Let me introduce myself to all the new members and some of the existing “old” members. I am the Running Reporter. I am a member of the club. I attend time trials, road races, club arranged races, functions and everything that happens where our club is involved. If your actions are normal, you will not make my report, but do something out of the ordinary or plain stupid, everyone in the club will read about it. I know it sounds like a cliché from the newspaper vendors in Cape Town selling the Argus but in this case it is true.
That said; let’s see what I can report on. In English they have a saying that he/she “was running so fast that one could not see them for dust”. In Afrikaans it is “hul hardloop dat die stof staan”. But what if you did not run or move at a fast speed? Zelna Black, our vivacious admin manager had a bit of a hic-up at a race the other day and she “bought a piece of ground” and fell like a ton of bricks. Her fall was remarkable in the sense that there was no blood (a dry fall) but she did manage to raise a cloud of dust.
So in Afrikaans instead of her “hardloop dat die stof staan het sy geval dat die stof staan” Yes, poor ‘old’ Zelna really fell, that for a while she could not be seen for dust. Zelna, you did not have to go to this extreme to give me a story, but I gladly accept.
You all know the saying that “I’ve lost track of time” The question is how much time can we lose because we lost track of time. Another member of the management team, Frances Lezar was supposed to attend a meeting with the race committee. The date of the meeting is normally fixed at the previous meeting and Wynand then sends a reminder to ensure that the team “don’t lose track of time”.
Frances, our lovely lady from the clothing shop must have had just one too many on her plate, or was it in her glass. She answered Wynand’s E-Mail reminding the members about the last meeting before the Lantern race. She pointed out that due to work related pressure she would not be able to attend, but this E Mail was only sent the day after the meeting. So losing track of time by at least a complete day makes me think Frances needs a holiday.
For some people in the club, being one another’s “Valentine” is the in thing, or so they thought. Andre Rudolph & Vanessa White could not believe their luck that they both (the only two in the club) got pink club T Shirts when all the rest got white. When enquiring about this strange phenomenon from Wynand, and the shocking revelation that it is impossible that two T Shirts were made in pink, deeper analysis were done. It became evident that while the two new T Shirts were washed first before use; a nice red number from Vanessa’s wardrobe found its way into the washing machine at the same time. Andre & Vanessa just put it down to supporting cancer and forget the rest.
Ansie Breytenbach has done it this time. While being in a rush to get to the time trial, Ansie packed what she thought was all the required items, including socks. When she arrived at the clubhouse and went to change, much to her surprise the socks, while in her tog bag changed to gloves. I can understand it if someone normally runs with “Vibram” shoes that look like a glove for the foot, too then mistake your gloves for socks, but this was an all new for Ansie.
Ansie arrived at the club without socks, and fortunately she could buy socks at the club shop, but Teresia Stander arrived without shoes! Someone, please tell me how you prepare to run a time trial without packing shoes? The only logical thing would be if you are more than confident that you will be winning the lucky draw (pair of shoes). Unfortunately that did not happen and some kind “Samaritan” lent her a pair of flip flops otherwise she would have spent the rest of the evening walking around barefoot.
Modern technology can be a comfort or confusion. If in doubt ask James Black just how comfortable he is with his latest and greatest GPS device. For those who may not know, GPS is the acronym for Global Positioning System. James and his lovely wife Zelna intended to take part in the Sasol Marathon taking place at the Sasol Recreation Club in Secunda. James entered into his GPS device the Sasol Recreation club and the clever device plotted a route and ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival).
When they travelled past the back end of Alberton, nearing the “Blokhuis” on the Sybrand van Niekerk highway Zelna got uneasy about the direction, knowing that Secunda is in Mpumalanga and they were heading away from it. James consulted the GPS again, this time adding to the Sasol Recreational Club the word Secunda. The picture changed dramatically and the estimated time of arrival changed to 06h00, the start time of the marathon.
Realising that, that plane had left, they opted for the Bronkhorstspruit 32 race and again the GPS was consulted. Here the ETA showed 05h40, and the decision was taken to cut down 10 kilos on distance running, and go for the 32. The question now remains, is the device “stupid” or actually clever and the operator less than sharp so early in the morning.
Unfortunately, this type of drama did not end with James, no, another committee member, Oom Gerard “caravan” v/d Raad also fell foul to the modern technology. Gerard was on his way to the new race “Love the Run” at Noordelikes Rugby Club. I know for a fact that Gerard has been in that area for races more times than what I have fingers and toes. The old trusted route of Rachel de Beer, into Daan de Wet Nel and then President Steyn to Jopie Fourie was not opted for, but instead the GPS. Gerard realised he is going wrong when he went up Silkaats Nek, going towards Brits. In the case of Gerard I may understand the confusion as this man is not in the same age category as James, but much older, and to add to the problem, the operating instruction was in English, not High Dutch.
There is a lesson to be learned from this, if you know the direction, follow instinct, not electronics.
Have you ever had the feeling that certain events, cars, items or places have what we refer to as a ‘Jinx” on you? Well for our GM, Wynand, that place is East London. In order to understand I have to take our readers back a few years to 2013. Wynand was part of a seconding team for a few of our runners doing the ‘Washie” Our then club chairman, Pieter Olivier, was also taking part in the Washie. After the race and awards ceremony, the entire crew set off to a restaurant for a breakfast before heading home.
They were about 150 kilos away from the breakfast spot when they stopped for a leg stretch and realised that where the trailer should be behind Pieter’s car was only a vacant space. To cut a long story short, the trailer was unhooked and stolen while they were having breakfast. 2016 - Wynand, as the team manager of the AGN team, travelled with the team to East London for the SA Marathon Championship event. On arrival at the airport Wynand rented 3 minibus vehicles for the team members. Wynand was also the dedicated driver for one of these minibuses.
Unfortunately, the bus that Wynand was driving had a defect; the sliding door on the side for passengers was faulty. Keeping his temper in check, Wynand went back to the rental office to report this and get another vehicle. Eventually Wynand and his crew could get underway. Upon arrival at the hotel, the other minibuses where there waiting. Wynand was informed that the car rental office at the airport phoned. They picked up a wallet in the “defect” minibus belonging to Wynand. A mad chase back to the airport proved fruitful as nothing was lost from the wallet. All cash & credit cards were in place. Wynand saw this as his luck that was changing and kept his eyes wide open the entire weekend hoping to spot his prized possession that he lost when the trailer was stolen, his “orange crocs”! Wynand, you should have forgotten about the “orange crocs” and rather have looked for the trailer.
Well folks that is it for this report so “cheers vir eers”.
The Running Reporter