This Saturday sees the running (and walking) of one of Sedgefield’s biggest and most-loved sporting events – The Sedgefield Striders Tortoise Tuff, sponsored by Pick n Pay and a host of other generous co-sponsors.
Indeed from 5am onwards the Sedgefield Primary School fields will be buzzing with ever-intensifying pre-race excitement as athletes from all over the Western Province, and indeed South Africa, arrive to take on the Tuff challenge.
The two most gruelling races the Tuff has are the 30km, which takes runners (and some walkers) over the steepest terrain that Sedgefield and surrounds has to offer, and the 23km Trail Run that leads athletes on sandy pathways through the hills and valleys of the Goukamma Nature Reserve. The 30km walk starts at 6am, and the run at 7am, whilst the trail run sets off at 7.10am.
But there are easier, and indeed quicker-paced events on offer too. The 10km course, which forms part of the Athletics South West District Running and Walking Trials, is flat and fast, taking competitors around the scenic Island suburb. As well as the speedsters and those looking to improve their 10km personal best, the race is also popular for runners and walkers who are after a more social experience. The starting time for this event is 7.15am.
As is tradition, the Striders’ race-day menu also includes something for the young, and perhaps not so fit. This is the 3km Tortoise Tuff Fun Run, which forms part of the ASWD Sub-youth trials and starts at 7.20am. Always a favourite for people of all ages and fitness levels, what better event for a bit of family time together?
Online entries for all these events are already closed, but late entries will be accepted at the school field on the afternoon of Friday (13 March). The Fun Run may be entered either on the Friday afternoon, or on the morning of the race from 6am onwards.
The Tortoise Tuff organisers are extremely grateful that many of Sedgefield’s businesses, clubs, and indeed residents have stepped forward to support the event. This assistance includes anything from sponsoring spot prizes, to operating refreshment tables at designated spots along the course, to acting as marshals at various intersections.
Locals who aren’t taking part are encouraged to show their Sedgefield Community spirit by encouraging the runners along the courses, and coming to the school to cheer them in at the end of each race. Please also be aware of the sizeable increase of ‘pedestrian traffic’ on our roads during the morning.