And a wonderful Calamari Weekend
Whilst the golfers were driving their balls down the fairways of St Francis Bay Golf Club, others were more sedately rolling theirs down the manicured lawns of the St Francis Bay Bowling Club in the annual Calamari Classic Bowls tournament. An annual event Bowls has been part of the Calamari Classic calendar for nigh on 18 years. As reader Christine Chapman says “Great food, booze cruises, and music and dancing and all superbly organised.” Unfortunately we do not have the results for the event but as soon as they are to hand we shall publish them.
Finally and bringing a highly successful, new look Calamari Classic 2018 to a close was the inaugural running of the St Francis Nautical Half Marathon. One does so hope that the name of this outstanding addition to the Classic weekend is changed to Calamari Classic Half Marathon next year as it is essential that St Francis builds a brand around the Calamari name. Building a strong brand can only improve marketing this spring festival in the future to rival the best in the country.
Setting off bright and early Sunday morning from Quaysyde Restaurant on Sea Glades drive on the canals, 170 plus runners started the arduous 21.1 kilometres or for those of us who were schooled in miles, yards and inches before going metric, 13 miles, 192 and one half yard. Quaysyde truly has become St Francis’ sporting hub with several sport bodies now making it their home base.
The leaders started off at a hectic pace and one wondered as they rounded the corner into St Francis Drive a few hundred metres from the start how they could possibly keep up the pace. Deciding to take up station just after the 10 kilometre mark we set off for Cape St Francis but stopped off to view the huge waves breaking on the Wildside whilst awaiting the runners. Estimating at very best the winner would take at least an hour and ten minutes we planned our route to take in Cape St Francis Resort and beach and then hot tail it back to the finish. We were slightly delayed and sadly arrived at the finish at one hour 12 and so missed the winner Gift Chigomawara who had beaten us by a minute.!
Considering the layout of the course this is indeed a brilliant time as part of the race was through the reserve’s uneven trail and the rest on rather uneven St Francis roads complete with many repaired potholes to throw runners off their stride. Hardly the same smooth level road conditions found at international marathons and half marathons.
To all who competed, well done no matter what time it took you.
But a couple of disappointments.
Sadly very few locals took to the streets to support the runners. When one looks at how the crowds gather in their thousands at races such as Comrades it would be so nice to see the crowds come out in their hundreds next year. After all this is our ‘Comrades’
And last were those rude, inconsiderate idiot drivers who took no heed that there was a race in progress. Surely arriving a minute or two late at your destination would not have made any difference for if you had hit a runner or spectator, a night or two in Humansdorp Jail would have made you a lot later. It takes so little effort to be cautious when passing a runner or for that matter a cyclist. And just by the way, there is a 50 kilometre speed limit on St Francis Bay roads and 40 kilometre limit on Cape St Francis.
With the weather playing fair as it has with so many of our major sporting events this year it was indeed a wonderful Calamari Classic Festival Weekend.