Keeping Surfers spirit alive. Opening 5km aimed at attracting participants.

 

LEGACY: Jessica Pollock, granddaughter of late Surfers founder Mick Pollock, is a two-times winner of the marathon – first in 2010, and then again in 2019. Picture: SUPPLIED

The Discovery Surfers was started by seasoned runners and surfers in a challenge that has developed into sporting folklore.

Surprisingly, a number of the original flock of 1974 are still around and some will compete on Saturday February 15.

The organising body of Surfers is well aware of the need to introduce young people to the race and to establish a “conveyor belt” of Surfers Challenge enthusiasts who will ensure the 50th anniversary will be celebrated fittingly in four years hence and that the traditions of Surfers is carried forward into future generations.

The thinking therefore is that opening up the 5km event to all ages will help instil an interest in the more challenging races in future.

This new intermediary event in fact gives Surfers the muscle to look after two aspects of the running field.

The youngsters will then graduate from it and go on to tackle the 17.5km Big Daddy from Kwelera Mouth to Nahoon.

More than that it, offers longevity to those who have run the long one for 40 and more years, but for whom it is just a beach or two too far now.

They can, and indeed have, migrated down to the shorter version, and by doing so remain integral to the history of an event they developed, through participation, organisation and the promotion thereof.

Another aspect of the synergy being created is a long line of families passing on the Surfers experience to children and grandchildren, and not far removed from great-grandchildren.

The record entry has to date been 3,700 plus across the three runs and paddle, with a strong sprinkling of walkers included.

The question on the minds of those who are statistically minded is whether the 4,000 mark will finally fall.

Entries are still open, both online via the website and manually at Sparg’s Super Spar on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 2pm.

It has never been easier.

By: Bob Norris

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