1987 Military Tattoo, Stuart was in the Military Tattoo Guard of Honor and Sheldene was doing the Aerobics display at the Tattoo
How long have you been a member of Stella Athletic Club?
Since December 2019
What was your reason for joining?
Stuart : Ask my wife!
Sheldene: Our friends were members
What is your favorite race distance to run / walk?
Sheldene: 10 km
Stuart: 21 km
What has been your most embarrassing/Funniest running moment to date?
Sheldene: Have you ever done a training walk with Dave Beattie aka Grumpy, need I say more 😊
Stuart: Too many to mention
What is your favorite meal to enjoy the evening before an important race?
Sheldene – Wine the night before a race
Stuart – Future Life
Name your favorite running shoe brand and why?
Sheldene : Not fussy but I prefer Brooks
Stuart: New Balance wide
Describe your personality in 3 words.
Sheldene: Committed – determined – and Grumpy over any distance over 7km
Stuart: Peer Pressure is real
What is your running goal or aspiration?
Sheldene: To complete an 21.1 km and complete the Sani stagger
Stuart: To Improve my time at the Sani stagger Trail
What to date is your biggest running / walking achievement? (your proudest moment)
Sheldene: Double Gold award at the Adidas
Stuart: sub 2 hours on the Deloitte 21.1 km
Who to date has been your biggest running / walking inspiration?
Sheldene: My friend Sharon Troll is my inspiration
Stuart: Mhlengi Gwala ( The promising SA Tri athlete who was attacked in 2019 with an chainsaw while training near University of Kwa-Zulu natal near Glenwood area and who is back on his bike competing again and headed to Italy for the Para-cycling competition
Which couple do you nominate next for questioning?
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.
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.
Stella is a club of many talented athletes, and in varying degrees, not necessarily in speed, but also in endurance, grit, stickability and character. This month we asked two of our Stella legends to share their running stories and achievements with us.
I started running in 1988 at the age of 32, my son Douglas was two years old. A friend of mine used to run and she encouraged me to try and train for a 10km race. So I entered . . . Having never run before, I rushed out (in my north stars) not wanting to come last. I completed the 10Km “Clicks” Ladies race – in a time of 50mins. The time didn’t mean too much to me as there were so many people in front of me, I just didn’t want to be last.
I love a challenge, so roll on 1st half marathon, the “Redro” 21km in Durban North – again I rushed off on my own not wanting to be left behind, get lost or not knowing which way they went! – 1.52hr
The following year, my running club Dolphin Coast Striders, made a HUGE fuss of going to the Two Oceans Marathon 1989 – It looked so pretty and exciting and the experienced runners gave fun “pep” talks and described the route, and the challenges, I couldn’t wait! Apparently, (a little inconvenient) I had to do a marathon in 4.15 to qualify for Oceans, so I entered my first marathon, the Besenol Marathon in Hillcrest (same route as today). The distance didn’t bother me as much as the concern that I would not be able to run Two Oceans if I didn’t qualify. So I hurried along and finished in 4.06hr.
Two Oceans came along and I loved the scenery – vibe and happy day on the road. The cut off was 6 hours – I managed a 5.46hr. I was nearly a real runner! When I realized I could still walk after the race, I thought, surely Comrades could not be that difficult as I had the whole day to complete it! So I entered … My first Comrades 1989 was a down run, I finished up with 10.25hr. It changed my life!
My 31 year running career had started and I am lucky enough to still be on my feet and looking for a challenge or new experience.
Permanent numbers received:
1000km challenge (completing 1000km of registered races in one calendar year) for 3 years running – Permanent Number 320
Mont Aux Sources 50km Ultra Trail (5 times) Permanent number 151
Two Oceans Permanent Number 1650 – best time ever 5.24
Rhodes 52km Ultra Trail – Permanent number 323
Comrades Marathon – Triple green 6883 – best time ever 9.12
Completed 91 Standard Marathons including 4 international Marathons (favourite is New York) – Best Marathon time 3.43.
Completed 11 multi day Ultra Trails.
The MOST difficult 1 day trail I have ever done was the “Otto Grail of trails” – 42km
Completed 55 ultra-marathons (excluding Comrades)
I am forever grateful for the ability to run – no matter how strange my style or slow my pace
My happy place!
By Sandy Mullins
Some people have been part of the Stella tapestry and history for so long, that we don’t realise exactly what they have achieved in their running career. One such person, who has given so much to the club over the years, that she is Mrs Stella! So just to put you in the picture, the spotlight falls on Louise Hucklesby!
Her running career started in 1994 and she ran her first Comrades in 1995, in a time of 10.19. Her fastest time was 8.38. “With all the hectic training I did was lucky to run 5 sub 9’s”. Louise has completed 21 Comrades!
She has also run:
Thirteen Two Oceans, her first in a time of 5.21 and the fastest 4.54.
70 marathons and 20 plus ultras
Louise has permanent numbers for Bergville, Pietermaritzburg, Buffs and Hillcrest. She also was fortunate enough to run the London Marathon in 2001 in Bruce Fordyce’s bus and had the pleasure of having Rory Stein (Madiba’s bodyguard) running with them.
5km – 20.50mins
10km – 42mins
21km – 1.35
42km – 3.19
Louise is passionate about running and loves assisting fellow athletes. She has been Chairperson of Stella and involved in the Committee for almost as long as her running career. She was one of the founders of the ladies time trial league, which in those days was sponsored by Nandos. The gents liked the idea so much that eventually the Time Trial League was formed and is still going today.
“I have had the privilege of managing the KwaZulu-Natal teams going to SA Champs for Cross Country, 10km, 21km and 42km and also served on a few committees at KwaZulu Natal Athletics”.
Words of advice – “Consistency is key and then always keep running and life balanced”.
Stella is fortunate and definitely the richer for all the input and sacrifice that Louise has given and in so doing put Stella on the running map! Thank you Louise!!
Stella is a club of many talented athletes, and in varying degrees, not necessarily in speed, but also in endurance, grit, stickability and character. This month we applaud the following Stella member for his achievements!
When it comes to running, for most of us, we are simply proud to finish a race or complete the goal that we have set for ourselves. But some athletes, are simply amazing with what they manage to achieve, and the beauty about it, is that you would never know because it is not broadcast. That is, until I get hold of it!!😊
Stella has one such sportsman who has achieved so much. Here are just some of his achievements:
In 2008, he summited Kilimanjaro.
In 2015, he comfortably completed the full Ironman competition in PE.
He has completed two Two Oceans Ultras in 2006 and 2014.
He has ten Comrades to his name, his best time being 8:22. However on his 10th, he raised money for charity, doing the UNOGWAJA CHALLENGE, which is a 10-day, 1,660km cycle from Cape Town to Pietermaritzburg, then on day 11, you simply run Comrades! What is seriously impressive is that he did Comrades in under 11 hours and raisingover R500k for Comrades Amabeadi-beadi charities!
Also added to his bucket list of achievements is most of the road and trail running races, cycle races (Amashova, tour Durban) and triathlon events in and around KZN.
Not only is our doctor an achiever, but Grant Matkovich gives back for the love of the sport. He is a member of the Comrades Race Organizing Committee as the Portfolio Convenor for International Hospitality since 2015 to present, which looks after International runners’ registration at the expo and the International hospitality area on race day. He also helps Community Chest Charity with their Comrades fundraising campaigns.
We as Stella are extremely proud of what Grant has done and commend him for his achievements and his selfless giving!
Walking is one of those disciplines that sounds a bit silly at first. Anybody can walk, you might think. Then how on earth could walking fast be a sport?
Well, walking is MY sport!
I joined Stella in mid 2018 due to the fact that it was no longer safe to walk alone in the afternoons as a lady. For me, Stella AC was just a club whereby I could continue my love for walking in a safe environment. It’s become so much more than that!
I had completed a few 10k races as well as three ECR 20km Big Walks, so was under the impression that completing a half marathon would be well within my limits. My first attempt was the SAPS Striders 21km which is a double lap course along our beautiful Durban promenade. I was prepared physically, but for weeks leading up to the event I became less and less confident, worried I was going to be the last person on the road and not finish in the allocated time limit. It was always going to be a dual between my head and my physical ability, it turned out my head won. I bailed at the 16km mark! Looking back I was well within the time limit and was not the last person on the road, I could have finished.
I was feeling despondent and didn’t think the half marathon distance was for me. Fortunately for me it was at this point our Chairperson Dave Beattie offered to guide me through another half marathon. We chose the upcoming Goss & Balfe Sapphire Coast 21km. After a few “big“ and “small” Gillies I felt confident I could do this.
Before I realised it was the morning of the race and it was now or never. Dave and our Stella family were there for me through all the tough moments and 3 hours later, we crossed the finish line with a feeling of euphoria. I DID IT!
Having seconded on the side of the road for many years, I never realised how valued seconds are. Often seconds are husbands or wives, friends or family, in this case it was a Stella angel by the name of Sharon Troll who popped up along the route exactly when she was needed.
The camaraderie amongst the Stella family as a whole has been fantastic, so many playing a part enabling me to accomplish my goal. Thank you everyone!
In the words of Eliud Kipchoge, “NO HUMAN IS LIMITED”
Jocelyn came second in the walking event for the half marathon distance!
Early Saturday morning a bunch of eager walkers from as far as Hilton attended the Walking Clinic given by Natalie le Roux.
She shared her truely inspirational life story, some of her future goals, nutrition, how to train for a race and a little bit about KZN Masters Athletics before taking us through the warm up routine. Boy was that difficult!!! ‘Pulling the line from your navel’, ‘rocking the baby’, ‘loosening those hips’ and ‘activating the shins’ made us all look at bit silly, but we soon saw the benefits of all these movements.
After a few stretching exercises we walked up to Bulwer Park where Natalie explained how we should approach the up hills and downhills, and some other techniques. We did a couple of rounds in the park showing off our new moves.
The clinic was enjoyed by all and several walkers showed interest in future events. So watch this space.
Thanks to Natalie for sharing your knowledge in such a humble way.
Thanks to Jodi Pastorino from KZNMA for joining us.
Thanks to Stella Athletic Club for hosting the clinic.
Thanks to Michael Mostert who took the initiative in asking for a donation towards the Elders Voice and thanks to everyone who gave from the heart.
I’ll end with a very appropriate saying coming from our own Frankie…
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 torecord 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!
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!