Countdown to popular Forest 10

2018-07-17 06:00
The new CEO of Forest Hills Athletics Club, Richard Wallis (left).PHOTO: SUPPLIED

The new CEO of Forest Hills Athletics Club, Richard Wallis (left).PHOTO: SUPPLIED

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STARTING from the couch, newly appointed CEO of Forest Hills Athletics Club Richard Wallis worked his way up until he finally managed to run the North Beach 5 km Park Run without stopping. He proclaims that it’s still one of his proudest racing achievements ?— even if it’s a very slow time.

Wallis said he trained for a year before joining a club, saying: “I’d thought you can’t join a running club if you couldn’t at least run a little bit. That was wrong but I’m not alone in thinking this.”

He said that a lot of people at Forest Hills have told him how they spent their first few months training alone, wanting to get to the minimum qualifications before they joined a real running club.

“I want to make other runners aware that there are no minimum fitness level or speed at Forest Hills or any running club. Runners are the most supportive sportspeople you can ever meet.

“There are Forest members who’s best times have been made while taking a stroll on a 2 km time trial with a pram in front of them and they’re as much part of the club as our fastest comrades finishers,” said the CEO.

Wallis explained that, for new runners, there’s no reason to start their training alone and people can join a running club even before buying their running shoes. “You’re much more likely to become a ‘real’ runner if you train with other people,” he said, adding that he still finishes at the back for almost every race and he’s the CEO.

Wallis said that Forest Hills, and most running clubs, are non-profits so everything is done by volunteers. “It has been an extraordinary privilege serving as the Chair of Forest Hills AC. I’ve had huge support from previous chairs, our wonderful committee and all the members who volunteer and have helped make the club and the upcoming Forest 10 such a success. You run your races alone but running is a team sport,” said Wallis.

He said: “No matter your speed, anyone can come run with Forest Hills at our weekly meet on Wednesday evenings at 5:45 pm.” He also said people can join the club by heading over to
http://membership.foresthillsac.co.za.

“The 2018 Forest 10k entries are open at
https://2018forest10.myactive.co.za/ and the race supporters scream just as loud for the first finisher as the last”, Wallis said. — Fever Reporter.

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