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Lilyfontein Adventure Race 2018 – Race Review
This year’s Lilyfontein Adventure Race (AR) was the biggest and best race to date and sums up the Lilyfontein values and ethos that we strive to achieve. Lilyfontein School has been hosting the annual Adventure race since the year 2000, as the years have gone by we have created categories that cater for all ages and fitness levels. The appeal is definitely the ability to progress through the various categories and gain experience until one is ready to tackle the premium event the Corporate Division.
There is a healthy support of entries in the Grade 1-3 and Grade 4-5 divisions. This is attributed to eagerness of both learners and parents to participate and support from local schools.
The Family Fun category was introduced as a mild category to welcome all, to have a taste, in a fun way, to what adventure racing is all about. It is targeted to families, friends and colleagues that want to partake but do not want to “kill” themselves whilst participating; this is a relaxed and enjoyable category to cater for all levels of fitness.
The Lilyfontein Adventure race is a Provincial Qualifier for U13, U15, U19 age categories and the winners in these divisions have qualified to participate in the Annual South African Adventure Racing Championships at Ventersburg on 28-29 September 2018.
The Corporate divisions introduce corporate teams, friends and fitness bunnies to explore the local area and apply all their skills to compete in the premium division in the event. We were thrilled to host the Merrell Adventure Addicts team this year with Donavan Sims training his team for Expedition Africa (EA) 2019. They completed a very tough 150km Adventure Race in absolute style.
Our focus for this year’s AR was a three pronged approach, firstly to educate and promote adventure and team work to young learners and adults, secondly to find a new venue, that was not only beautiful, but suitable for an adventure race and thirdly to make it the biggest adventure race event in Africa. The race was hosted by Yellow Sands Resorts on the East Coast, who were phenomenal in providing a venue that was not only picturesque but also totally conducive to adventure racing. In adventure racing the venue changes each year to encourage new routes and spaces for the participants. Over the years we have reveled in the variety of amazing venues on the Jikeleza route, namely Inkwenkwezi Game Reserve, Areena Riverside Resort, Cefani and Lilyfontein school.
This year we hosted 132 teams in 10 different divisions with over 492 participants and 6 race routes and over 50 marshaling points with hundreds of volunteers. The logistics behind putting an event like this together is mammoth. We would like to thank our Lilyfontein family, staff, teachers, learners, volunteers, participants and the greater East Coast community for supporting Lilyfontein School throughout the years. Thank you to Mrs Mitchell – Event Director and her Adventure Department Mrs Smith, Mr Wilson and Mr Ansley for all the energy required to put this event together. The routes were so adventurous this year as we saw teams sliding, pushing and swimming at various points throughout the race and lots of hills, a cave, some paddling and abseiling where some of the other challenges along the way this is thanks to Mr Angelbeck and Mr Matthewson for the U15, U19 and Corporate/Crocs and Duo teams respectively and Mrs Jackson and Mrs Fouche for the grade 4-5 and grade 1-3 routes respectively.
Each year Lilyfontein has a competition to encourage school participation and offers a cash prize of R2500 sponsored by AB Pumps to the school with the most entries. Each year Lilyfontein comes out on tops as we encourage the entire school to either participate or volunteer on the day, but the prize is not for Lilyfontein School, it’s to encourage the spirit of Adventure Racing to other schools and this year the winning school is Hudson Park who just beat the regular winners Stirling. Well done Hudson Park we are proud of your support and willingness to show grit and determination.
The heavy rain from Thursday and Friday morning and wind on the Saturday is exactly what AR is all about, unpredictable and one is encouraged to deal with the elements on the day and find solutions. The grade 1-3 and grade 4-5 participants had an absolute blast racing bikes through the muddy single track; their faces were priceless at the end of their races. This is a wonderful message to all parents’, children love to be outdoors, playing with their friends, solving problems and getting dirty. Let us encourage this as much as possible as we live in a fast paced, technological world - our time bonding with nature is often put aside, so let us jump off the hamster wheel and enjoy the great outdoors and the elements together as families.
The future of Adventure Racing is strong and we encourage more families and learners to participate in 2019.
The Lilyfontein Adventure Team