GBS Half Marathon back again

The 2019 GBS Mutual Bank Mountain Drive Half Marathon has officially been announced, once again organised by the Rotary Club of Grahamstown Sunset, with the aid of the Albany Saints and Sinner Multisport Club and sponsored by GBS Mutual Bank. For the second year in a row, the GBS Mountain Drive 21km challenges residents and visitors to conquer the mountain, this time on Saturday 24 August, 2019.

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The organising committee of the 2019 GBS Mutual Bank Mountain Drive Half Marathon gathered at the top of Mountain Drive, overlooking Makhanda in the distance as they prepare for the race on 24 August 2019. From left to right: Jaco van Dyk (Albany Saints and Sinners Multisport Club Chairperson), Izak Smuts (President of the Grahamstown Rotary Sunset Club), Tim Dold (Race organiser and member of the Grahamstown Rotary Sunset Club) and Anton Vorster (Managing Director at GBS Mutual Bank). Photo: Stephen Kisbey-Green

“We are very pleased to be sponsoring this,” said Anton Vorster, the GBS Mutual Bank Managing Director. “We are in for a three year period and this is year two of that. We were chuffed last year worked out very well; we exceeded the targeted number and we hope that this year we are able to do significantly better than that.”

Tim Dold, the race organiser for 2019, expressed his excitement for the new initiatives that are planned for the 2019 edition of the race. “We’ve got lots of exciting innovations coming in. This year we have the marathon, and we also have the 8km fun run. Down the line there’s a corporate challenge lined up, so yes, we are on track,” said Dold. “There is a database of all the runners that took part in last year’s race, and they are all going to be contacted shortly with email reminders about the event.”

“Last year’s recipe did work well, but there is always room for improvement. Watch this space. There are a couple of new things coming up,” said Dold.

Jaco van Dyk, the Chairperson of the Albany Saints and Sinners Multisport Club, expressed how much they have learned as an organising committee from the previous year. “I think this is definitely going to be a huge improvement on the previous year. Last year was definitely a learning curve for all of us being a new committee taking over from Stephen Penney who of course organised it the previous years.”

Izak Smuts, President of the Grahamstown Sunset Rotary Club, looked to bring the event to the forefront of the town’s focus, and wants to involve the entire town in the event. “It is a wonderful opportunity for us to get the entire Rotary Club involved in one project, because there is more than enough for all of us to do. It is a fun event for us and it is one that brings together a whole host of Grahamstown and Eastern Cape people and we couldn’t hope for a happier way of doing what it is that we do which is service.”

“We do think that this is far bigger than just a Rotary Club or a half marathon, it is about Grahamstown, it is about getting people to our town, and seeing what we have to offer and GBS is very proud to be involved in that,” said Vorster.

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