Kyalami Club makes a run for it

The Kyalami Running Club has about 120 members currently. Photo: Robyn Kirk

 

According to Gillian Keartland, running is the cheapest and easiest sport to start on the road to health and is something she believes everyone should try at least once.

This is why she and her husband Barry started the Kyalami Running Club in 2011 with only six members. Now in its sixth year, the club boasts about 120 members of all different ages. The youngest member is only 12 while the oldest recently turned 79.

The club not only holds weekly running meetings, but members often take part in big races around the country such as the annual Two Oceans or Comrades marathons.

Members of the Kyalami Running Club have a choice between completing 5km, 8km or 10km distances at meetings. Photo: Robyn Kirk

As much as the club is about running, Keartland said it was just as much about the community having the chance to meet and interact.

“We never want people to be intimidated by the term ‘running club’,” Keartland told the Fourways Review. “People are of course welcome to run, but walking is fine too. We all have to start somewhere, and I would encourage everyone to give running a try without worrying if they’re good enough.”

Members of the club meet twice a week for about an hour, on Saturday mornings and Wednesday evenings, for club members to complete distances of 5km, 8km or 10km subject to their skill level.

Saturday morning meetings start out at the bird sanctuary in Beaulieu, while Wednesday evening meetings take place at Kyalami Estates.

According to Keartland, members generally attend either one meeting or the other based on their schedules. “[The club] is as much a social place as it is about sport. We consider ourselves a community-based club. We have a social get-together about once a month, and when the club attends big races we really make the effort to interact as a team.

Also read: A run in the park for David Foley

“Running changes your life. Not only health wise, but it brings with it a whole new group of friends and family too. It also gives people the chance to see all of South Africa [when members travel to different races].”

Members of the Kyalami Running Club start their run from the Kyalami Estates club house during a meet. Photo: Robyn Kirk

The club also competes every December in the Wiggles and Wobblers Hat Run, where runners dress up for the race. Keartland is very excited because this year’s theme is Hippies.

For details and membership information, visit the Kyalami Running Club website www.kyalamirunningclub.co.za

What local clubs and organisations are you part of? Share with us by emailing [email protected]

  AUTHOR
Robyn Kirk
Journalist

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