On track for Washie 100

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COURAGEOUS PIONEERS: Runners participating in the very first Washie 100-Miler in 1977
COURAGEOUS PIONEERS: Runners participating in the very first Washie 100-Miler in 1977

ULTRA-MARATHON runners in pursuit of an extreme challenge will take on the 40th edition of the Washie 100-Miler from Port Alfred to East London from July 22 to 23.

The idea for the Washie was born in 1977, when Buffs club member Lionel Whitfield sat over drinks with Buffalo Road Runners chairman at the time, Viv Rex, discussing how to honour his father “Washie” Whitfield.

They came up with a 100-mile (161km) race from East London to Port Alfred. Twenty runners lined up for that first race on July 1, 1977.

Over the years, the race has grown in numbers, and changed direction, but it is still hosted by the Buffalo Road Runners and run annually on the first full moon in July.

This year’s Washie 100-Miler starts at 5pm at the Halyards Hotel in Port Alfred. Runners will have 26 hours to complete the journey, finishing at the Buffs Club in East London.

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