Updated: Jun 4
The Helpers Run, as it suggests, is a pre-race run where all the Sunday helpers and organizers go out and enjoy their spectacular route and potentially set a personal best.
In memory of John Stark, a long-standing member of Pirates Club with 33 Comrades and 21 Mont Aux Sources on his running CV, the Helpers all shared in a minute of silence before setting off to enjoy their run.
Experiencing the day's high temperatures of 28'C, the helpers were thankful for the 3 water points set up along the route. Everyone had fun, the helpers set the tone for what would be a successful Race.
Sunday 06h00, the sound of gunshot set off 4500+ runners, the biggest field for the Pirates21, who all had the goal of finishing Johannesburg's Toughest 21km race. Some ran with incredible speed in the hope to not only win and claim a substantial prize pool but also be King/Queen of the Hill.
What makes the Pirates21 so tough is a single long climb from just above Beyers Naude Drive all the way to the top of North Cliff Hill. An ascent unfamiliar to most road runners. This long climbing section is a total of 6.7km with an ascent of 279m. While the hill is tough, the real sting in the tail is a fast descent which adds the final sting in the legs before a fast and somewhat flat finish. A 3 hour and 30 minute cut-off adds to the finish-line excitement as the last runners make for big last sprint on the rugby fields towards the Credo Wealth finish line.