Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 150 May 2022 | Page 68

From the Ed ’ s Desk … From the Ed ’ s Desk … by SEAN FALCONER

Make Your Racing Plans

South African athletes are blessed with an incredible number of running events , including not only road and trail running , but also many other running-related disciplines , so check out SA ’ s most complete monthly running calendar – now featuring two months of upcoming fixtures – make your racing plans , and then get your entries in , all right here ! – COMPILED BY TOM COTTRELL , NICOLE HAYES & SEAN FALCONER

From the Ed ’ s Desk … From the Ed ’ s Desk … by SEAN FALCONER

When the COVID pandemic led to all events being cancelled at the end of March 2020 , we made the decision to put our monthly Race Calendar in the mag on hold until further notice . As races started coming back in the second half of 2021 , we decided to wait a bit longer with our calendar , as things were still very much ‘ up in the air ’ when it came to races . There were numerous permit issues , and races were still being cancelled or postponed at short notice . Now , we feel the time is right to bring the calendar back … and we ’ ve gone bigger than ever before !

Welcome to the expanded Modern Athlete Race Calendar , now featuring two months at a time instead of one , and we ’ ve added clickable links straight to race websites and entry portals wherever possible . This allows you to plan further ahead , and get your entries in quickly and easily . Our goal is to make this calendar your ‘ one-stop shop ’ for all your racing planning .
Massive Growth in Races On a personal note , I have been compiling a monthly running calendar since January 2000 , when I started working on running publications , and the job has grown massively over the past 22 years ! Back in 2000 , I used to simply take the fixtures from Tom Cottrell ’ s Runners ’ Guide website ( always with his permission ), do a bit of minor formatting , and that was the calendar ready to go for the next mag . It sometimes fitted into one page in the mag – see the pic ( right ) of the January 2000 calendar !
Back then , trail running barely existed , so the calendar was basically just the official road running fixtures

SA ’ s Biggest Race Calendar is Back … and Bigger !

from each of the running provinces , with a tiny handful of off-road events sprinkled amongst them . Today the picture is very different . Firstly , there is an everincreasing number of trail organisers adding more and more fixtures to the calendar , and secondly , there are a number of online entry portals that list many more events than just those that appear in the official provincial calendars .
Trying to keep up with all of these organisers and portals in order to compile a complete calendar such as this takes many , many hours of work , checking and pulling info from a massive list of websites . But we think all that work is worth it …
SA ’ s Most Complete Monthly Calendar Since its early editions , Modern Athlete magazine has been known for its Race Calendar , providing the only full set of monthly running-related fixtures that we know of in a South Africa publication . While other publications have either cancelled their published calendar , or just do a ‘ highlights calendar ’ that barely scrapes the surface of all the options that athletes have to choose from , we went in the opposite direction .
We added as much detail as we could , including cross-country , orienteering , multisport , obstacle racing and adventure racing , as well as race walking . This is because we know that many readers of this mag not only participate in out-and-out running events , but also in various running-related events , too . And we want to provide you with a complete picture , so that you can make an informed choice of where next to line up for an event .
Admittedly , this first post-COVID calendar is a ‘ work in progress ’ – we still need to bring back the ‘ extras ’ such as orienteering , multisport and adventure racing – but it is a big first step back to the complete calendar of pre-COVID days , and it is nevertheless still a resource that you will not find anywhere else . We ’ re proud of that , and looking forward to expanding it still further in coming editions by adding those ‘ extras .’
To The Best of Our Ability It is very important that readers note that running events and calendars are still very much in flux as the sport ‘ reopens ’ after the pandemic . Cancellations and postponements do sometimes still happen at short notice , or event organisers are forced to change their event details as safety restrictions are altered by the government or local authorities . Therefore , we urge you to check with the organisers whether an event is still happening as listed here , because while we try to get all the info correct , there are constantly changes .
Other than that , enjoy having the ( bigger and better ) Race Calendar back , and start making your racing plans !
PS : A note of thanks … The Modern Athlete Race Calendar is compiled by pulling info from various websites and resources , including provincial calendars , online entry portals and numerous event companies ’ sites , and we ’ d like to say a special thank you to Tom Cottrell of www . runnersguide . co . za for his ongoing support and input in this calendar .
68 ISSUE 150 | www . modernathlete . co . za