As the GBS Mutual Bank Mountain Drive Half Marathon draws ever closer, the Albany Saints and Sinners Multisport Club has once again committed to enabling running in the community through its Development Runners Programme.
Albany, which is assisting in planning and organising the 2018 GBS Mountain Drive race, supports 10 local runners from the Grahamstown (Makhanda) community, who cannot afford the annual club membership and license fees, according to club chairperson, Jaco van Dyk.
The programme has a number of great athletes from all age groups, who all receive club running vests to help them connect with the rest of the club.
In the past, these runners have also received donations to defray some of the more costly expenses such as running shoes. While Albany could not fulfil a similar commitment this year, they have already set in motion two events for 2019 that should help fill up the kitty for such a commitment. The club’s members also often donate running shoes to the athletes.
“As a club we are very proud of our Development Running group as these athletes are some of the top athletes in the province. Not only on the Road Running front but also with regards to Trail Running,” said Van Dyk.
“Our Development Runners don’t take this opportunity for granted and has assisted us with Marshalling for instance at various events in 2017 and in 2018 – the most recent event being the SciFest fun run earlier this year.”
The programme is not merely financial, but provides assistance with transport and accommodation during out-of-town races. For example, the Kowie Striders from Port Alfred and the Muizenberg Trail Dawgs assisted the club’s athletes during this year’s 2 Ocean Marathon in Cape Town.
“They will be participating in this year’s GBS Mountain Drive Half Marathon,” said Van Dyk. “Sadly we have a couple on injuries which means you might see them on the route waving you on.”
The GBS Mutual Bank Mountain Drive Half Marathon will take place on Saturday 25 August, and guarantees to be a fun-filled family event. Registration is still open for the race at bit.ly/GrocGBSMtnDrive21