Scores of two-and four-legged runners and walkers lined up for the start of the annual Kowie Striders Boxing Day fun run at the Port Alfred Country Club on December 26 2023. Many took the theme ‘support the green and gold’ seriously, including one runner in a Faf de Klerk speedo. There were fairies in green and gold, South African flags and bandannas, and a strategically parked boat with its name clearly visible: ‘Wit Kant’ (“white side”) – a reference to Springbok hooker Bongi Mbonambi’s alleged comment after the team’s historic fourth Rugby World Cup victory earlier this year.
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A band of elves from Pretoria deftly handled an awkward moment when a young supporter asked them what they’d done with Santa. A former Washie 100 Miler finisher had the crowd shouting ‘run, Forrest, run!’ when he ran straight through the finish and on around the field towards the exit, 5km clearly being only the start of that day’s training. And every person with friends or family at the finish was the hero of the day as they came down the finishing strait.
Women and girls’ winner was Lauren Hilliar, with Roxanne Samuel in second and Mary Gilfillan in third.
The men’s and boys’ race featured the club’s star development squad runners in the top few places. Sinethemba Jilingisi won, with Thandolwethu Matsalo and Xabiso Mzantsi in second and third.
There were prizes for best dressed, as well as many lucky draws and many stayed to enjoy the comfortable facilities at the Port Alfred Country Club.