Saturday 24 August is the big day, when the city of Makhanda (Grahamstown) joins forces to put on the GBS Mutual Bank Mountain Drive Half Marathon. Here’s all you need to know!
Rotary Club of Grahamstown Sunset
The Rotary Club of Grahamstown Sunset has the pleasure of welcoming all runners and supporters to our annual GBS Mutual Bank Mountain Drive Half Marathon.
This event is expanding and this year we have added the Dassie Dash Challenge. It is a relay of 4 laps of 2.4kms and it will take place around the Graeme College Campus. This race is ideal for families, businesses, friends and individuals who are not ready to run the Half Marathon but still want to be part of this event.
We are trying to keep this race as “green” as possible and we have a five year plan to make this race completely plastic free. A 50m litter zone at water tables has been introduced and litter outside this zone will not be allowed. All runners were encouraged to bring their own hydration backpacks or water bottles. However, there will be water sachets for those who are not able to do so – for now, anyway!
Events like these are not possible without sponsors and we appreciate the support we received from local businesses and businesses of surrounding areas.
Have fun and looking forward to seeing you at the finish!
Kesentri Govender – President: Rotary Club of Grahamstown Sunset
GBS Mutual Bank
On behalf of GBS Mutual Bank, we welcome all the runners to our city. This is the second year that we are the main sponsor of the Mountain Drive Half Marathon, and we are thrilled to see the growth of the event. We hope to see lots of serious runners, as well as children, families and business teams entering in the Dassie Dash Challenge. The GBS is entering nine teams for the Dash, as well as running a water table – so our staff are fully involved.
This Half Marathon is becoming a favourite event with runners, not only for the scenic route, but for the fine organisation, entertainment and sheer fun of the run. Thank you to the Rotary Club of Grahamstown Sunset and the Albany Saints and Sinners for their meticulous organisation, and as always, to Graeme College for the use of their wonderful facilities. The GBS Mutual Bank wishes you a great race over our Mountain Drive!
Anton Vorster – Managing Director: GBS Mutual Bank
Support for supporters!
The GBS Mutual Bank Half Marathon draws together local service clubs who collaborate to make the event a success for visiting runners. Organised by the Rotarians of the Rotary Club of Grahamstown Sunset, assisted by the Albany Saints and Sinners Multisports Club – the runners will be fed by the Rotary Club of Grahamstown who will be running their famous kudu burger stall for the day. They will also be serving breakfast for the early morning registration session. The burger stall has been a feature of the Arts Festival since the start of the Village Green in 1989, so the Rotarians have plenty of experience flipping burger patties!
The local Round Tablers will also be assisting with a children’s play area. A jumping castle and other activities will be set up to keep the little ones occupied.
How and where to register
Registration for the marathon will take place on Friday evening 23 August from 5.30-8pm at the Graemian Centre, where you will also be able to get a bowl of pasta provided by Albany Saints and Sinners for R10. Runners can also register on Saturday morning before the race, from 6-7.45 am on the morning of the race. So if you haven’t decided if you want to run yet – you can ‘enter on the day’! Costs for entry are R100 for the Half Marathon and R40 for a Temporary Liscense. For Dassie Dash entrants, the cost is R50 per person, or R200 for a team of 4. The cut off time for the Half Marathon is 12 noon, with Prizegiving taking place at 12.15. There also will be plenty of spot prizes, so make sure to stick around until the end.
Feeding the inner runner!
There will be plenty of food and drink available to the runners and spectators of the Mountain Drive Half Marathon on Saturday. Besides the Rotary Club of Grahamstown’s burger and breakfast stall, the Mugg & Bean will be setting up a coffee and muffin station for the early birds. There will be action from 7 am and the unmistakable smell of boerewors rolls and coffee will attract race entrants and their families. At the pub in the Graemian Centre, you will be able to buy drinks including craft beer and gin from Featherstone Brewery.
Runners and spectators will be able to park on the Graeme College campus, where there is demarcated parking space. However, the road running from the swimming pool off Withypool Road will be kept clear for the runners coming in for the finish of the race.
Green support (and water!)
Organisers of the GBS Mountain Drive Half Marathon are determined to make it greener each edition and this year, they’re getting a boost in that direction from Crossfit.
Runners on the GBS Mountain Drive Half Marathon are in for a treat with six fabulous water tables along the way with music, entertainment and lots of inspiration. Water table hosts are GBS Mutual Bank, Wimpy, Pick n Pay, Crossfit, Victoria Girls High School and the Kingswood Junior Parents Association.
Runners will be able to collect water sachets or grab a coke there, but must dispose of their cups and sachets in bins within a litter zone of 50m after the water table. With a strong push to make the race as ‘green’ as possible, organisers are appealing to runners not to litter Mountain Drive. First prize is to run with your own hydration pack or collapsible cup.
“It’s all a process of educating people to be more aware,” said race organiser Tim Dold. “We hope to leave Mountain Drive pristine after the race and we need runners to help us to do this, so we’re asking them to use the litter zones and not create plastic litter that will pollute the environment.”
However, Crossfit owner Trevor Davies has pledged that the gym will collect all the GBS 21K runners’ plastic litter for an ecobrick project they’re managing. So not only does Crossfit have your back with a fantastic vibey water table in the Industrial Area – they’ll also be your conscience for you!
A special treat for runners will be the lone piper stationed at the summit of Mountain Drive. Local piper, Kevin Campbell will pipe the runners over the hill. Last year, Kevin’s brother Jonathon greeted runners on the mountain in full regalia with his bagpipe tunes. It was big hit, and so the pipes will sound across the hills again this year!
DON’T FORGET THE
Followers of the GBS Mutual Bank Mountain Drive Half Marathon Facebook page will be familiar with Dash the Dassie who has been making all the announcements this year. Dash was adopted as the spokesdassie for the event this year, after being created by renowned local artist, Tori Stowe, especially for the purpose. Dassies, also known as the Rock Hyrax, are plentiful on the Mountain Drive, and runners will probably see Dash and his relatives sunning themselves on the rocks as they run over the mountain.
Dash has also lent his name to the new event for the day – the Dassie Dash Challenge, and 4 x 2,4km relay race around the Graeme College campus. The Dassie Dash has been introduced so that children can also participate in the day, as well as family and business teams. Main sponsor of the event, the GBS Mutual Bank have entered nine teams in the Dassie Dash, with staff members getting fully involved with costumes and roping in their families to help! Other businesses in town are also entering into the spirit of things and we’ll see plenty of ‘Dashers’ on Saturday!
GBS Mutual Bank (main sponsor)
C M Heunis Building Contractors
Mugg & Bean
Peppergrove Pick ‘ Pay
And don’t forget the new finish!