Washie 100 – ‘the road to hell’

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WHEN the moon is at its brightest on Friday July 7, the ELB Washie 100 Miler will be well on its way with about 100 athletes attempting the gruesome but rewarding 100 miles between Port Alfred and East London.

FACING THE GIANT: Entrants in last year’s Washie 100 line up at the start at Halyards Hotel Picture: JON HOUZET

Buffalo Road Runners and ELB Equipment have been preparing for the 41st running of the ELB Washie 100 miler that starts at 5pm at the Halyards Hotel in Port Alfred and finishes at the Buffs Club in East London.

The race is named for Granville Washington “Washie” Whitfield, started in his honour by his son, Buffs member Lionel Whitfield.

Washie’s granddaughter Marion Kelly will start the race this year.

There are a number of novice females entered this year

Buffs Road Runners are hoping for 100 entries this year and runners have spent months of training, weeks of preparation and days of anticipation building up to the moment when the music “Road to Hell” by Chris Rea is played, the gun sounds and they set off on this amazing event.

“It is encouraging to note that there are a number of novice females entered this year, while stalwart  Eric Wright will be completing his 27th Washie,” Meta Scott said on behalf of the Buffalo Road Runners.

Other personalities who have entered are Wandisile Nongodlwana, a silver medallist at Comrades this year, two brothers, Desmond and Jan Juan Bekker, and four athletes so far, Justin Sher, Tobie Reyneke, Clive van Rayner and Johnny van der Walt who have completed five Washies, are returning in their yellow numbers.

John Magagane will also be back for his 16th attempt.

The youngest entrant so far is Simphiwe Mrola from Shining Stars AC in Mdantsane, who is 22. The oldest entrant so far is Peter Johnstone from SANDF WP. He is 64 and will be completing his 11th Washie this year.

Last year’s men’s winner Yose Mcebisi and ladies’ winner Megan Davey are both expected to run but have yet to enter. This will make it five Washies for Yose, thereby earning his permanent number.

Andre Kleinsmith and Wilson Mogale, both from SANDF WP, will be going for their 10th Washie.

Runners crossing the Nico Malan Bridge Picture: BRUCE VIAENE

This is the third year ELB equipment will be the event sponsor.

The first runner is expected to arrive at the Buffalo Club in East London around 7.30am and runners will be finishing throughout the day until the cut off time at 7pm, so come to the Buffs Club if you want to welcome these great athletes home.

Entries are still open so if you completed the Comrades and are looking to step up to the next level, get your entry in now www.washie100miler.co.za or contact Meta Scott on metascott@telkomsa.net, or 081-487-4984.

Entries will also be taken up to 3.30pm on Friday July 7 at Halyards Hotel, Port Alfred.

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