Shoreline Challenge

2012-08-20 00:00

THE sands between Banana Beach and Hibberdene have become a veteran runner’s latest training track for next week’s Mandela Marathon in the Midlands.

Raj Maganna of Port Shepstone, who has run 20 Comrades and 11 Washie 100-mile marathons, was the first person to finish the final leg of the Shoreline Challenge organised beach walk yesterday.

“I had never run on the beach before and I needed some practice,” said Maganna.

He praised fishermen for not polluting the beaches.

“It should be made known that they are taking care of the beaches and setting a good example to others.”

However, others among the 80-odd people who walked yesterday’s stretch, far slower than Maganna, arrived at their destination carrying bags of litter they had collected — mostly plastic bottles.

One of them, Ian Clarke of Ramsgate, was nonetheless impressed with the places he saw for the first time having lived on the South Coast for 40 years. “I saw some good fishing spots,” he said.

For Linda Itabor and Andisa Madikizela, of Southport, who get their exercise at gym, the organised walk was an opportunity to walk the beaches. “It’s nice to do it with a crowd. You feel safer,” said Itabor.

The walk took place in seven stages, each around 10 km and held at fortnightly intervals since March.

Allan Williams, Ezemvelo’s regional honorary office co-ordinator, which hosted the final leg, said the Trafalgar to Southbroom stretch saw the highest number of people, around 150, take part.

This year’s walk took place in the opposite direction to the last one, also the first, in 2009, which started in Scottburgh and ended at Port Edward.

In the years between, other group walks have been inland through conservancies and wildlife areas, the best supported having been in Oribi Gorge, attended by around 300 people, said organiser David Halle.

Meanwhile, Maganna praised the walk idea for the way it encouraged people to live healthy, outdoor lifestyles.

“It’s rejuvenating and makes you feel younger. I’m 65 and I can do things some 30-year-olds cannot do.”

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