Running for a good cause

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Cruising in my Vivo Primus 

The wet weather did not dampen spirits when over 350 runners braved the rain and took to the trails in support of the Ryan Walker Foundation on Sunday at Stainbank Nature Reserve. This special event was held in support of Ryan Walker, farmer and ex-sharks rugby player is currently living with Motor Neuron Disease (MND/ALS).  He was diagnosed in August 2013 at the age of 35. Together with his family, and through the Ryan Walker Foundation, he aims to create awareness about the disease and contribute where possible to the MND/ALS community.

This fundraising 5km and 10km trail run was something very close to the hearts of the zebracommunity and it was heartwarming to see how many runners and walkers showed up to support the event. The spirit of unity is what makes trail running so special and there was tons of camaraderie on show on the day.

Going into this run, it was not so much a race for, but an opportunity to spend the morning with my extended trail running family. I am training for my first Sky marathon, which looms weeks ahead, so my running coach, Clinton Hunter of RacePace Coaching, is focusing more on mileage with one or two tune up races in between. So I had already tackled 10kms before lining up at the start for the Run-For-Ryan.

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What made it so special is that I got to stand alongside my strength and conditioning coach, Rhain Hoskins from Paragon Fitness, at the start of the race. This fellow barefoot runner and vegan has been my role model and inspiration for ages. So to say I am excited to have joined the Paragon Family, receiving tailored training to meet my running needs, is an absolute understatement! Rhain ended up annihilating the trails, coming home in fourth by seconds!

I was ecstatic to be the first lady home but I need to commend the performance of Mary Murray and Phillipa Brebner, who came in second and third respectively- both ladies show that trail running in KZN is in very good hands!

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A massive thank you to Alison Chadwick and the guys from Riverside Trail for putting together such an incredible event. I see that they raised R20,343 for The Ryan Walker Foundation and R7,760 for Stainbank Nature Reserve and the Coedmore Castle. It is so inspiring to see so many kind hearts in Durbs!

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Running for a good cause

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.

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lining up at the start

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

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Hybrid athlete, Schalk van der Merwe swopped road for trail and clinched second in the men’s 5km

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. 

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Women’s 14km winners

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.

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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 trai14115537_977622785700655_1601792827764424612_ol 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.

Shout outs

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, BidvestMcCarthy Toyota Durban North and the Durban and Coast SPCA as well as all the volunteers and trails who participated in the event.