More than 500 athletes participated in the third annual Hanlie Steyn Memorial Race held on Saturday in honour of the exemplary and courageous local resident who succumbed to cancer in 2015.
Steyn was the wife of local lawyer Stefan Steyn, a blind runner and multiple Comrades Marathon participant who, in conjunction with Polokwane Athletic Club (PAC), initiated the race in 2016.
The programme made provision for contests over 5, 10 and 21,1 km. Entries were received from top local runners and regular participants in road races to persons entering the 5 km for fun and a bit of outdoor exercise.
Phuti Mohale, one of the city’s most accomplished runners, proved to be on top of his game by winning the men’s 21,1 km open category. Fifty-year-old Elsabé Cronje showed many a younger woman what she was made of when she took the lead and the honours in the open category for women. Calvin Malatji and Joyce Netshitenzhe won the 10 km open categories for men and women respectively.
Steyn said the race was in celebration of Hanlie’s life, not sorrow and that the race was for people who strive to do well in life regardless of challenges. “No matter your challenges, you need to keep pushing until you win. Obstacles don’t mean it is the end of the road. You must have faith and push for the better,” he stated. Steyn further thanked athletes and sponsors for supporting the race.
PAC Chairperson Corrie Calitz said although the 5 km race was poorly attended, suspectedly due to the harsh weather conditions experienced in the city on the day, the event was a huge success.
Story and photos: ENDY SENYATSI