Unlimited fun at ladies run
Report by Helen Pretorius
Photos Dean Venish
Races in the early ’80s attracted very few women. To encourage women to run races, Border Marathon Runners’ Association (BMRA) introduced a special ladies race, known as the Bottoms Up 10, in 1983.
Only 34 ladies lined up to run from the City Hall along Devereux Avenue, Turnberry, to finish on the Esplanade. Maryna Pretorius (Coetzee) from Oxford Striders won the race at age of 16 in an outstanding time of 38.16.
In 1989 in an attempt to boost numbers the race was handed over to Oxford Striders by the Border Marathon Runners’ Association. Oxford Striders changed it to a ladies night race which was then sponsored by Shooz. This race was won by Lizanne Holmes in a time of 36.26min. Numbers escalated and reached the 100 mark in 1990.
The introduction of a 5km run/walk has further boosted numbers and has added an element of fun to the event, as men are now allowed to enter if they dress for the ‘occasion’. The 5km fun run event encourages husbands, brothers and boyfriends to dress up in 'drag' and enjoy being a lady for 5km.
The Kempston Ladies Nite Race, which took place on Saturday, has been a community favourite and has shown tremendous growth. Together, The Kempston Group and Oxford Striders Running Club have created a dynamic ladies’ race, where only women can participate in the 10km event. The race has been organized by Oxford Striders for 31 years and sponsored by Kempston for 22 of those years.
This amazing, long-standing partnership has seen numbers grow to close to 3000 participants. The 10km race has seen a steady growth in participants and this year there were 880 finishers. The course record of 36.51 is held by Hanlie Botha from Easy Equities Born2Run Athletics Club.
The Open Prize Winners on Saturday are as follows:- 1st Cherise Carreirain from Boxer Atheletic Club (38min-5sec.), 2nd Kelly Nel, from Retail Capital Langa (39min-37sec) and 3rd Cindy Schwulst from Born2Run Border (40min-11secs).