The 2023 HI-TEC Walker Bay Outdoor festival kicked off with the LedLenser Twilight Run on the evening of Friday, 28 April. David Sher blitzed the course, winning the first event of the festival in a time of 25 minutes and 15 seconds. Bridget Theunissen was the first woman across the line, ensuring her festival started with a victory too.
The 7.1 kilometre run, along the famous cliff paths of Hermanus, started at Grotto Bay and finished at the historic Old Harbour. With the sun setting during the event the fastest runners raced the fading light to avoid putting on their headlamps, while the more relaxed participants soaked up the beaty of the evening and jogged towards the finish with their LedLensor beams illuminating the trail.
The run was also the first of the HI-TEC Walker Bay Outdoor’s Big 6 events. Both Sher and Theunissen thus take an early lead in that competition, ahead of the Trail Run and See en Sand on Saturday. The former should suit them fairly well, but the swim run in the afternoon will allow the triathletes to claw back points.
“We were faster this year than last,” Sher smiled after crossing the LedLensor Twilight Run finish line. “Another guy [Wynand Hofmeyr] and I went flat out from the gun. It was not my idea to go out so hard. I had told my coach I’d take it super chilled, but while I always say that it never happens. We ran the first kilometre in 2:50, got onto the sand and then it was just survival for the next 6 kilometres until the end!”
“I’m a road runner, so I’m not used to getting onto the mountain,” Sher confessed, as he looked ahead to Saturday’s trail run. “I think the first 5 kays are going to be really tough, then I’ll just take it from there, and see how it goes…”
With the festival now underway multisport enthusiasts will be taking to the trails of the Kleinrivier Mountains above Hermanus in the 20 kilometre trail run, or partaking in a more relaxed meander through the mountains on a hike in the Fernkloof Nature Reserve. Saturday afternoon sees the adrenaline increase with the See end Sand, run/swim/jump race. Putting a twist in the traditional swim run format the event features a cliff jump off Dreunkrans, along with three swims and two runs.
The Sprint, Dance and Hang for Charity events will also open on Saturday already, though the action is expected to hot op in those fun disciplines on Social Sunday. Athletes wishing to partake in the HI-TEC Dash4Charity can make their way down to the Hermanus Amphitheatre and enter on the spot. Each attempt requires a R10 entry fee, which is donated to local charities, but puts the contestants in a position to win a share of the R15 000 prize purse.
Sprint to Donate pits individuals against a 10 metre course and challenges them to post the fastest possible time. Dance to Donate features a 360 degree camera and the winner will be chosen from those who upload their videos to social media, whilst also tagging @hitec_sa and @walkerbayoutdoor. Hang to Donate is a test of grip strength and endurance and requires contestants to hang from a pull-up bar for as long as possible. All proceeds from these events will be donated to charities within the Hermanus area.
For more information on the 2023 HI-TEC Water Bay Outdoor visit www.walkerbayoutdoor.com. Athletes, festival goers and multisport fans can share in the excitement, by liking the Walker Bay Outdoor Facebook page or following @walkerbayoutdoor on Instagram and @walkerbayoutdoor on TikTok.
LedLensor Twilight Run Results
- David Sher (25:15)
- Oscar Coetsee (25:42 | + 27)
- Rudolf Naude (25:51 | + 36)
- Bridget Theunissen (28:51)
- Nicola Wills (29:37 | +46)
- Vicky Welham (30:32 | + 1:41)
For more information on how the HI-TEC Walker Bay Outdoor Big 6 results are calculated click here.