Get into the festive spirit for Christmas

2009-12-11 00:00

WITH the traditional Durban Athletic Club Calder Cup and Sulin Trophy scheduled for December 20 cancelled by the Durban Metro as a result of 2010 Soccer World Cup commitments, Sunday’s Illovo Sugar 15 km Christmas Challenge becomes the pen­ultimate race of 2009. This event always draws a very large field as athletes get into the festive spirit by running in fancy dress with large groups of their club-mates to compete for the title of friendliest bus. This annual trophy goes to the most original and best-dressed club, while the Minibus Trophy goes to the club that can get its 10 fastest runners to finish within 30 seconds of each other. In many ways, there is greater focus on these awards than the usual prize money that is available to the first athletes across the line, not only because of the holiday atmosphere, but because the course is extremely challenging, particularly in the second half with the climb from Queens Avenue in central Westville back through the civic centre to the Mayville clubhouse. Walkers are welcome and a generous two hour 30 minute cut-off is applied, making this a distance that participants of all abilities can achieve. The race starts from the Maryvale Road clubhouse at 6 am and Alen Hattingh has more details at 031 701 1726 after hours.

Wednesday’s KwaZulu Weavers Summer Holiday 23 km run and walk is now the last race of the year. Escourt Athletic Club hosts this race on the public holiday on December 16 commencing from Bergville Primary School and covering an undulating and scenic course through to Winterton Country Club. After the gentle climbs of the initial 10 km, runners are rewarded with spectacular views of the Drakensberg and an easy downhill and relatively flat run into Winterton. However, there is a need to save some energy for the one sting in the tail hill before reaching the finish.

There are commemorative medals for all finishers and a reduced-distance run and walk beginning at the 10 km mark for those wanting something shorter. The race commences at 6 am and a two-hour-45-minute cut-off is applied.

Entries are taken at the start from 5 am and Mike Phillips has more details at 036 352 2120.

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