A new trend in running has seen several new events popping up across the country, catering to the increasing demand for short, fast and fun foot races with a strong social element. Stillwater Sports, a lifestyle sports event specialist offers an exciting array of top sporting experiences across South Africa, amongst which are some of the most anticipated events on the South African running calendar. Events like the FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN and FNB Joburg 10K CITYRUN, The Sanlam Cape Mile and the Fedhealth XTERRA offer fast, flat race events with the added benefit of encouraging a community spirit in whichever city they take place.

Although the technical elements of this type of event are minimal and unobtrusive, there is nonetheless a need for audio reinforcement, trussing and banners/stage for the start and finish and, in the case, of the Cape Town runs, an LED display at the start. 

Technical supplier, Gearhouse South Africa, has been servicing the Stillwater events on a national basis. The relationship with Stillwater started 4 years back with the FNB WINES2WHALES, now South Africa’s second largest MTB event; and since then has extended to take on the running events countrywide

Gearhouse Project Manager, Travis Smith has been involved with the last two FNB ONERUNs. He elaborates on the differences between this type of event and a typical concert style event. “This is a big event, requiring a lot of groundwork but unlike most of the events we do, it is all over by lunchtime. We set up at 5am, the start finishes early at 10am and the end finishes at 1pm. On this type of event the participants are the focus and our job is to ensure that their experience is the best it can be. There is an amazing sense of camaraderie amongst some 14,000 participants and it is a great feeling to be part of it.”

The challenges too, are different. “The PA system is dispersed over approximately a kilometre to cover the crowd of entrants and we have the occasional road closure to circumvent,” he says. “There is also a very short time allocation for breakdown before the road reopens at around 3pm, so this needs some thorough logistical planning before the actual event.”

Running has, in fact, become part of the Gearhouse Cape Town staff body’s way of life, with keen participants from all levels taking up the sport as an enjoyable way to keep fit and healthy. “Apart from the health benefits there is nothing like keeping an eye on how your team is delivering, from a participant’s point of view,” quips Cape Town Branch Manager, Charl Smit. 

Story Robyn D’Alessandro, Photo courtesy Stillwater Sports

Jun 22, 2017

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