May 8, 2012
The annual Hermanus Wheels and Runners Race, the only race in South Africa where able-bodied runners and people with disabilities in wheelchairs compete together in different categories, took place on Saturday 5 May 2012.
Sponsored by Checkers and organised by Access for Citizens Committee in association with Whalers Athletic club, the race offers numerous categories to accommodate the abilities of every person: a half marathon (21,1 km) for wheelchair athletes only; 10 km, 7 km and 5 km races for runners and wheelchair athletes; and a 6km Fun Run/Walk that is open to all members of the public as well as disabled people and their assistants. The main aim of the race is to create greater awareness of the abilities of disabled people and their needs.
More than 500 athletes took part in this year’s race with wheelchair athletes participating in racing chairs, hand cycles, tricycles and motorised chairs, while runners took on the beautiful coastal route in their running shoes or bare foot!
It was also touching to see the eagerness to participate in children and adults who took on the 5km walk with leg braces and crutches, pushing themselves in normal wheelchairs, or scooting along in shop riders.
Well-known South African musician, Mathys Roets, also participated in the race for the first time this year, and won the 10 km tricycle race for men. He encourages more wheelchair-users to take part in such races: “It’s not that difficult, it’s almost easier than running it!”
The winners in each category were:
- 5 km race for athletes in wheelchairs (men): Clifford Martin (32) from Milnerton
- 5 km race for athletes in wheelchairs (women): Mpume Ngubo (43) from Richmond, KZN
- 5 km race for runners (men): Ignatious Matema (12) from Hermanus
- 5 km race for runners (women): Claudia Steneveldt (22) from Standford
- 10 km for runners (men): Tsepo Shelembe van Richmond, KZN
- 10 km for runners (women): Paola Vignani from Montagu
- 10 km for athletes in wheelchairs: Tasreeq Adams (14) from Paarl
- 10 km for tricycles (men): Mathys Roets van Pretoria
- 10 km for tricycles (women): Sanien de Beer from Somerset West
- 21,1 km for athletes in wheelchairs: Yusthin Lintnaar (19) with a tricycle. In second place was Tiaan Boshoff (14) with a hand cycle.
Congratulations to all the participants, finishers and winners!
© Photo by Bernard Jordaan