Mar 21, 2008
The annual Hermanus Wheels and Runners Race, the only integrated wheelchairs and runners race in South Africa, was a huge success this year with 325 entries in comparison to the 170 entries of the first race in 2007.
Athletes from Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu natal, Oudtshoorn, George and Mossel Bay all joined the local athletes from the Overstrand, Cape Town and the Winelands to participate in the event. The MC, Zain Johnson from KFM, did a great job in helping to create the wonderful spirit of the day, while thee prize –giving ceremony was opened by the Overstrand mayor, Mr. Theo Beyleveldt.
This race, that is sponsored by Checkers and organised by Access for Citizens Committee in association with Whalers Athletic club, offers people with disabilities in wheelchairs as well as able-bodied athletes and members of the public the opportunity to participate in the same race. The main aim of the event is to create greater awareness of the abilities of disabled people and their needs.
It is the only race in SA where runners and athletes in wheelchairs participate together in different categories. The oldest entrant was 87 yrs in his motorized shoprider and he came fifth in his category. It is also the only event in SA with a relay race between runners and athletes in wheelchairs. The Fun walk (push anything on wheels) was well attended by families, kids in go-carts and atlethes in wheelchairs. Some of the wheelchair athletes were in tears when they thanked the organizers for this amazing opportunity to participate in a national race with all other athletes and gain recognition for their abilities. The murder ball rugby game (for wheelchair athletes) was won by Maties-Helderberg team and it was the first of its kind played in Hermanus. Some of the athletes participated in the race in their rugby wheelchairs.
The date for next year is 2 May 2009 and all the athletes promised to be back for the next challenge.
1,3 km race for Quadriplegic athletes: Ricardo Hendricks.
5 km race for motorized chairs: Wikus Muller from CT.
10 km for runners: Tsepo Shelembe (men) from KZN, Mariaan Malan (women)
10 km for athletes in wheelchairs: Sibusiso Mathenjwa (men) from KZN, Nerene Luyt (women)
21,1 km for Handcycles: Stuart Mc Creadie (men) from CT, Ina Rowles (women) from Pretoria
21, 1 km for Racing chairs: Gerrit Hendricks from George
Visit the race web site for more results and information.