Comrades farewell for Golden Reef

Rene Kalmer, Jannie Lewies, Thelma Fouchè and George Taylor. Photo: Sonwabile Antonie

Golden Reef Running Club gave their athletes the best farewell party as they prepare for the Comrades Marathon.

The runners were presented with their running number as well as their shirt. Athletes such as Martin Jacobs will be aiming to finish his 29th race along with Albert Devenish looking at 27 completed races. It will be a special race for Christian van Eyssen who will be running his 10th race.

Van Eyseen said he was excited and nervous for the race but is ready to make the most of his race.

The club’s former chairman George Taylor, who has won 9 silver medals and 2 bronze medals was tasked with motivating the athletes for the upcoming event.

“Golden Reef has an immense history in the West Rand and each athlete here is a part of that. This was the first club to have runners of all ethnic backgrounds running together. In the 80s, we had almost 500 registered members,” he said.

He was not the only athlete who was asked to ignite the spirit of the runners as South African runner Renè Kalmer also said a few words.

She has competed in distances ranging from 800 metres to the marathon.

She represented South Africa at the 2008 Summer Olympics, running in the 1500 metres.

She then represented South Africa again at the 2012 Summer Olympics, competing in the marathon.

She is a two-time participant at the World Championships in Athletics in 2001 and 2011, and has run at eight editions of the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

“Hard work gets reward because there is no lift to success. When I was young I dreamed of competing in the Olympics and when I finally did in Beijing, it was a dream coming true. The athletes taking part in the Comrades should trust their training and not overdo it. Pacing is crucial so resting your mind and body is just as important,” she said.

It was a night to remember for the Golden Reef members as former women’s club captain Thelma Fouchè also made an appearance. She was also celebrating her 82nd birthday.


Sonwabile Antonie

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