Francois Pienaar and Elana Meyer led a Captain’s Challenge training run in preparation for the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, and to identify possible partnership with environmental initiatives.
As an intern at the City of Cape Town, I was involved in the organisation of the event and took the opportunity to run with some amazing athletes. I am not much of a runner myself, but I have set a goal to do the 10 kilometre Peace Run at the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon on 17 September 2017. With only 26 days to go until my big day, I took all the help I could get.
With 10 kilometres ahead of us, and a winter nip in the air, we were on our way in the The False Bay Nature Reserve.
A Monday morning never looked as good as we began our run looking out over the vlei. Participants from Birdlife South Africa, the City of Cape Town, Cape Bird Club, and Cape Town Environmental Education Trust (CTEET) all joined in as we made our way around Zeekovlei and the Strandfontein birding area. Accomplished athlete Nolene Conrad and well-known master runner Maxwell Godloza also joined us on the run.
Pienaar and Meyer led the pack whilst the environmental team members guided our journey with information about the reserve.
The False Bay Nature Reserve has over 240 different types of birds in the reserve, and over 300 indigenous plants. The reserve also contains some very rare plants which are not found anywhere else on earth. This reserve comprises three significant wetlands and is a designated Ramsar site, the only urban wetland in South Africa.
I tapped out half-way through due to my inability to keep up, but all the other runners were able to see different aspects of the reserve, including the Strandfontein Sewage Works and the bird hide. After the run, we all met up for some high-fives and a delicious breakfast spread, followed by a presentation about CTEET’s Skills Development and Environmental Education programmes.
The aim of this run was to get some training in, with only a few weeks to go before the marathon, but also to discuss the possible links between the Cape Town Marathon Run4Change campaign and the environmental education and skills development programmes at the reserve.
The Run4Change campaign
The Run4Change campaign encourages personal health, sustainability and the environment, peace and sport, giving back and donating to charities, and empowering South African athletes. Taking the pledge to Run4Change means that, as runners, we need to commit to make positive impacts on society. The Run4Change campaign provides the platform for runners to donate to a relevant cause and support a variety of different charity organisations.
The Captain’s Challenge arose as Pienaar and Meyer began challenging other sporting leaders to run the 2017 Sanlam Cape Town Marathon. In doing so, they have encouraged leaders to take action and run for a cause by participating in the RUN4CHANGE campaign.
The False Bay Nature Reserve has an objective that extends to promoting environmental education, and building job, tourism and recreational opportunities. Important partnerships with the Cape Town Environmental Education Trust (CTEET) involve young people from the surrounding communities in interactive camps and fieldtrips, reconnecting them with the exceptional natural resources right in their backyard. CTEET hosts a number of different Skills Development and Environmental Education programmes that are associated with the various partners that joined the training run.
Pienaar and Meyer were introduced to the extent of these programmes and were amazed at the success stories that came out of these initiatives. They decided that they need to look towards how they can partner the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon Run4Change campaign with these initiatives in the future.
It was a successful occasion and another exciting day out as an intern in Cape Town. I am one step closer to running my 10 kilometres, and much more motivated to run, but more importantly Run4Change.
Tiffany Chalmers: Cape Town Green Map Intern