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Harrismith Mountain Race, Event, Clarens

October 2015

The sport of athletics is highly celebrated in South Africa. Athletics can broadly be described as an exclusive collection of sporting events that involve competitive running, jumping, throwing and walking. Apart from building communities and family health, the simplicity of the competition and the lack of a need for expensive equipment makes athletics one of the most commonly competed sports in South Africa.The town of Harrismith in the Free State has tapped into this sport by having the Harrismith Mountain Race.

This race can be traced back to 1904 arising out of a social challenge between friends to climb the local hill in record time. Originally, this race used to be 12.3km in length but the route was expanded to a distance of 15km from 1996.This race is run on different lanscapes.The first three kilometers are run in town after which you confront the slopes of the Platberg.The next available water table after this grueling run is at Bloekomborne at the base of One Man Pass. Because of the way the route and terrain are structured, you can’t overtake anyone around this phase until the top of Platberg. At Platberg you embark on a 2.5 kilometer run.The 2.5 kilometer stretch will lead you to the tar road.The only rule from this point is to follow the white stones. Once you leave town you again embark on a footpath.The finishing time is recorded at the control point on the mountain top.

Medals are awarded as follows. First three male and female finishers will receive gold medals.The qualifying time for silver medals is 1h45 minutes. Athletes finishing within a time limit of 3.5 hours will receive a bronze medal.The first 5 male and female runners are eligible to receive cash prizes, this also covers category winners.Walkers are also welcome in this race.

Pre-entries are preferred for this mountain race which is about two weeks before but late entries are also accepted. The first 500 entrants are rewarded with T-shirts. For more information on this event, you can contact Jaco du Toit or Gaelyn on 0587891131 or 0828984630.