News

Walkers and time trial league 2020 letter

By Mike Mostert

Well a long 2020 has come to an end…   As we all know been an tough one without any further mention

Now the Positives for 2020 for us walkers were as follows …. 

  1. No more Black and broken nails  
  2. Less aching muscles, especially the Gluteus Maximus region
  3. Less perspiration and rashes in all regions of our anatomy (no need for me to elaborate)
  4. No early mornings and hunting for parking close to the start line (you know who you all are)
  5. No pre-race nerves and butterflies
  6. No heat stroke and vest tans 

Now that I have added some ray of sunshine to my report, let me continue.

The Bi-weekly Stella walks once restrictions lifted and protocols were in place, and the Virtual Larson Mixed time trial league which the walkers Stella Stars team took part in, you can look at it from both sides positively and negatively. Not racing in the league and doing it remotely took the pressure of racing others athletes on the dark streets off, and on the other hand religiously partaking in the league remotely during Lockdown was tough on your own and to motivate yourself to get out there before month end and do your time. That did not stop walkers doing a personal best during the November time trial.

Thank you to the loyal walkers for continuing to do your times each month and submitting it to event-timing, Once lockdown restrictions lifted, at the October time trial we were able to do it as a group, followed by celebratory drink upstairs and November league along the promenade was followed by breakfast and the high-light was been joined by our esteemed Chairman and his better half.

The virtual Results as follows,

Stella A came 2nd in the league with 3 points separating The Stella ‘A’ Stars with 1st place club, and 8 points Ahead of 3rd place club,

Stella ’B’ Stars came in 4th position which is an amazing achievement  considering we had average of 5 walkers per month due to work commitments, working late, Injuries /operations -super job.

On a weekly basis, few walkers were even dogs are more than welcome have been doing 10-11km walk meeting at ‘Dave’s Prostitute corner’ at 06h30, and ending at The coffee Tree for well-deserved large double cappuccino, practically 2km before the end you can see Mike pick up the pace as he smells the coffee beans tickling his nose and chases off like a panting lion in hot pursuit of a  petrified impala!

Before you all fall off for nap reading my report …   I would like to make few special mentions and also name drop, sorry ladies:

Firstly a special thanks to Therese Hurley who dutifully took part in each of the time trials along with the walkers during lockdown and represented Stella in the 4km masters category and overall Stella A was placed 10th out of 20 teams, well-done T!

Secondly to Dot O’Leary who took the Stella walkers under her wing until lockdown, unfortunately kept Dot away and therefore had to train on her own in the morning. trust the New Year will see our special lady take over the helm once again.

Thirdly, and finally special thank you to Jocelyn Goodwin who assisted Dot in overseeing the group with dedication and poise and bringing the group together, rain did not keep Jocelyn away as she dutifully kept the diehard’s going, Thank you Jocelyn!

You are all an inspiration to me and I would like to mention you all personally, you all know who you special ladies are, a big thank you on behalf of myself and Stella club community.

I would like to wish you a safe an wonderful Christmas and may 2021 bring you good health and many personal bests and re-acquainted friendships.

Maniac Mike

What a year 2020!

By Ian Tait

So, with great dreams and hopes, 2020 was going to be a year to be remembered with all the goals I wanted to achieve. Trying to top 2019 was going to be a tough ask, but hey, if your dreams don’t scare you, you’re not living…

2020 will always be known for Covid19 and the year the world nearly shut down. To Runners it will always be remembered as the year Garmin was down for 3 days 😊

So, my first challenge for the year was to do a Triathlon, and going to visit my wife in Qatar seemed like the perfect place to do one, nobody to see me thrash, splash and panic swim my way in the ocean, then get onto a bike “Gasp” runners don’t free wheel… and then run how hard could it be. Well, don’t believe anybody when they say the desert does not get cold, I happened to visit during the coldest winter in 20 years. I should have realised there was an omen on the brew…

Race day arrives, I’m ready to race and my hire bike is nowhere to be found. Panic! 20 minutes before the start it arrives with a flat tyre. More Panic! No problem for another bike hire company, they see this and take the wheel of my hire bike and replace it with one of theirs, such awesome customer service. I now go off to the pens and am stressing only for this awesome lady to come to me and says, “Ahh Stella, are you from Durban?” I was wearing my new Stella Club T-Shirt. Relief knows no bounds, she said she’s from Toti but lives in Doha now and will sort my stuff out and took my bike my kit bag and chased me off to start the swim. (2 minutes before the start)

In brief, I get to the doc, and jump into the water, and just about died, 17c. I should have worn the wetsuit. Anyways 850m later, on the 750m swim I get the end and drag my sorry frozen self out of the water. The life savers seemed relieved as I thought they were going to jump in after me a few times… My angel from Toti is waiting for me, to direct me to my bike. I dry off get changed and remembered to put the helmet on, NB don’t forget the helmet, or your race is done. With Meganne cheering on from the side line it was on your bike for 20km.

So, I go as fast as I can, when I say Doha is flat, there is literally no hills, unless it is manmade. I’m in top gear and passing cyclists even some of those on TT Bikes and thinking this is easy. The bike section is done in no time and I think imagine if I could run this fast… I rack the bike, take off the helmet and I hit the road, 5km in the bag! Well, let me tell you a little story, that none of the Triathletes I spoke to for advice told me about. You need to rest your legs before the end of the bike, or they turn to jelly. For the first 3km, someone else’s legs were running for me, don’t know who, but thank you anyway. I was so fast, in those other persons legs, Meganne did not even see me finish.

After the adventure in Qatar, it was back home, to run Loskop and Tour D’ Durban a week later, all carefully coordinated by Craig George, ensuring I’m resting, training following the coach’s orders. Then we heard those dreaded words, “My Fellow South Africans”

Level 5 and the start of garden running, well thank the Lord for Trail Running as this is exactly what it was, round and around and around you would go. 5km is 45 minutes, like what on earth. Anyway this continues, Loskop is cancelled, then Oceans and we stay locked up. So, Debbie Wessels gets a bright idea and challenges me to run 42,2km around my house for her Cape Town Spending money, to donate to a charity of my choice. Mmmm, Ok, let raise some funds for those that are really struggling through these extraordinary times. The big day arrives and I start out and I run, and run, change direction and run, my dog Captain starts running with me but decides after about 5 minutes, this is crazy. I messaged Debbie about three hours into the run just on 20km to say this is madness and she calmly replies, you got this! Seven hours and fifty odd minutes later 479 laps around the house I finish with a swan dive into the pool. Note for future races in 2025, a pool to finish in is a great idea. Total raised for charity R10k!

Eventually Level 4 and Level 3 came to be, and we could venture out the yards and into the streets. Well who know there were so many dog walkers and runners in Glenwood. It was fantastic to see people and the some of those new faces are still at it.

Comrades was still up in the air and then boom cancelled and many a roadie’s heart was broken. That Comrades Dream, gone! Fear not along came Virtual Races and Comrades had a great idea, run, just not the race and run it from anywhere, just stay safe. I must admit, that although it will never compete with the vibe of Comrades, the trot up Botha’s Hill to The Wall and back with all the other runners on the road, was special. 21.1km Comrades, might be a great idea for the future.

I decided it was time to run an international event and what a better race than that of The Hawaii Marathon. So training started in earnest, with the help of the Stella Morning Group, known as the “Early Birds” keeping Stella out of any liabilities with the you know who. Nobody else was going to run, so I mapped out a route, Surf Riders to Umhlanga and back would be along the coast and give a semi feel of the tropical island of Hawaii. Then Alistair Green offered to come and run with Petra as our support on 27km. This was going to be a race with no water tables, time starts and only stops at the end. The day started off overcast and things were looking up, first 10km in an hour, and we work our way to The Pier, a quick photo shot as one does and we turn for home.

By this time Durban decides to show off and the sun comes out blazing. Alistair kept say, on the way back, Petra will be at Caltex in Forest Drive with refreshments, and we could not wait to get there fast enough. A well-deserved 10-minute break change of shirt, food and cold drinks, and it was 15km to go, home stretch. As we all know too well that promenade can be brutal, the last 8km was no hell, but know there was a huge Chocolate Milkshake at the end was the reward. Hawaii Completed 4:42 and change, two very happy Stella runners.

Running it a great fun and running with friends makes it so much more fun. Always find a friend that will be willing to deal with your whinging, has a sense of humour and will encourage you to keeping going.

 Then a friend of mine in Pretoria messaged me to say why don’t we do a trail run in the mountains, seeing that these races are open. We looked and found one in December enough time to trail, only 40km and 1600m of elevation. Pat Freeman told me about Norther Drakensberg Trail last year, that she ran and loved it. #DNT2020 it was going to be.

On Saturday the 5th of December my good friend Jenny Cairns from Irene Running Club started the daunting task of #DNT2020. Knowing that this was an Andrew Booth race, KZN Trail Running, it would be spectacular but tough. Stella was well represented with Shantelle and Brett Walters, Pat Freeman and Margie all taking on the 20km event as well.

The day started off cold, wet and misty, a blessing is disguise as we never really saw what lay ahead of us. Sometimes the mist was so thick, we had to search for the markers to proceed forward. Jenny and I started off nicely, evenly paced, and we banked on 8kph, we should have more than enough in the bag for the 11H30 (6 Hour Cut Off on 25km) Boy were we wrong! We climbed, climbed some more and then climbed again, trying not to walk off the ridge to certain pain and death! Roadies, I’m being dramatic, trail running is the best running to improve your road running, I promise, take it from a runner that could barely break 7 minute a kilometre two years back.

We got to the 25km mark with 30 minutes to spare, time for a break, food at the aid station before taking on Vultures Pass. (460m long, 179m high and 24 minutes of climbing at 38% gradient)

By this time, it was bucketing down with rain but eventually we get to the top and start working our way back to the start. The mist slowly started to lift and the sun game out to reveal the Sterkfontein Dam in all its glory on our left and The Royal Natal Park on our right. The beauty can’t be described in words, not by me anyway.

We found a straggler from Durban Old Boys, and he tagged along for the last 14km that felt like an eternity, we were convinced that we would be stone last, but it was not about where you finished, but finishing the challenge that counts. When the results came out, we were only 5th from last, to a good result none the less 😊 Race Result: 40,5km in a time of 09:36:12 and 1970m of Elevation!

As the year draws to an end, and the uncertainty that the future holds with regards to races next year, I would like to thank all my running friends and supporters for being there for me this year. To all my fellow Stella friends and running friends from elsewhere, my advice is pick something that scares you, set the goal, enter, train and always wear sun screen!

Here’s to 2021.

Road Captain Rants

To say we will never forget 2020 is an understatement! Who would have thought that when the clock struck 00:00 2020, that we would have experienced such a dramatic, upside down passage of time. I do not think anyone can say they were unaffected by “Rona”! To see the whole world literally come to a standstill was eerie and totally surreal.

There were many negative aspects, illness, loss of life, loss of income, morale, and depression to name the obvious. But I think there were a few positives to be taken from it. We all had to dig deep and re-evaluate what our priorities were. To really see that things are not as important as relationships and where our time is spent is important. As a community we had to reach out and help where possible, which is humbling.

Running was altered to the backyard and athletes had to learn to be creative with the minimal space they had. I am not a short distance runner, but suddenly clocking up 5k’s a day was like running a marathon, just to stay sane! The day we were allowed “out of camp” to run between 06.00 and 09.00 was such a social occasion.  To see our running mates again was a stop every few hundred metres just to catch up, recognising everyone under the disguise of a buff/mask and realising how important friendships are. 

Some of the accomplishments people achieved in the virtual world was amazing. Treadmills were abused, and paths created from repetitive laps to achieve half marathons, marathons, Two Oceans and Comrades distances was mind boggling.

Many more folk donned on running kit that perhaps would never have started exercising but because it was now limited, it ignited a spark to keep fit and healthy. Virtual runs allowed us to compete in races that we would never be able to participate in.

We were finally able to open the club in the latter part of the year, and to see the response of dedicated athletes was amazing. Our first time trial and braai was really special. We have seen many folk coming back to the club. Not to be put off by the faster runners, a new group sprung up with the “easy paced” run/walk group starting  15 minutes earlier, following the same planned route in order to not be left behind, has been extremely successful. And to see the progress of many athlete is encouraging.

So a year that stopped in March and started again in October is almost up.

Chairman’s Chirp

By Dave Beattie

Hello fellow Stars

It’s hard to believe that we are already in mid-March, dusting ourselves down after having successfully hosted the Stella AC leg of the Time Trial League in February and our Marshalls World of Sport Stella Royal in early March. Both events were massively successful and certainly reinforced the club’s position as one of the premier athletic clubs in KZN. Neither of these events would have been possible without the fantastic team that we have. To Kevin and his core team, thank you for your dedication to the club. To anyone who helped in any way, thank you for your valuable time and effort. The Marshalls World of Sport Stella Royal would also not have been possible without our core sponsor Marshalls World of Sport and the involvement of Discovery Vitality. Thank you to them and all our sponsors for supporting us in very difficult economic times. We are not letting grass grow under our feet and are already planning to make the 2021 race even better.

We are entering a very important training period for all those athletes who are running Comrades this year. The training will be ramped up and there will be a wide variety of long runs available to our members. Sandy will keep you all informed of all the weekly training options available. The Weekend Warriors will not be neglected during this time though. We will be putting on shorter routes for the runners not doing Comrades, but training for shorter races.

Last month at the Hillcrest 42 / 21 kilometre race there was an outcry on social media about the littering during the race.  As runners, we are blessed to run races in the most beautiful parts of our country, and it is therefore totally unacceptable that our environment is abused in that way. KZNA has vowed to clamp down on littering by disqualifying the perpetrators. As Stella AC we need to take the lead in this regard and ensure that we are not a contributor to the littering problem. I would be very upset if I were to be notified of any Stella athlete who had been seen littering during a race. I believe that we all have a responsibility to call out fellow Stella athletes who litter. This is the only way that we are going to stop this unacceptable practice. The committee will not hesitate to take the appropriate action against any athlete who brings our club into disrepute by being caught littering. Please feel free to report any such sightings to anyone on the committee and we will take the appropriate action.

We are all aware of the impact that social media has on the speed at which information travels. Within minutes thousands of people could see a post. Whilst this has its advantages it is the disadvantages that I would like to focus on. Posting something without forethought or in anger can have serious consequences. Bringing this concept back to club level I urge all members to refrain from posting opinions or comments that could bring the club into disrepute. If any member has a grievance or concern about any club or running matter, they are requested to approach a committee member about the issue.  The matter will be investigated, and prompt feedback given. As with the littering situation, any inappropriate social media posts could result in the member being brought before the committee to explain their actions.  As a committee, we would like to avoid any such unpleasantness.

For those members who do not come to the club on a regular basis, I am excited to announce the opening of our new Den. A lot of time and effort was put in by all concerned to get the project completed and Den opened before our race. The project is not finished yet and small improvements will continue to be made over the coming months. Members are welcome to send the committee any ideas that they feel would further add to the look or functionality of the Den. We will shortly be launching a competition in which members will be asked to come up with a name for our Den.

To finish on a positive note, it is fantastic to see all the new members who are running at our club nights. New faces are vital for keeping a club on an upward trajectory. Welcome to all those new members and we look forward to seeing you on the road.

Happy running.

Membership 2020

Renewal

In an effort to streamline the membership registration process for 2020, we urge runners to make payment before January if possible.  The idea being that your licence number will be waiting for you with your receipt and a pre-populated ASA registration form for signature.

Licence collection is expected to take place from the first week in January.  A notice will go out.

Payments

Via EFT

STELLA ATHLETIC CLUB

220226     Account 6202 9283801 

Use your name & licence number as the reference   EG: sally2200  

OR at the club using ZAPPER or Cash

New Members

The 2020 ASA Application form can be downloaded off our website or we have a stock available at the club.  

Tania Waters or Pat Freeman are available at the club to assist or email

stellaathleticclub@gmail.co.za

Age Category Tags

Are available from Sean the barman at a cost of R10 a set

Message from the Chairman – 2019

By Dave Beattie 

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 and spend time at the gazebo after 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)

2019 has been another big year for Stella AC. We started the year with Stella AC playing an important role in the Task Team that was formed to regain control of KZN Athletics on behalf of all runners. It was a very difficult time, but over the year under the guidance of Steve Mkasi, this Task Team has achieved its objectives and us the clubs and runners now again have a say in how the organization will be managed. KZNA will now go from strength to strength.

Stella AC is definitely heading in the right direction. Our numbers are growing and most importantly the majority of these new members are actively involved in our weekly activities. These new members bring a vibrancy to the club that must be sustained at all costs. We must remain good ambassadors on the road and in the community and never rest on our laurels. Stella AC must be a place where any passionate athlete can find a home. As a committee it’s important that we listen to the members ideas and comments so that we can remain relevant in the running community. At the same time members can play an important role in keeping the club sustainable by offering their time and skills to make the club a pleasant place to be.   

Big plans are being made for 2020. The Marshalls World of Sport Stella Royal in March will be part of the Discovery Vitality Series. This will mean that a 5km fun run will be added to the existing menu of 25km and 10km races.  With the logistical support of Discovery this race will be taken to the next level and we anticipate that the event will be a massive success. It is our aim to invest some of the profit made on this race in the renovation of the Den and the expansion of our Development Runner Program. We will put a request out for assistance from our members when it comes to the organization of any work-parties. 

With the Committee and members all pulling in the same direction I foresee a productive and hugely successful 2020. Most people will be looking forward to a rest over the festive season. The Club will be closed from 16 December until 7 January. Our first Club run of the new year will be on 7 January and the first Time Trial on 9 January. This will give the majority of you athletes time to 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 2020 will bring you all health, happiness and success.

End of Year Message from the Chairman

48369635_10161232023280603_3657498139574665216_n.jpg

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

#WhattheHILL Hillcrest 21 km

By: Kim Flack

Kim Flack Hillcrest 21Km

A few months ago if anyone had asked me to run 5 km I would tell them I could run and walk it only.  Once I got to running a full 5km I thought, well I could actually run 10km.  After running with the Stella Newbies for a few months I was able to run 13km.  Dave announced at one of our weekly runs he would lead a bus on the Hillcrest 21km and aim to finish between 2h:40min – 2h:45min.

I thought this could be quite fun and how much further than 13km was it really? Come the night before the race I was worried I wouldn’t wake up, checked the alarm a few times and when I heard the rain come down at 12:30am I was starting to panic a bit.
The run started off wet from the rains the night before and it did rain a bit in the beginning which was great to be cool, but I had wet socks and shoes from the get go – my pet hate!

But our bus was in good spirits and with Dave leading us I started to enjoy the run – even the few up hills in the first half.  Sean and Al pranking along the way and Dave always checking we were all ok, the rest of the team jovial – there were no worries.

At about 16km in my body felt like the end should have been near but with 5km left to go I told myself that there was only a park run left to go, only a park run left to go…
Then it dawned on me those lovely hills we so enjoyed running down until about halfway we were now having to climb to get to the end. With my ITB giving me warning signals I did end up walking unashamedly up some of those hills. But thanks to Dave and the rest of the Stella bus encouraging me all the way to the end I was elated to have finished my first 21km.

I intend to be stronger for the Deloitte Challenge and with all the advice from Stella members I know I will succeed!

The Smartinis win the Stella Quiz Night!

By: Amanda Botes

Stella Athletic Club hosted a quiz and burger night on Friday 29 September by quiz masters Dave Wright and Hylton Forge. If you weren’t there you missed out! Music, Sport, Geography and History were all covered, including a music session where teams had to guess the song titles of Elton John songs. Who knew “Honky Cat” was an actual name of a song? 🙂 Anyway, a lot of fun was had by all, and the results of the evening were:

  1. The Smartinis (Louise, Derek, Jess, and Ian’s Team)
  2. The Sex Pistols (Dave, Tracey, Sandy and Sean’s Team)
  3. DJ Stag (Dawn, Julie, Aldine, and Grant’s Team)
  4. Juluka (Kevin, Tawanda, Nana, Tozamile, David, Alex and Cindy’s Team)

The top five teams all won prizes. We would like to thank all the sponsors of the evening including Glenwood Spar, Spoonful Eatery, Durban Runner, Louise, and Dawn.

All the pictures from the evening were captured by Shannon Hucklesby and can be found on the Stella Athletic Facebook Page. The next upcoming social event will be a Halloween Party on the 27 October. You don’t want to miss it! Start getting your outfits ready!