Sorry about the delay
Here is my report back:Running for the Children
Unseasonal rainy weather greeted the 820 participants in this year’s First Ascent Forest Fifteen, a 15km trail race held in the Tokai Forest in Cape Town.
The race was first started in the late 1980’s as a “No Charge” free race, taking instead donations for local charities. The race has evolved over the years to what it is today.
Jointly sponsored by First Ascent and SANPARKS, and organised by Foresters Running Club, all proceeds of the 2011 event were earmarked for the Victoria Hospital Children’s Ward.
The Victoria Hospital Children’s Ward is devoted to the care of small children from the local communities, many of whom are inflicted with the HIV/Aids virus. Being a small hospital, it is often overlooked when sponsors are handing out donations, as these usually go to the likes of the Red Cross Children’s Hospital instead. In light of this the race has over the past few years managed to donate an average of R20 000 to R25 000 to the ward.
This year saw First Ascent coming in as the naming sponsor for the first time, and their sponsorship again covered all the races expenses, which enabled the organisers once again to waive the entrance fee.
SANPARKS allow us the use of the forest and the local Sanparks staff members’ children provide manpower at the refreshment tables.
The race is run totally off road, along the jeep tracks in the upper sections of the Tokai Plantation in the Table Mountain National Park, starting and ending at the picnic and braai site in the forest. The route includes some tough hills, a few stream crossings, the odd baboon and stunning views.
The runners who in total donated a record R31280 to the Charity were led home by Phumlani Sigidi of the Nedbank Athletic Club and Joanne Thomas of Varsity Old Boys.
At the prize giving First Ascent products were awarded as both category prizes and spot prizes to the competitors, with the main prize being a First Ascent Explorer Sleeping bag. A pleasant twist in the tail of the prize giving occurred when the recipient of a First Ascent Yak Sac handed it back to the organisers and asked them to raffle it in aid of the Children’s ward. This gesture raised a further R850.00 for the cause.
Comments from some of the participants after the race included:
I just want to let you know that I thought the race was amazing! It was challenging up the hills but definitely manageable. A lot of races claim to have the most beautiful scenic route but this route really was! I am so glad I did it and thanks for a great race!
TamiI just wanted to let you know that I did participate in the Tokai Forest Run on Saturday – the hills and ascent was tough, but the views and fresh air definitely made up for it! It was great running with a “different crowd” for a change, not the PE-bunch.
LetitiaCongratulations for a very well organized and well run event on Saturday 29 Oct 2011.
It was a real pleasure to see enthusiasm wherever you look: amongst the officials and organizers as well as amongst the runners and then the big trophy, namely the donation of R31 218 to the Children’s Ward at the Victoria Hospital.
Some pics:The StartAlong the wayPrizegiving