By Tshilidzi Mutavhatsindi
It was ‘survival of the fittest’ last Sunday at the Founders Challenge, which made its debut on the Rhodes calendar in 2002. This event was due to take place in August, but was postponed due to a low dam water level. “After meeting with the committee on Saturday, it was a relief to know that the stage was set and ready for the big show,” said Ricardo Pillay, who is part of the organising committee. The five-discipline Founder’s race includes swimming, canoeing, cycling, orienteering race as well as running.
This year’s challenge included events for both teams and individual participants. The swimmers started off the race at Jameson dam with a length of about 600m, swimming across the dam twice. The challenge continued with canoeists covering the 5km route around Jameson dam. Cyclists took over with a punishing 20km cycle, which looped from the dam towards the Kaif Lawns. Competitors then raced their way around the Rhodes campus finding five specific checkpoints, covering roughly about 5km depending on the efficiency of their map work. The race was finally completed by runners who ran around Grahamstown tackling a course of approximately 10km, which was probably the most gruelling of all the events. The challenge was followed by an impressive prize giving and pool party at the Rhodes pool.
The Men’s Founders champion trophy, along with Nando’s vouchers (R400) went to College House, who came in 1st place. College managed to complete the race in 2hours, 1 minute and 30 seconds (2:01:34). They were followed by Botha who raced for 2:12:49. In last place was ‘G team’ with 2:13:52. The Women’s trophy was won by ‘Team Moose’, finishing the race in 2:11:02 and celebrated their win with a Mad Hatters voucher of R400.
In the Mixed Teams divisions, ‘Team Awesome’ completed the race by 2:08:33 and won a Belle Vita voucher worth R600. The Individual Men’s award went to Alex Joiner, who finished in 2:09:13. The Individual Women’s first price went to Alex Adie who finished in 2:20:03.
The Founders committee was pleased with the turn-out and the dedication of the participant’s themselves, who raced with endurance, passion and dedication. The committee sent their appreciation to all the sponsors who made the day so much more exciting. “The Founder’s challenge’s main objective is to promote healthy lifestyle for sports,” said Pillay.