Perfect weather and pristine trails greeted hundreds of runners participating in the annual SPCA Trail Run that took place on Sunday, 29 August 2016. This special fundraiser is a popular event on the racing calendar and is known for it’s fun, festive family vibe.
Taking place at the Durban and Coast SPCA in Springfield, Durban, participants were treated to a scenic run along the Umgeni River bank. The race featured a five km and 14 km course for the more adventurous, and proved to be a resounding success enjoyed by all.
On the podium
The five km women’s event was hotly contested but, at the end of the day, it was Tate Stuart who finished in first place. She was followed by Nomalanga Goba in second and Melissa Landis in third.
Meanwile, in the men’s event, the short and flat course produced some impressive times. It was Brent Yelland who came home in first place, followed by Schalk van der Merwe who was snapping at his heels in second place. Craig Viljoen proceeded to round off the podium in third place place.
The 14km offered a relatively flat trek through muddy singletrack and across the infamous floating bridge. In the women’s event, Zoe Papadakis finished off in first place, with Michelle Botha in second and Janine Nortje in third, with Tranquil Gumbo coming home first in the men’s event, followed by Craig Buchanan and Mathew Low.
Raising funds for the animals
Each year, community member and runner Dale Johnson, embarks upon a campaign to raise funds for the Durban and Coast SPCA by donning a full dog suit, fondly referred to as Dougal, and running the 5km trail run.
Dale’s goal was to raise extra funds for the Durban and Coast SPCA and, by the end of the race, he had succeeded. Lindsey Fogarty, Marketing Assistant of the Society, explained that they initially gave him a challenge of raising R10 000 for the event… naturally Dale decided to take that number and exceed it.
“Through his hard work and canvassing he met this challenge and a little more,” said Lindsey. “Dale raised over R16000. This made such an awesome difference to our profit for the day making our total R71500.”
A greater cause
The SPCA trail run epitomises the very essence of trail running. The sense of community, the friendships forged, the passion, commitment and dedication as well as the banding together to serve a greater cause. Dale’s efforts are just one prime example. Another inspirational icon is local community runner Ornica who, at 60-years, walked from Durban North to Suncoast Casino (several ams) to participate in the Pick n Pay ladies walk for cancer. the following day she took on the SPCA trail run.
This event would not be what it is without the tireless dedication of those who have worked behind the scenes to make it a success. Thanks must go to Riverside Trail, Durban Green Corridor, Bidvest, McCarthy Toyota Durban North and the Durban and Coast SPCA as well as all the volunteers and trails who participated in the event.