Dan Luyt race goes virtual for a good cause

Road running has gone virtual as protocols to prevent the spread of coronavirus does not allow for huge gatherings during races.

It is unclear when things will ever get back to normal as the coronavirus has forced the world to change how we operate under the new normal.

Few things will or can remain the same even after the world finally defeats the deadly virus. The lockdown regulations, enforced to try and contain the spread of the virus, has halted many activities and changed the way certain things are done.

While professional sporting activity has been allowed to resume under lower lockdown restrictions, amateur sports will continue being in limbo for the foreseeable future.

When it comes to road running, virtual races seem to be the way to go and this has the potential to shape the future of the sport for years to come.

However, not many running clubs have the capacity to organise proper races the virtual way, and thus many road running events have had to stay indefinitely postponed.

For Bellville Athletics Club, their races are more than just about running for medals, time and the prize money for the top runners. There is always a good cause that makes the club continue to host their event even during these hard times.

Bellville will host their Dan Luyt Memorial virtual race on Sunday February 14.

Perhaps it’s even more fitting that it’s on a day that people reserve to celebrate love as they will be doing the race in aid of Cape Kidney Association. Race organiser Albie De Waal says they wanted to keep the tradition that has been going for more than 50 years, of hosting the Dan Memorial Race. He understands that the circumstances have changed this year but the need to support organisations in need is one of the key factors that drive them as a running club.

“Obviously with everything on standstill we want to encourage people to be as safe as they possibly can.

“The beauty about virtual races is that you are able to do it at your own pace in your own comfortable surroundings without running the risk of being in a crowded area.

“One can choose to do it at any time of the day, we are faced with a pandemic but it is also a learning curve to all of us about how we can continue doing what we have always been doing but now in ways that will not compromise our safety,” said de Waal.

Why they chose to cape Kidney Association as the beneficiary to this years virtual race, De Waal says the club has always supported an organisation in need with extra funds they have as a club and since this year the club will not have as many expenses hosting a virtual race compared to normal race, most of the monies they will be making from the race will go straight to this NGO that raises funds to assist kidney patients suffering with chronic kidney disease at various provincial hospitals in and around the Western Cape.