Guest Bloggers People and Lifestyle

Bench2Bench Memorial Run 2016

Bench2Bench Memorial Run 2016

The number of community driven events or activities that go on in the Constantia Valley each week is astounding.  Last Sunday one of our guest writers, Claire Davidson from Full Circle Wellness Personal & Group Fitness Training participated in the 9th Annual Bench2Bench run.  Here is her experience of this institutional race.

‘I have attended a few Bench2Bench runs in the past, but since starting my own wellness business, Saturday mornings have been reserved for clients.  Imagine my excitement to learn that this year, the run would be held on a Sunday instead of its usual Saturday slot.  The event certainly lived up to its previous years!

The Bench2Bench is a commemorative 8km and 5km fun run and walk that began in March 2008, in honour and remembrance of Denis Nixon, who was killed by intruders in his home in Constantia in 2007.

The event was started by Ian and Carrie, Denis’s children, so that the community could continue to honour and celebrate his memory. The run takes place each year around the anniversary of his passing and celebrates what Denis stood for and encourages everyone to get out there and be involved, thereby creating new and happy memories.

Bench2Bench (1)

It was fairly easy to convince my clients to give this one a try because in addition to being for a good cause; it is located in our “stomping ground” of the Constantia Greenbelt, making the 07h30 start appealing (no long drives!); plus your R50 entrance fee earned you a well organised, safe event AND an Egg and Bacon Roll!!  Who could say no to that?

One of the major attractions of this event is the friendly, relaxed and social-able aspect of the run – my clients, most who are new to racing and attending in events, were made to feel very comfortable by the organiser’s great attitude to timing (the event awards prizes not to those who come first over the finish line, but those who correctly guess closest to their predicted time!) This took so much pressure off some of my anxious, new clients – they loved the idea of racing against themselves!

You could enter online ahead of the day, or one could enter in the morning from 06h30. Registration was fast and smooth, with a clear assembly-line production of helpful volunteers (clearly, this was not Ian and Carrie’s first race rodeo!).

After a safety and route briefing, we all took off into the Constantia Greenbelt – the 8km route took enthusiastic runners right up into the forest trails, up Monterey Drive (good Two Oceans hill work!) across Rhodes Avenue and back down through the Klaasenbosch trail – after so much road-work training for Oceans, it was awesome to be back on the forest floor, darting over roots! The 5km and the 8km route joined up on Peter Cloete Avenue before heading back to the finish through the Alphen Trail.

The route marking was suburb (sections cordoned off with hazard tape to prevent confusion) and well marked and marshalled by the Constantia Greenbelt Parking Marshalls – what a great way to create job employment and to empower them as part of our Constantia community by participating in this event – wonderful initiative.

Our complimentary breakfast (included in our race fee of R50) was smashing and no one had to queue very long for a hot, tasty (well-earned) breakfast!

Prize giving was awesome, with some fantastic sponsors in the Constantia Valley supporting the event – many runners went home with great and generous spot prizes! I was also impressed with their efficient and fast Lucky Draw system –avoiding any of those awkward (and annoying) moments when you pull out a number and that person is already on their way home!

Bench2Bench (3)

All in all, a spectacular morning out in the Constantia Valley – a well organised and special event, great value for money and one that myself and my Full Circle Wellness clients will look forward to again every year!

Well done Ian, Carrie and the rest of the Bench2Bench Team!’

You can learn more about the event and stay up-to-date for the 2017 details here:

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