Weekend runners’ fixtures clash

2009-01-30 00:00

THERE is another unfortunate clash of fixtures this weekend with Sunday’s popular Sydenham Sparkport 32 km and 16 km challenge directly conflicting with the Kearsney Striders half-marathon and 16 km walk.

The Sparkport event is first out of the blocks at 5 am from their clubhouse in Barns Road in Sydenham. After the fast two-kilometre start, the route climbs from Brickfield Road up to Rockdale Avenue in Westville and then plummets back to the clubhouse, where a series of short but nasty climbs soften up anyone who attempts the second lap.

The single-lap event is also a competitive walk race. The race has a reputation for good organisation and well-stocked, friendly refreshment tables to help runners handle the inevitable heat and humidity. For more information, phone Allan Pather at 082 372 0056.

It will undoubtedly be cooler, but assuredly no less hilly, for the Kearsney Striders Dunlop Tyres 21 km and 16 km walk that commences an hour later at 6 am from the school grounds in Botha’s Hill.

A R1 000 first prize plus a R500 incentive for a sub-70-minute men’s win and sub-90-minute women’s win is likely to draw the leading athletes, who will face a taxing but scenic trip along the Comrades route past Phezula and then up to the top of the Alverstone aerial before dropping down into Assagay Valley.

There is a steep sting in the tail as runners make their way past the old Heidi’s farm store to the school.

The course is curtailed to 16 km for walkers. Entries can be secured tomorrow between 11 am and 4.30 pm at Kearsney’s coffee shop or before the race from 4.30 am. For more information, phone Gavin Best at 082 552 6125.

Runners experiencing the onset of or recurring injuries, or those looking to buy a new set of shoes for the season, will benefit from a specialist shoe seminar at Sports Zone in Durban on Monday at 6 pm.

The clinic reviews and discusses each runner’s running style, structural imbalances, the resultant impact for potential injuries and the most suitable type of shoe. In addition to a short two-kilometre practical for the analysis, each runner will have an Adidas foot scan, and receive a R100 discount voucher and tips on lacing, inners and shoe wear.

The seminar will be led by Norrie Williamson, but bookings are made with Dave Flood or Mike Bennett at 031 564 6919.

The clinic costs R100 and is limited to 15 people, so booking is essential.

Local track athletes get their final tune-up opportunity before the Durban leg of the Yellow Pages Series this Saturday in the third of the Youth Junior Senior Leagues at Kings Park from noon.

The Yellow Pages event on February 6 will commence with a children’s athletics programme from noon until 2 pm, where the focus is on fun athletics in the run, jump and throw format. This will be followed by inter-schools relays for the 13 to 19 age group from 2.30 pm, which will provide the curtain-raiser to the main Yellow Pages programme.

Among the leading local athletes invited to take part in the main meeting are sprinters Sherwin Vries, Lee-Roy Newton, Pieter Koekemoer, Siyabonga Nkonde and Sabelo Bhodoza.

It promises to be a spectacular day of athletics for the whole family with a very reasonable R 20 entry fee (children under 12 are free).

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