The Running Race!

By: Sandy Mullins

There is nothing quite like the homosapien species called the “athlete”! There are sub species in this category who hit the pavements, roads, and earthy terrain to “move it, move it”, namely the walker, runner and cyclist. They will get up at a ridiculous time – before the birds have decided to open their beaks, and lace up, leave the comfort of Duvet Street and move at a considerable pace along the streets and byways for a few hours, clicking up the kilometres (which is then beeped on the watch to the computer and downloaded to  record the mileage and rake up points!).

The beauty about the athlete is that it knows no boundaries. The love of the sport unites young and old, the doctor, the baker, the candlestick maker, and total strangers greet each other in passing, because they recognise the dedication and the unvoiced respect for what they are achieving. I remember running on the beachfront one morning with one of my race T-shirts on. A guy running in the opposite direction in a similar shirt smiled at me and the telepathy was – “I know what you went through to earn that T!”  

The bonds that are built along the road is strong. You might not know each other from a bar of soap, yet you can talk the same language. You share the pain, the anguish of injury or sickness, but delight in the achievements and goals reached, however great or small. Its not generally a selfish sport. What one gleans from one, is passed on to another to encourage and build and to see personal bests achieved. Its thanks to the selfless input of those in the know that has got me to places I would never have dreamt possible.

It is not necessarily a glamorous pastime. One sees each other at the worst, still with sleep in one’s eyes, hair amok, moods subdued or grumpy.  Not everyone looks like a super model in running gear. And when the need to go to the loo arises on the road… well put it this way, we would never dream that the bush could be such heaven! Its funny when you see runners in the mall all dressed for the day, how you almost don’t recognise them!

Seconders rate extremely high on my respect list. They get up with us to cart us around, provide for our needs on the way, and give us the rebuke or encouragement we need to get us going again. And don’t forget all the photos they take of us to record our amazing feats! Many have pulled me through some of the toughest challenges in my running career. Again total strangers come to the rescue. Comrades 2016, I was coming down Fields Hill having lost my electrolyte potions along the way, and the inevitable cramps kicked in – both calves. I looked like a ballerina on points – gone wrong! Two lovely spectators came running up and asked how they could help. I leant on one while the other helped undo the spasms. I really thought my race was over. Thanks to them I hobbled down towards Pinetown. Just then another runner doing his 9th came along side me and gave me a packet of the same electrolytes I had been taking. He told me to take two every half hour and then carried on his way to his green number. I tried to remember his name on his vest but to this day, I will never know who he is, but he saved my race and I was able to complete the challenge. Comradeship at its best. It is humbling.

So to all these crazy characters who make this world an interesting, better place – I salute you! Keep moving forward and run the race that is set before us – this is a paradigm of life!

Don’t be a litterbug, bitter cup!

By: Sandy Mullins

Calling all our Stella athletes to go green! We live in an environment that is marred by litter wherever we go. We see it when we run the streets and trails, and it would be so good to do our bit and be a part of the solution. 

Part of our road etiquette is to be aware of our surroundings and assist where possible, especially in races. There is so much littering with water sachets and coke containers, and though there are bins available, the mess that is left to clean up afterwards is unnecessary.  Sadly the wind also carries the litter into the surrounding areas and makes it difficult to clean up. 

When we are wearing our Stella kit, we are ambassadors of the club, and people recognize you by your colours. Let us not have a negative response but be known to be friendly, helpful and a club that cleans up after themselves!

Go green and gold, go Stella!!

Time Trial League 2019 

By: Michael Mostert

The 2019 Time Trial League kicks off on Thursday the 24th January 2019 @ 18h00 at the best athletic club, which is none other than Stella of course. We would love a big turnout in the Stella Kit for the different categories: senior men, veteran men, master’s men, Junior men, Junior women, Senior women and mixed walkers . The Stella mixed walkers team won the title in 2018 thanks to the participation of some dedicated ladies and gents.  We plan on keeping the trophy in 2019 and expect some serious competition from the other clubs this year.

The cost to participate in the League is R25.00 which covers all the time trial league fixtures for the year, which is good value for money. At an average of R2.50 per time trial, who needs Black Friday with a deal like this?

What we have emphasised to the Walkers who were daunted about time trial league is that it is all about team work. No matter how slow you may be, everyone is welcome. We exercise camaraderie, encouragement, and most of all team spirit and fun. Ladies and walkers do 4 or 5 km and men do 8 km (Ladies 8km option is still being been debated subject to vote and consensus from each club on how many ladies are keen to do the 8km. Please let me know so we can get the ball rolling).

So how do the points work? The finishing times of the first 4 club members in each category are added together and the best time gets the points followed by the 2nd best time and so forth….

If you don’t have a full team of 4, then the last finisher’s time is added. For example if Stella only has 2 senior men running at a time trial event, their times are added together and the times of the last runner home (twice). I know it’s not ideal but it does happen when we don’t have enough members running.

The first 4 runners/walkers over the finish line is calculated as Stella A the next 4 home are Stella B  etc. So it doesn’t matter if one Time Trial fixture you finish 8th and the next you finish 3rd. There is no definite A or B team. As I mentioned we are one Stella team. 

Feel free to ask me any questions and I will my best to answer them.

Looking forward to see more Stella vests at the time trial league in 2019

Stella Stars time trial team rocks!

Dedicated to team spirit,

Mike….

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End of Year Message from the Chairman

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Greetings to all Stella Members,

So ends another extremely busy and successful year for Stella Athletic Club. In terms of judging the success of the year I have looked at the following criteria:

  • The achievement of goals by the club and athletes
  • The numbers of athletes who have signed up as members
  • The number of athletes who are active at races
  • The number of athletes who participate in the monthly Club Time Trial and the Time Trial league
  • The number of members who participate in club and fundraising events
  • The success of the annual Stella Royal 10 / 25 km race
  • Being innovative in the athletics space (i.e. trail runs)

In times where road running appears to be going through a bit of a slump in terms of the number of events being put on and a shortage of sponsors, Stella AC appears to be going from strength to strength.  Our numbers are growing and most importantly the majority of these new members are actively involved in our weekly activities. We must be doing something right as we are also approached at most races to ask how people can join our awesome club. This will only happen if the Stella members are good ambassadors on the road and in the community. The spirit of our athletes during and after races is unparalleled. This was particularly evident at the recent Illovo Sugar Christmas Run. I was so proud to be a Stella member.

It has been particularly heart-warming to see the commitment of the members to the Club when we need help with maintenance and other projects. We all have our own special skills and can help in our own way. If that way is your ‘time’, that is appreciated. If you have other skills that can be utilized please speak to a Committee member and we will be grateful for your contribution. There are plans to renovate the Den in early 2019 and we will need all those skills and ideas to ensure that we get the best result possible.

With the Committee and members all pulling in the same direction I foresee a productive and hugely successful 2019. Most people will be looking forward to a rest over the festive season. Rest up and come back refreshed and looking forward to a busy January running schedule. To those dedicated Comrades runners who are working on their base over the festive season I urge you to try get some quality rest. The hard months are still ahead and you need to be injury free to tackle them.

To all Stella members I would like to wish you and your families a blessed Christmas and trust that 2019 will bring you all health, happiness and success.

Regards,

Dave Beattie

Stella Athletic Club Chairman

Stella Female Walkers Team wins the 2018 Time Trial League

By: Sharon Troll and Kim Flack

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Last year walking with Michael’s group he started “briefing” us on something called time trial league, but we soon forgot about it until we found ourselves at the walkers meeting late last year and offered to walk if they were needing numbers. It was a bit of a decision to make whether we should register as a runner or walker, but we are so glad we joined in with the walkers – it’s been a wonderful year with amazing people! Big thanks to you Michael – your enthusiasm is infectious! Well done to us all. 

We’ve already received next year’s fixtures and we would like everyone to come join in on the 2019 fun, whether you are a runner or a walker, fast or slow. Looking forward to seeing you there. 

 

Small steps and small goals

By: Gerald Van Wyk 

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If anyone had told me that I would ever run a 21km, I would have told them they were crazy. I have now been running at Stella for nearly 3 years, and loving every minute of it. (Well most of the time). When I started I could not run more than 2km without stopping. I trained hard and ran my first Hillcrest 21km that year. I did the South Coast 42km last year, which I was extremely under prepared for, but determined to do the run and finished!! I entered the Comrades this year but due to an injury never quailfied for it. I have been injured for a large part of this year.

Eventually I’m back on the road and recently did the South Coast 21km and did a PB. Last week I ran the DHS Oldies 10km and did a PB again.

So my advice to all new runners is not to try and do too much too soon, as this can only cause injuries.

I would like to thank Sandy, Amanda and Louise for all their encouragement they have given me along the way.

I’ll leave you with this thought….. small steps, small goals, Big Rewards

See you on the road.

Cape Town City Marathon

Dr Anver Goga

The Cape Town Marathon is normally held on the Sunday closest to Heritage day in September and this year Heritage day falling on Monday was ideal to recover.

The Cape Town Marathon in its current format only started in 2007. Sanlam became the major sponsors in 2014 and a partnership was formed with the City of Cape Town, Western Province Athletics and ASEM Running (Elana Meyer + Francois Pienaar).

The event incorporates a 10km run together with a trail run (12km + 22km). The marathon was accredited with IAAF Silver status in 2014, 2015, 2016 and Gold status in 2017 (first African marathon to achieve IAAF Gold Status). Only 28 marathons worldwide have this status and this year the Cape Town Marathon is aiming to achieve PLATINUM STATUS – This is the ultimate marathon status and by all accounts it certainly deserves this accolade. Only 8 marathons worldwide have this status.

Having run many marathons locally and worldwide, the Cape Town Marathon is hard to fault at any level. Its registration and expo held at Century City had ample parking, no waiting, fine food and a lovely atmosphere. Top quality T shirt provided by ASICS, one of the many sponsors.

The race starts and ends on the Waterfront, again with ample parking, accommodation and security. The course is easy and very picturesque with outstanding tables, crowd support and marshalling. It is initially run next to the ocean for the first 6km and gradually gently ascends to the Newlands and Rondebosch suburbs via the city. Return is a gentle fast descent to the Waterfront. For a PB, atmosphere, organization this is a highly recommended marathon to do.

The Mandela Marathon- Walkers can enjoy it too!

By: Mary O’Gorman

I took part in the 10km walk at the 100 year centenary celebration Mandela Marathon this year. It was the biggest event I have competed in so far as there were 24 000 entrants in the distances – 42kms, 21kms and 10kms combined.

From the very start, the message spread that it was a special race. There were posters in the streets and radio announcements in the build up to race day which made the race seem very significant.  At the race pack collections, there were huge posters with pictures and quotes from Mandela and clips of his speeches were being played.

Because of the vast number of entrants, there were challenges caused by having to queue for everything but the atmosphere of the race made up for that.  Waiting in that huge crowd at the start was quite fun as Jaluka music was being played and everyone started ‘dancing’ on the spot to the music. When we all sang the National anthem, it was emotional and some even shed a tear.

The stream of luminous race T-shirts during the race were visible for miles as far as the eye could see on the winding country roads.  The scenery is spectacular with challenging up-hills most of the route and we 10kms participants enjoyed the well-stocked water tables (before they ran out of supplies later).

What made the event memorable was the large number of supporters along the route. They cheered, clapped and sang as we passed.  By the time we reached the Mandela monument at the end, we felt elated.

Walkers should certainly grab this rare opportunity that this event provides to experience this level of crowd support and the feeling of comraderie amongst the entrants!

Running my own race- The Mandela Half Marathon

By: Sarah- Lee Naidoo (21 years old)

5324cfde-6901-4a8e-9b02-280bfb868cd7.JPGAs a new member of Stella my fitness levels have steadily improved.

Thanks to the club’s weekly training schedule, which includes various training routes, my running techniques have improved, and I am definitely feeling fitter and stronger.  I have completed three 21km races and my latest achievement was the 21Km Mandela Marathon, which was the toughest race to date.  My finishing time was 2h24min. It was a challenging race which consisted of many up hills. However, in the weeks leading up to the race, Stella’s hill training equipped me well making the race manageable and enjoyable.

Stella has taught me to run my own race and do it to the best of my ability. The camaraderie amongst club members definitely motivates one and prepares you for the next challenge.

Larson Time Trial League – Westville AC

By Therese Hurly

2c5ff06c-cbc8-4938-979c-b2c8873b5704.JPGIt was so good to have had a wonderful Stella presence at the Westville Time trial league race on Tuesday 21 August.

Cool nights might make people want to stay home, but they are perfect for running and walking.

The two walking teams, led by Michael, their styles perfected by Frankie, are all very motivated, and are still on top of the walking league ladder.

Having some good runners now as well, we feature quite prominently on the running charts – with most categories represented.

The beginning of the year started off badly for Stella running teams – with only one or two runners in the men’s and women’s teams for Queensburgh and Savages time trials. Since then, thanks to the committee for their encouragement, and Stella stars, more runners are joining us.

There is a really good spirit at the time trials, and it is always a lovely change running in a different area with lots of people running along the way; the serious runners, the jokers and the moaners who are relieved afterwards that they did it.

Everyone doing Westville time trial had heard about Heartbreak Hill  there was a lot of talking about it along the way, and the whole run was geared towards conquering the hill the last 750 m, which left us all with a great sense of accomplishment at the end.

Hoping all Stella members can join in these enjoyable races. The next race is on 20 September at Sydenham, there are some challenging hills there and it is also a very enjoyable route.