologies, I thought I was being really clever and saving space o the February newsletter, but apparently our chairman’s newsletter and the fabulous race reports from some of our members didn’t publish.

So here goes…

Chairman’s Welcome

Hi Everyone,
Our AGM and 1st committee meeting are barely behind us and we’re already a quarter through the year. Our committee have been busy with networking and arrangements to try and see if we can improve on our current sitaution with regards to value added services and events.
Recently there has been a lot of talk regarding cycling and should cyclists continue to belong to a club.
From Cycling South Africas'(CSA) perspective not really but there are a few things we have to consider:
The sporting landscape has changed and the disciplines are varied. Cycling for instance doesnt require individual club membership/registration whilst running still does.
However in a small town like Grahamstown it just doesnt make sense to have multiple clubs without any events or organised runs/cycles including any kind of community support.
Also – the number of athletes for any unique discipline declines as the sport becomes more varied i.e. running now has trails, road & walking to compete with.
From my perspective it’s not about a running or cycling club – it’s about a running and cycling club. Albany Saints & Sinners are happy to accommodate atheletes from various disciplines.
Our capacity to organise and manage events falls a little short with our small committee with their own time constraints. More importantly, our committee consists of mainly runners – not fulltime cyclists.
As such we have no experience or support for cycling events. At the same time our objective is to revive our running and to accommodate our new members joining us from Run/Walk for LIfe.
Should any cyclists be able to assist and commit I would be happy to include them on our committee. It is clear that our cycling community is in need of good leadership/organisation and we welcome your assistance in this matter.
The club objectives for this year focuses a little closer to home with emphasis on a slightly more sociable scale.
– We have put a lot of time and effort into marking our current time trial & we also learned that using only yellow paint might be a little confusing. We will colour code the different distances in future. Please join us and meet the other members whilst improving your 4,5 or 8km time.
– We are in communication with Rhodes Athletics & Rhodes First Aid regarding a combined quarterly event &
– a new annual event later on in the year(these might include events for the cyclists). We will update you once this has been finalised.
The committee will use these events as building blocks in our new foundation and we would like to implement a new race in 2019 with the support of our members.
We are also in communication with Rhodes Athletics Club and Park Run, various cycling outlets in town and will reach out next to the Kowie Striders and GetOutAndRun team.
Our next AGM will be held in June 2018(we will confirm the exact date) and I would like to see more of our members attend to better understand your requirements, answer your questions and perhaps get some value added input from you.
We have also had some ideas regarding community out reach, which is a brilliant idea, in this instance doing a run whilst collecting litter in specific areas.
If any member would like to step forward and assist in organising this or something similar I would greatly appreciate it.
Unfortunately for the cyclists the Bellmont Valley Cycling race is cancelled for 2018. At present it’s uncertain if it will return.
The club is also not directly involved with the G2C race and at present we cannot confirm anything regarding this race.
I do have some good news for the runners though – The Mountain Drive 1/2 Marathon is continuing this year.
Saints & Sinners were approached last year to host this race & because of our limited resources we were happy to receive word that the Grahamstown Rotary club wanted to get involved.
Our previous committee met with the Rotary members and currently the organisation is underway. We will update you with a progress report as soon as possible.
Lastly we are also planning long runs for the weekends and are checking on locations, routes and vehicle support.
Our new Road Running Captain Kenny Noeka is currently the architecht behind this run & we will send out communication as soon as it is finalised.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any info, requirements or issues, even if it’s just a quick Whatsapp message.
Remember – “Don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when you are done.”
Jaco

Herald Continental MTB Cycle Tour

“I should’ve done the 30km event!” Those were my thoughts as I attempted my first ever MTB race, having literally taken position of my new MTB the day before. A sensible person would start off gently or at least know what they were getting themselves into…but no, I chose to do the 60km Herald Continental Cycle Tour. My mad (and experienced friends) did the 80km event and so I thought the middle would be the way to go. All went well for the first 20km, even the flat single track on the farm was manageable, the steep climb up to the KOH spot was no problem either. Things were going well…until we started on the single-track windy rocky descent. Oh my word! I tumbled off in the first few minutes and thought to myself: “There is no way I am cycling down there!” And so I didn’t. I literally walked for 40 minutes, jumping into the bushes with my bike as other fearless individuals zoomed passed me. Fortunately, this part of the race did eventually come to an end and I was able to get back on my bike and finish in a reasonable frame of mind. Lesson learnt here…do some skills training or at least get some experience before attempted these events.

Judy Stevenson

 

Herald Continental Cycle Tour (Road 106km)

Having not cycled a road race since the Argus in 1994, I was naturally apprehensive as I started (happily so) right at the back for this event. Once again my fast and experience friends were upfront and well into the course before I even got on my bike. Fortunately, I had my sister by my side and as she lives in Port Elizabeth, was also familiar with the course so all was good. The rain cleared and we were off. Having no experience riding in a bunch and as we were both training for iron man (my sister) and half ironman (me), we were quite happy to forge our own way into the wind. When we did join a bunch, there was a near collision reinforcing our decision to go it alone.

The first half of the course had a couple of short sharp hills, a few rolling hills and a slight head wind but all quite manageable. Riding up (and then down Maitland) with the ocean below was breathtaking, a pleasant change from the good old Bedford Road to Riebeck East that we regularly cycle. For me, the best part of this race was the last 18km; a downhill and then flat; something we seldom get to ride in Grahamstown with all the hills.

Despite being a participant rather than a competitor in these races, there is definitely sense of achievement when you pass those from an earlier group…maybe I am a competitor after all.

Judy Stevenson

The Addo Trail Run

The Addo Trail run is a must and has to be put on any runners bucket list.

It is a spectacular, superby organised trail run of 100 miles (for the very serious runners #HUGEHUGERESPECT), 76km (for the serious trail runners #HUGERESPECT) and a 44km (for any trail runner #FUNandRESPECT).

Proper, proper coffee (with a beautiful heart shape in the thick frothy milk) at the start shared with friendly fellow trail runners got us on our way. There are some really serious hills, which one looked at and said, “are you serious…” but were made instantly loads more fun in the mud, plenty of beautiful river crossings, where after the first time one tried to navigate around them and after that happily splashed through them , water and refreshment stops that groaned with magnificent food (Nellies millionaire shortbread….well you couldn’t just eat three of them you HAD to have more). Views that just took your breath away at the top and instantly made you forget about those aching muscles ..…the heather, flowers and vegetation up there was breath taking, At times it was difficult to run and look and take it all in at the same time but one realised when you were up there just how magnificent and wild the Eastern Cape is and how extremely fortunate we were to experience such beauty on our doorstep.

The trail was extremely well marked, running on the top of the Zuurberg mountains and down into the foresty valleys along single track and over rocky pools with friendly fellow trail runners. The top 76km runners would come past us and what an inspiration that  was….humble runners congratulating us on our achievements too.

Friends and family waiting at the end for you at the Zuurberg Inn making it even more special and of course that precious medal as a reminder that you have run #AfricasWildestUltra.

One takes away so many special memories but I think the most important one is how beautiful and spectacular our Eastern Cape is and how fortunate we are to have this magnificent trail run on our doorstep.

Nicole Craig

 

February Newsletter

Dear Saints and Sinners

This is it! Our new look newsletter that you can expect once a month. We’d love to see you at our new look Time Trial Start/Finish line at the Albany Sports Club every Tuesday at 5:30, especially now that the route has been cleaned up and is clearly marked – just what you need to start your week!

As a committee we are super excited to revive our club’s activities and are going all out to get Grahamstown excited about being a part of an active sports club again.  This newsletter will keep you updated on our weekly runs and cycles, as well as races and events for the month.

The committee’s contact details are available further on, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.  Keep up to date on our Facebook page as well.

Chairman’s Report

Hi Everyone,

Our AGM and 1st committee meeting are barely behind us and we’re already a quarter through the year. Our committee have been busy with networking and arrangements to try and see if we can improve on our current situation with regards to value added services and events.

Recently there has been a lot of talk regarding cycling and should cyclists continue to belong to a club.

Read more

Time to herald a new committee!

Dear Saints and Sinners,

Thursday 15 February 2018 was a momentous day, not only because South Africa got a new President, but also because Albany Saints and Sinners got a new committee!  Huge thanks to everyone who came out to participate in the AGM.  We made some very good decisions, and elected a team with fresh new energy to help the club move forward.  That also means that this will be my last club newsletter.  It’s been such a pleasure to keep you updated, and I wish Kirsti Wells all the best as our new club secretary!

It’s also a very busy time racing-wise, with the Herald Continental Cycle Tour MTB races happening at Addo last weekend as well as the Buffs Marathon.  Next weekend it’s time for the Herald Continental Cycle Tour road race, and it’s looking like it could be a wet one!  All the best to our riders gearing up for it.

 

CLUB AGM and a new committee!

Congratulations and welcome to our new committee:
Chairperson:  Jaco van Dyk
Secretary:  Kirsti Wells
Treasurer:  Adrian Stoltz
Licensing officer: Steve Beckerling
Trail running club captain: Nolan Berriman
Cycling engagement officer: Ken Watson
Road running club captain: Kenny Noeka

If you need to get hold of any of them, their email addresses are available on our website at http://www.saintsandsinners.co.za/committee/.

 

MEMBERSHIP FEES
At the AGM we also made decisions about this year’s membership fees for cyclists, trail runners and social members of the club.  You’ll be glad to hear that, unlike VAT, our fees aren’t going up a cent!  This is a perfect time for all our cyclists and trail runners to get up to date with their subs.  To find out how, please visit http://www.saintsandsinners.co.za/fees2018/.

 

RACE REPORT-BACKS

45th Buffalo Marathon and Half Marathon
We had four runners in the Buffs Marathon.  Richard Foss and Justice Yaka ran together and finished in 4:36:01 and 4:36:02 respectively.  Andrea Comley and Steve Beckerling tackled the half marathon, with Andrea crossing the finish line in 2:24:42, and Steve in 2:40:10.  Well done to all of you!

Herald Continental Cycle Tour MTB Race
Jason Meaton came 6th overall in the 80km distance at the Herald MTB Race, with a time of 3:07:23.  I haven’t had time to scour the results list for other Saints and Sinners, but congrats to all who took part in these races!

 

UPCOMING RACES

Herald Continental Cycle Tour
The Herald’s road races are this Sunday, 25 February, starting and ending at Pollok Beach, with the 106km classic event and a 55km distance too. There’s a good group of us going out for the race, and it promises to be epic, even if the threats of rain that have been in the weather forecast come true! If you’re in business, there’s a 38km corporate team challenge on Saturday 24 February, as well as 2km and 500m kiddies’ races. See http://www.heraldcycletour.co.za/ for more info.

Kromberg & Schubert 15km Road Race
This is a popular running race through the centre and outskirts of Despatch on Saturday 24 February. Medals and goodie bags will be awarded to all finishers and prizes to category winners. See more info at https://runningraces.co.za/port-elizabeth/kromberg-schubert-15-km/.

Fedgroup PEPlett 4-Day Stage Race
This mountain bike stage race is happening from Thursday 1 to Sunday 4 March between PE and Plettenberg Bay. The distances are split up into the “Tough One”, about 320km long in total, and the “Lite One”, about 250km long. Unfortunately entries are already closed, but you can find out all about it at http://www.peplett.co.za/.

Bamboesberg MTB Challenge and Trail Run
The GWK Bamboesberg MTB challenge is a 115km endurance race on Saturday 3 March, starting at the Bamboes Guest Farm outside Hofmeyr, through the picturesque Karoo landscape and Bamboesberg mountain range. Roads consist mostly of dirt roads, jeep and single tracks, with a steep ascent at Uiehoek (approx. 300m) and a technical descent for the last 10km of the race. The 50km race is less challenging with beautiful scenery and wildlife along the way. They are also launching a 10km trail run and a fun XCO track for kids in 2018 to accommodate the whole family. Find out more at http://www.bicycling.co.za/event/bamboesberg-mtb-challenge/.

Addo Elephant Trail Run
The well-loved, and feared, Addo Elephant Trail Runs are happening from Friday 2 to Sunday 4 March. The massive 100-mile route will be pushing runners to the limit, and the 76km and 44km distances will cater for the not-so-insane. I’m sure our trailies are beginning to get excited about this year’s races, so why not join them? Look at http://www.trailadventures.co.za/addo/ for more info.

Uitenhage Human Race
The Uitenhage 30km Human Race takes place on 3 March 2018 and is organized by EP Athletics. There is also a 10km race and 5km fun run. Find out more at https://www.facebook.com/events/591466961184540/.

Sportsman’s Warehouse 15km Road Race
The Sportsman’s Warehouse 15km on Saturday 10 March is run on a fast route through a suburban area, ideal for setting a personal best. The event also has a 5km fun run. The start and finish is the Sportsman’s Warehouse off William Moffett Expressway in PE. For more info see https://runningraces.co.za/port-elizabeth/sportsmans-warehouse-15km/

The Cabbage Patch MTB Race
This race is happening out at Komga on Saturday 10 March. Both the 20km and 40km routes provide plenty of beautiful wildlife and countryside beauty to take in along the Great Kei River. Apparently the 40km is a toughie but a great challenge, while the 20km provides a more relaxed effort. See more info at http://www.bicycling.co.za/event/cabbage-patch-mtb-run/.

Cape Town Cycle Tour
The single biggest individually-timed road cycling race in the world is back on Sunday 11 March! After last year’s race was abandoned due to some seriously nightmarish winds, this year’s hashtag is #40take2: the second attempt at the 40th Cycle Tour. The race’s start has also been moved to the Grand Parade. This year promises to be a fantastic race. This year’s riders should all just have received their seedings and start times. All the best to our roadies training for this one! Entries are closed, but you can find out more about the race at https://www.capetowncycletour.com/.

Lake Farm Charity Run
A whole array of trail and road running races are happening from Lake Farm Centre outside PE on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 March.  It includes a 15km trail run, and 10km and 5km road races, plus loads of shorter options for walkers and kids.  Find out more at http://www.runnersworld.co.za/events/lake-farm-charity-run-4/.

EC XCO Series #2
The second race in the Eastern Cape cross-country mountain bike series is happening on Sunday 18 March in East London.  Keep an eye on http://eastcapemtb.co.za/event/ec-xco-series-2018-2/?instance_id=171 for more info.

Autumn Trail Series
There’s a great series of trail running races happening soon in the PE area.  It starts on Wednesday 21 March with runs at Cape Recife, and continues on Sunday 25 March at Sacramento Trails.  The final race is on Sunday 8 April at Crossways Farm Village.  Each race has a 5, 10 and 15km route.  For more info check out http://www.bigosports.co.za/events/34.

 

RUNS AND RIDES THIS WEEK
To find out about who to get in touch with for regular runs and rides, please take a look at these web pages:

Cycling: http://www.saintsandsinners.co.za/cycling/
Running: http://www.saintsandsinners.co.za/running/
Triathlon: http://www.saintsandsinners.co.za/triathlon/

For the last time, have a great week!  See you on the road!
Ian

It’s AGM time!

Dear Saints and Sinners,

Our Club AGM is happening this week Thursday!  It’s going to be a bring and braai, so please don’t forget to bring something to braai and some eating utensils.  The committee will bring some salads and the Albany Sports Club Bar will be open for drinks.  We’re excited to see you there!

The O-Week Bike Tours on Saturday were a roaring success, and we owe a massive thank you to everyone who pitched in to help with them.  You can read more about that below…

Next weekend is also a big one for our club, with the Buffalo Marathon and the Herald Continental Cycle Tour MTB races on Sunday.  All the best to all our folk who are going to be racing!

 

CLUB AGM
Our club is having its AGM on Thursday 15 February at 6:30pm at the Albany Sports Club. It promises to be a fun evening, but there’s also the serious matter of choosing who is going to take our club forward for the rest of 2018.

Here’s a list of the committee positions we’ll be voting on:

  • Chairperson: Oversees club activities. Organizes and chairs meetings as and when issues arise. Coordinates with various club committee members particularly in relation to fund allocation.
  • Secretary: Takes minutes for all club committee meetings and distributes them. Generates a newsletter at intervals (currently each week).
  • Treasurer: Manages the club bank account. Fields requests from various members of the committee, determines the availability of funds, and performs payments if appropriate.
  • Running and Cycling Licence Officers: Engage with the provincial/national licensing officers, acquire the necessary licenses, and ensure that club members know the licensing procedures.
  • Road Running, Trail Running, Road Cycling, Mountain Bike and Triathlon Captains: Promote and advertise club training and time trials. Make club members aware of races in their respective disciplines.

 

REPORT-BACKS

O-Week Bike Tours
Saturday morning started a bit dull and drizzly, but fortunately the rain held at bay and it stayed cool, so we had great conditions for the most successful running of the O-Week Bike Tours yet!  With two years’ experience under our belts, our team of volunteers made sure that this year’s tours ran like clockwork.  The 50 or so students who took part really enjoyed it, and we got a couple of  good enquiries about joining the club.  Most importantly, a few people were seriously interested in getting a bike and enjoying this fun, affordable and environmentally-friendly way of getting around on a permanent basis!  Massive thanks goes to Bossie Bosman and Megan Hobson for helping me transport bikes, Andrew Penney for being tour mechanic, David Stoloff for leading tours with me, and Jaco van Dyk and Nikki Köhly for managing all the bicycle helmets and registration respectively!

 

UPCOMING RACES

 

45th Buffalo Marathon and Half Marathon
A humdinger for local road runners, the legendary Buffalo Marathon is happening on Sunday 18 February from Macleantown to East London. There’s also a half-marathon which starts halfway down the route at Python Park and finishes at the Buffs Club with the main race. The Buffs is also a Two Oceans and Comrades qualifier. You can enter online at https://www.entrytime.com/event-details/?EventId=5407.

Herald Continental Cycle Tour
This one’s a premier local race for all cyclists, both mountain-bikers and roadies. The mountain bike races happen on Sunday 18 February from Addo Polo Club: there are 80km, 60km, 30km, and 5km distances and a 500m kiddies’ dash. The road event is the following Sunday, 25 February, starting and ending at Pollok Beach, with the 106km classic event and a 55km distance too. If you’re in business, there’s a 38km corporate team challenge on Saturday 24 February, as well as 2km and 500m kiddies’ races. See http://www.heraldcycletour.co.za/ for more info. Entries have closed.

Kromberg & Schubert 15km Road Race
This is a popular running race through the centre and outskirts of Despatch on Saturday 24 February. Medals and goodie bags will be awarded to all finishers and prizes to category winners.  See more info at https://runningraces.co.za/port-elizabeth/kromberg-schubert-15-km/.

Fedgroup PEPlett 4-Day Stage Race
This mountain bike stage race is happening from Thursday 1 to Sunday 4 March between PE and Plettenberg Bay.  The distances are split up into the “Tough One”, about 320km long in total, and the “Lite One”, about 250km long.  Unfortunately entries are already closed, but you can find out all about it at http://www.peplett.co.za/.

Bamboesberg MTB Challenge and Trail Run
The GWK Bamboesberg MTB challenge is a 115km endurance race on Saturday 3 March, starting at the Bamboes Guest Farm outside Hofmeyr, through the picturesque Karoo landscape and Bamboesberg mountain range. Roads consist mostly of dirt roads, jeep and single tracks, with a steep ascent at Uiehoek (approx. 300m) and a technical descent for the last 10km of the race. The 50km race is less challenging with beautiful scenery and wildlife along the way.  They are also launching a 10km trail run and a fun XCO track for kids in 2018 to accommodate the whole family.  Find out more at http://www.bicycling.co.za/event/bamboesberg-mtb-challenge/.

Addo Elephant Trail Run
The well-loved, and feared, Addo Elephant Trail Runs are happening from Friday 2 to Sunday 4 March.  The massive 100-mile route will be pushing runners to the limit, and the 76km and 44km distances will cater for the not-so-insane.  I’m sure our trailies are beginning to get excited about this year’s races, so why not join them?  Look at http://www.trailadventures.co.za/addo/ for more info.

Uitenhage Human Race
The Uitenhage 30km Human Race takes place on 3 March 2018 and is organized by EP Athletics. There is also a 10km race and 5km fun run.  Find out more at https://www.facebook.com/events/591466961184540/.

Sportsman’s Warehouse 15km Road Race
The Sportsman’s Warehouse 15km on Saturday 10 March is run on a fast route through a suburban area, ideal for setting a personal best. The event also has a 5km fun run.  The start and finish is the Sportsman’s Warehouse off William Moffett Expressway in PE.  For more info see https://runningraces.co.za/port-elizabeth/sportsmans-warehouse-15km/

The Cabbage Patch MTB Race
This race is happening out at Komga on Saturday 10 March.  Both the 20km and 40km routes provide plenty of beautiful wildlife and countryside beauty to take in along the Great Kei River.  Apparently the 40km is a toughie but a great challenge, while the 20km provides a more relaxed effort. See more info at http://www.bicycling.co.za/event/cabbage-patch-mtb-run/.

Cape Town Cycle Tour
The single biggest individually-timed road cycling race in the world is back on Sunday 11 March!  After last year’s race was abandoned due to some seriously nightmarish winds, this year’s  hashtag is #40take2: the second attempt at the 40th Cycle Tour.  The race’s start has also been moved to the Grand Parade.  This year promises to be a fantastic race.  This year’s riders should all just have received their seedings and start times.  All the best to our roadies training for this one!  Entries are closed, but you can find out more about the race at https://www.capetowncycletour.com/.

 

RUNS AND RIDES THIS WEEK
To find out about who to get in touch with for regular runs and rides, please take a look at these web pages:

Cycling: http://www.saintsandsinners.co.za/cycling/
Running: http://www.saintsandsinners.co.za/running/
Triathlon: http://www.saintsandsinners.co.za/triathlon/

Have a great week!
Ian

O-Week Bike Tours and some exciting road runs this weekend

Dear Saints and Sinners,

It’s O-Week at Rhodes, and we’re almost ready to welcome new first-year students to Grahamstown with our annual O-Week Bike Tours!  I also can’t believe it’s already Valentine’s Day next week, and that means that there’s a Valentine’s Fun Run at Metlife Mall in PE on Saturday too.  Then on Sunday, the Caltex Border Masters’ Half-Marathon is happening from Winterstrand to East London.  But most importantly, it’s our AGM next week Thursday, 15 February.  Richard Foss has prepared a very helpful list of positions on the committee and descriptions of their roles.  Please take a look at them and think about who you’d like to nominate for these positions for 2018.  It would be brilliant to have some new folk on the committee.  Watch this space…

 

CLUB AGM
Our club is having its AGM on Thursday 15 February at 6:30pm at the Albany Sports Club. It promises to be a fun evening, but there’s also the serious matter of choosing who is going to take our club forward for the rest of 2018.

Here’s a list of the committee positions we’ll be voting on:

  • Chairperson: Oversees club activities. Organizes and chairs meetings as and when issues arise. Coordinates with various club committee members particularly in relation to fund allocation.
  • Secretary: Takes minutes for all club committee meetings and distributes them. Generates a newsletter at intervals (currently each week).
  • Treasurer: Manages the club bank account. Fields requests from various members of the committee, determines the availability of funds, and performs payments if appropriate.
  • Running and Cycling Licence Officers: Engage with the provincial/national licensing officers, acquire the necessary licenses, and ensure that club members know the licensing procedures.
  • Road Running, Trail Running, Road Cycling, Mountain Bike and Triathlon Captains: Promote and advertise club training and time trials. Make club members aware of races in their respective disciplines.

 

CAN YOU HELP?

O-Week Bike Tours
Our O-Week Bike Tours are happening this Saturday, 10 February!  They are a wonderful way to introduce students to cycling as an affordable, healthy and fun way of getting around Grahamstown. This event also raises loads of publicity and goodwill for the club. So if you can, we’d still really appreciate your help with making it happen. We need:

Volunteers to help with registration: registering students, getting them to sign indemnity forms and helping them to be at the right place at the right time for the start of their tour.
Volunteer tour leaders: each tour needs a leader at the front and at the back. This requires not so much in the way of tour-guiding and cycling skills, but some shepherding skills and an eagle eye for traffic would help! Tour leaders will also have to use their own bikes and helmets.
If you’d be keen to help in any of these ways, please get hold of me at . The Bike Tours are a really fun event, so I hope you’ll join us!

 

UPCOMING RACES

Die Burger / Metlife Mall Valentine’s 10km
This is a fast and flat road race along the Old Cape Road from PE’s Metlife Mall on Saturday 10 February. The theme is “Love 2 Run”. There’s also a 5km fun run distance. Take a look at http://runningraces.co.za/port-elizabeth/die-burger-metlife-mall-valentines-10-km/ for more info.

Caltex Border Masters’ Half Marathon
This 21,1km race on Sunday 11 February starts on the Winterstrand Road off the R72, southwest of East London, and finishes at the Buffalo Club in the city. Entrants must be 30 years or older on the day of the race.  See https://runningraces.co.za/port-elizabeth/caltex-border-masters-half-marathon/ to find out more.

45th Buffalo Marathon and Half Marathon
A humdinger for local road runners, the legendary Buffalo Marathon is happening on Sunday 18 February from Macleantown to East London. There’s also a half-marathon which starts halfway down the route at Python Park and finishes at the Buffs Club with the main race. The Buffs is also a Two Oceans and Comrades qualifier. You can enter online at https://www.entrytime.com/event-details/?EventId=5407.

Herald Continental Cycle Tour
This one’s a premier local race for all cyclists, both mountain-bikers and roadies. The mountain bike races happen on Sunday 18 February from Addo Polo Club: there are 80km, 60km, 30km, and 5km distances and a 500m kiddies’ dash. The road event is the following Sunday, 25 February, starting and ending at Pollok Beach, with the 106km classic event and a 55km distance too. If you’re in business, there’s a 38km corporate team challenge on Saturday 24 February, as well as 2km and 500m kiddies’ races. See http://www.heraldcycletour.co.za/ for more info. Entries have closed.

Kromberg & Schubert 15km Road Race
This is a popular race through the centre and outskirts of Despatch on Saturday 24 February. Medals and goodie bags will be awarded to all finishers and prizes to category winners.  See more info at https://runningraces.co.za/port-elizabeth/kromberg-schubert-15-km/.

Fedgroup PEPlett 4-Day Stage Race
This mountain bike stage race is happening from Thursday 1 to Sunday 4 March between PE and Plettenberg Bay.  The distances are split up into the “Tough One”, about 320km long in total, and the “Lite One”, about 250km long.  Unfortunately entries are already closed, but you can find out all about it at http://www.peplett.co.za/.

Bamboesberg MTB Challenge and Trail Run
The GWK Bamboesberg MTB challenge is a 115km endurance race on Saturday 3 March, starting at the Bamboes Guest Farm outside Hofmeyr, through the picturesque Karoo landscape and Bamboesberg mountain range. Roads consist mostly of dirt roads, jeep and single tracks, with a steep ascent at Uiehoek (approx. 300m) and a technical descent for the last 10km of the race. The 50km race is less challenging with beautiful scenery and wildlife along the way.  They are also launching a 10km trail run and a fun XCO track for kids in 2018 to accommodate the whole family.  Find out more at http://www.bicycling.co.za/event/bamboesberg-mtb-challenge/.

Addo Elephant Trail Run
The well-loved, and feared, Addo Elephant Trail Runs are happening from Friday 2 to Sunday 4 March.  The massive 100-mile route will be pushing runners to the limit, and the 76km and 44km distances will cater for the not-so-insane.  I’m sure our trailies are beginning to get excited about this year’s races, so why not join them?  Look at http://www.trailadventures.co.za/addo/ for more info.

 

RUNS AND RIDES THIS WEEK
To find out about who to get in touch with for regular runs and rides, please take a look at these web pages:

Cycling: http://www.saintsandsinners.co.za/cycling/
Running: http://www.saintsandsinners.co.za/running/
Triathlon: http://www.saintsandsinners.co.za/triathlon/

Have a great week!
Ian

Red-hot running and riding ahead!

Dear Saints and Sinners,

It seems like our slow, sleepy start to the year is over, and things are heating up in the multisport scene this weekend, with no less than five great races happening, from the nearby Holy Cross fun run on the Highlands Road to the Bay Ultra Marathon in PE and the Tomato Trot and Cycle near East London. Phew! We also got some fantastic results in the Half Ironman last weekend in East London.  And the club AGM and O-Week Bike Tours are just round the corner!  Read on for more about all the action!

 

CAN YOU HELP?

O-Week Bike Tours
Our O-Week Bike Tours on Saturday 10 February are a wonderful way to introduce students to cycling as an affordable, healthy and fun way of getting around Grahamstown. This event also raises loads of publicity and goodwill for the club. So if you can, we’d really appreciate your help with making it happen. We need:

People to lend bicycle helmets to us for the day: all helmets will come back cleaned.
Volunteers to help with registration: registering students, getting them to sign indemnity forms and helping them to be at the right place at the right time for the start of their tour.
Volunteer tour leaders: each tour needs a leader at the front and at the back. This requires not so much in the way of tour-guiding and cycling skills, but some shepherding skills and an eagle eye for traffic would help! Tour leaders will also have to use their own bikes.
If you’d be keen to help in any of these ways, please get hold of me at . The Bike Tours are a really fun event, so I hope you’ll join us!

 

CLUB AGM
Our club is having its AGM on Thursday 15 February at 6:30pm at the Albany Sports Club. It promises to be a fun evening, but there’s also the serious matter of choosing who is going to take our club forward for the rest of 2018. Please keep thinking about who you’d like to nominate!

Here’s a list of the committee positions we’ll be voting on:

  • Chairperson
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Web and Media Officer
  • Running licence Officer
  • Road Running Captain
  • Trail Running Captain
  • Mountain Biking Captain
  • Road Cycling Captain
  • Triathlon Captain

RACE REPORT-BACKS

Ironman 70.3

Megan Hobson had a fantastic Half Ironman last Sunday (28 January), beating her PBs and coming 12th in her division with a swim of 32:03, a 3:02:58 cycle and a run of 2:08:41, adding up to a time of 5:48:57. Another local, Terri-Lynn Penney, came an amazing eighth in her division, with a 36:19 swim, a ride of 3:06:49 and a 1:51:42 run, making a finishing time of 5:44:08.  Massive congratulations to both of these ladies!

 

UPCOMING RACES

Holy Cross Fun Run
If you’re in the mood for a local fun run this weekend, go up to Holy Cross School on the Highlands Road for their run at 8am on Saturday 3 February. After the run, there will be a Country Fair with plenty of interesting stalls for kids and adults alike.  Go along and support this great event!

BUCO Tomato Trot and Cycle
There’s also fun for the whole family at Lilyfontein School near East London on Saturday 3 February. There are 55km, 35km, 15km and 8km cycling routes, and a 15km and 5km fun run / walk, meaning there’s something for just about everyone! For more info see http://www.lilyfontein.co.za/index.php/news/upcoming-events/1058-23rd-buco-tomato-trot-a-cycle-3-february-2018.

Midnight Express
This legendary MTB race starts at midnight on Saturday 3 February in Steytlerville and winds through 135km down the Groot Rivier Poort to Patensie. Last year some Saints and Sinners did very well on this one, so let’s see if we can repeat those feats or better them! Take a look at http://midnightexpress.co.za/ to find out more.

Bay Ultra Marathon
The Bay Ultra is almost upon us. The 50 km race follows the same route as last year, with the last 20km offering unparalleled views of the coastline from Schoenmakerskop to Pollock Beach.

Taking place on the  Saturday 3rd February, the Bay Ultra is offering a 50 km ultramarathon, a 21,1km half marathon and a 5km family fun run this year! Qualifying participants in the 50km will also be given their 42,2km time, assisting them with qualifying times for Two Oceans and Comrades. 

With Amobia Communications as the new naming sponsor, the Bay Ultra is offering increased prize money. R5 000, R3 000 and R1 500 are being offered for the top three runners home in both the men and ladies’ 50 km, resulting in an even more competitive race. The prize money for the 21,1 km is set at R1 500, R1 000 and R750 respectively. The full breakdown, including the increase in age category prize money, can be viewed at www.bayultra.co.za.

An area will be provided at the finish for all running clubs to erect their gazebos so that they can remain and enjoy the atmosphere, food trucks and refreshments on offer, whilst waiting for their runners to reach the finish line.

Together with a number of other lucky draw prizes, Amobia Communications has put up an extremely generous lucky draw prize of a year’s free Internet subscription valued at R15 000. 

This year, the school that enters the most learners in the 5km family fun run will also receive a year’s free Internet subscription valued at R15 000, which they can either utilise at the school or use to raise further funds for the school. 

Entries are open on www.bayultra.co.za

King of the Valley Trail Run
This run in PE’s Baakens Valley is happening on Sunday 4 February. There’s a 6km and 12km option, and the start / finish is at Little Walmer Golf Club. Find out more at http://www.bigosports.co.za/events/33.

Die Burger / Metlife Mall Valentine’s 10km
This is a fast and flat road race along the Old Cape Road from PE’s Metlife Mall on Saturday 10 February. The theme is “Love 2 Run”. There’s also a 5km fun run distance. Take a look at http://runningraces.co.za/port-elizabeth/die-burger-metlife-mall-valentines-10-km/ for more info.

45th Buffalo Marathon and Half Marathon
A humdinger for local road runners, the legendary Buffalo Marathon is happening on Sunday 18 February from Macleantown to East London. There’s also a half-marathon which starts halfway down the route at Python Park and finishes at the Buffs Club with the main race. The Buffs is also a Two Oceans and Comrades qualifier. You can enter online at https://www.entrytime.com/event-details/?EventId=5407.

Herald Continental Cycle Tour
This one’s a premier local race for all cyclists, both mountain-bikers and roadies. The mountain bike races happen on Sunday 18 February from Addo Polo Club: there are 80km, 60km, 30km, and 5km distances and a 500m kiddies’ dash. The road event is the following Sunday, 25 February, starting and ending at Pollok Beach, with the 106km classic event and a 55km distance too. If you’re in business, there’s a 38km corporate team challenge on Saturday 24 February, as well as 2km and 500m kiddies’ races. See http://www.heraldcycletour.co.za/ for more info. Entries have closed.

Kromberg & Schubert 15km Road Race
This is a popular race through the centre and outskirts of Despatch on Saturday 24 February. Medals and goodie bags will be awarded to all finishers and prizes to category winners.  See more info at https://runningraces.co.za/port-elizabeth/kromberg-schubert-15-km/.

Fedgroup PEPlett 4-Day Stage Race
This mountain bike stage race is happening from Thursday 1 to Saturday 4 March between PE and Plettenberg Bay.  The distances are split up into the “Tough One”, about 320km long in total, and the “Lite One”, about 250km long.  Unfortunately entries are already closed, but you can find out all about it at http://www.peplett.co.za/.

 

NEED A TWO OCEANS HALF MARATHON ENTRY?

A charity called Khululeka Grief Support has entries available for the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon 2018 – 21km Half Marathon.  They are selling each entry at R1 600 as part of their fundraising efforts as they continue providing bereavement support groups for learners at schools.

They do not require additional fundraising and offer a Section 18 A certificate and a soft therapeutic toy for children called a Worry Muncher. Registration deadline is 28 February 2018.  Please email Marion at  for more details.

IN THE MEDIA

Two Oceans going ahead despite water crisis
This year’s Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon is scheduled to take place 12 days before Cape Town’s current projected Day Zero.  Organizers have confirmed that the marathon is definitely going ahead, with some strict water-saving measures in place.  For more info, take a look at https://www.sport24.co.za/OtherSport/Athletics/South-Africa/water-crisis-two-oceans-marathon-to-go-ahead-but-20180125.

RUNS AND RIDES THIS WEEK
To find out about who to get in touch with for regular runs and rides, please take a look at these web pages:

Cycling: http://www.saintsandsinners.co.za/cycling/
Running: http://www.saintsandsinners.co.za/running/
Triathlon: http://www.saintsandsinners.co.za/triathlon/

Have a great week!
Ian