Durban’s streets run red with daREDevils
The streets of Durban ran red with daREDevils on Friday 4 November when more than 300 Speedo-clad men – and a Speedo-clad dog – took on a 4km challenge along the beachfront to create cancer awareness.
Durbanites shrugged off their laid-back image to lead the charge of the RED brigade in the inaugural daREDevil run for the coastal province ahead of daREDevil runs in Johannesburg and Cape Town the same afternoon.
With a gentle sea breeze to cool their sweaty brows, the Etanans and their supporters tackled the route with gusto, savouring an early morning sea view and the camaraderie generated by guys working together for a worthy cause.
The race was won by Chris Muller in 12:50, with Michael Morton coming in second and Stuart Clifton third. But this race was not about winning times; it was about winning the fight against cancer by creating awareness of testicular and prostate cancer and the need for men to have regular checks to prevent the spread of the disease.
Etana’s head of strategic growth, Mike Renwick, was thrilled with the organisation of the run. “This was a first for Durban and everything went really well. We had great participation and the general consensus was that this was a fun event for a good cause. The daREDevil initiative has been well received by the business community and the public of Durban, and the coverage we’ve received will help to put Etana on the Durban map.”
Race winner Muller, a University of KwaZulu-Natal student, said the run was a bit short for him and that he was ready to “go again for another 4km!”. He enjoyed the run and said his “accessories” had helped him notch up the fastest time, as had his red Etana-branded Speedo, which resulted in “less drag” on the day.
Varsity College student McNair described the run as awesome and said he was also prepared to run another 4km for the daREDevils. “This was a brilliant ‘testicle spectacle’ for cancer awareness and I will definitely be here again next year to support the cause.”
Sales manager Jeacocks found the run challenging in a Speedo, but said he had great fun and enjoyed motorists hooting in support of the cause, which was widely publicised by Damon Beard on East Coast Radio. “Guaranteed I’ll be back next year to run again,” he added.
DaREDevil run supporter extraordinaire, East Coast Radio’s Damon Beard, rounded up a posse of runners for the event and said he’d enjoyed the camaraderie on his first daREDevil run. “There was an amazing team spirit out on the road and I was proud to have my mates from the Lion’s Den and East Coast Radio supporting the cause,” he added.
David Campbell-Hall learned about the run on the internet and decided to sign up immediately. “You never know when you might need support yourself,” he said. “We had great backing out in the traffic and I enjoyed the run. I will definitely be back in 2012, hopefully with many more of my friends in tow.”
Deon Crouse of Sanlam and his poodle, Luka, were both kitted out in red for the run. “Being a daREDevil means a lot to me because I have had cancer myself. I am fully supportive of the cause. I’ll be back in 2012 with Luka – he really enjoyed the run!”
“You never know, you could be next,” said Michael Botha, “so I will do whatever I can to support the daREDevil cause.” He added that he had no problem running in his red cozzie and said he would have run alone if he had to. “I hope that we have twice the number of guys running next year,” he added.
The first Durban daREDevil run was especially poignant for Henry Pekelharing, who lost his brother to cancer two years ago. “I responded to Damian’s call for 500 men to join the cause and I enjoyed the run immensely.”
Etanans were supported by CANSA and East Coast Radio (ECR) on the day and many runners responded to the call to donate toys for the ECR Toy Story drive to collect Christmas presents for the underprivileged.
After the race, participants enjoyed a light breakfast snack, hot coffee and energy drinks before heading off to their respective offices.
Having proved that Durbanites have the guts to promote cancer awareness, the baton now passes to Johannesburg and Cape Town to see if they, too, have more balls than most.