Sunday, June 29, 2008

First Swartberg Half Marathon

- Linda Jaquet -

Zwartberg Runners held their first official event on Saturday, 24 May: a 21.1km Half Marathon, a 10km race and a 5km Fun Run. 88 runners from various parts of the Western Cape entered the three races, which started in the chilly, semi-dark that morning and ended on the sports fields at Hoërskool Zwartberg. The Half Marathon and 10km race included running via Tweedewater on the Swartberg Pass.

The winner of the Half Marathon was Vuyo Witbooi of Outeniqua Harriers in a time of 1:13.01.936. The first woman home, in twelfth position overall, was Johanna Claassen of Nedbank Running Club in George. Her time was 1:33.46.768. Petrus Bostander was the first Zwartberg Runners’ participant to finish, in a respectable eighth spot.

Prince Alberter, Hendry Olivier, won the 10km race in a time of 0:34:39.20. Lana van der Berg, in twelfth place, took the women’s honours finishing in 0:54:57.23. Fifteen year old Joshua Swanepoel did the Zwartberg Runners proud, in coming home in sixth place.

Marie Zwiegelaars and Lampies Lamprecht, the official race referees complimented Zwartberg Runners on the superb organisation of the event, a comment that was echoed by many of the runners. Marie told the Friend: “They made no mistakes,” while Lampies commented on the “marvellous route” that the races took. Many participants said that they would be back next year and would bring more runners with them.

Terry Barnato praised her organising committee for the hours and effort they had put in and also thanked Prince Alberters for rallying to support them: 30 Hoërskool Zwartberg learners volunteered as race marshals, as did Zwartberg Runners’ members and other local enthusiasts, who also manned the water tables and acted as time-keepers.

Terry paid tribute to the sponsors of the race, Koggelmander Kos- en Kunshuis, Bergwater Vineyards, K3 Water and Energy Sachets, Lazy Lizard Internet-Café, Weltevrede Fig and Guest Farm and Vrisgewaagd Landgoed and to the SAPS for their sterling support and assistance. “We were bowled over at how well the day went and could not have pulled it off without the warmth and backing of the community,” she said.

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