Nantes set for annual Freedom Day Run

In an effort to add more fun and greater participation in this years race, Nantes added 10km fun walk.

Established in 2014, Nantes was within a short period, become a household name and its members in the bright green vests a familiar sight at road races

Their membership has grown considerably too, from the dozen or so they had in the beginning, to the more than 500 who currently belong to the club.

The club, which also emphasises having fun, caters for beginners, intermediate and advance runners. With this in mind, their training includes devloping juniors, weekly cross training and long runs

Speaking at the race launch last week, Nantes founder-member, Caroline Peters said, as much as Nantes organised the race, it really belonged to everyone wanting to be a part of it. She said it was important for all the participants to take ownership of it. Although looking to grow their own membership, Peters said that as a community club, they were always willing to help other community clubs.

“Even though Kewtown is our immediate area that we help with anything and everything, the lady from the Paarl Club wanted to know how do you start, where do you start.

“Even Bo-Kaap Athletics Club, I helped Gesant Abed set up Bo-Kaap. So that is the extent to which Nantes is willing to assist,” she said.

Speaking on behalf of the race’s new title sponsor, Casuarina Wellness Centre, operations manager, Shaheeda Rasdien, said the race had brought the club and the sponsors together.

“We chose Nantes because they are about the development of people, they are about reaching out to people and they do that through races and community. They are a family and that is what we are about,” she said.

Race director, Leon Hendricks said all logistics were in place and that apart from the main race, which was 10km, there would also be a 10km fun walk and a 5km run.

Hendricks also noted that this year’s race was going to be bigger and better as they had brought in some changes, in the format of the race.

“For the first time in the race’s history, we will have a main sponsor. There has been a lot of planning on our part and we expect more people. The prizes will also be bigger. One of the changes introduced is that runners will, thanks to our sponsors, get free massages along the way too,” he said.

He also noted that there would be an incentive for the runner that breaks the race record, which is about 13 minutes.

“There is also prize money for the second and third place finishers both in men’s and women’s races.

The route is fast and flat and that is why we are hoping that someone will break that record. Besides that, we also take the safety of our runners seriously and this year is no different.

“We’ve have engage different stakeholders to ensure that the race is incident-free. We never had any incidents or injury last year and the year before, so we expect the same this year again,” he said.