Cape Cows ready for virtual Comrades family stampede
Cape Town - While road runners refocus their energies on the virtual ”Race
the Comrades Legends” run this weekend, eager athlete Alan Hardaker has
recruited an extended family team to run in the colours of The Cows to raise
money for the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation of South Africa.
400 runners will don the black-and-white kit of The Cows on Sunday for the
virtual relay on Sunday, several of them from overseas. Some will be running
the full 90km while others cover smaller distances in relay teams.
Hardaker made headlines last month when he channelled his disappointment at
not being able to run his first Two Oceans Marathon into running 58km in his
garden in Sandbaai, and in the process raising over R20 000 for CHOC.
When The Cows committed to backing the Virtual Comrades they arranged a Rad
Cow Relay to be held as part of the virtual run to make sure they maintain
their support for CHOC around the Comrades, and eager road runner Hardaker
decided to make the most of the opportunity.
“I’m doing the 90 km virtual Comrades in Sandbaai and my route will be
street art through Vermont, Onrus, Sandbaai and then if I have clocked the
90km finishing off in Hermanus itself,” said Hardaker.
He added that he had roped in this extended family to form a team for The
Cows Rad Cow Relay, calling themselves The Flying Cows.
“I’ve also got the buy-in of my fiancé Magriet Van Zyl, who will be running
the 21km virtual race and she will also be the team captain of the Flying
Cows, which will include Jan Louw, Nicky van der Linde, Paul van der Linde,
who is 11 years old, and Dewet Luttig,” he explained.
“CHOC is a charity which is close to my heart due to having lost my mother
to lung cancer and my fiancé having gone through the ordeal of being
diagnosed with breast cancer within a week of us being engaged. I really
felt a connection with CHOC and their efforts in providing support to
children suffering from cancer and their families.
“After my Two Oceans run, which was done in 500 laps of my garden in
Sandbaai, I really had to get myself into the best possible shape healthwise,”
says Hardaker. “I am diabetic and I had a heart attack in 2016 where I
needed to have four stents inserted to open up my arteries.
“Reading more and more about how the coronavirus affects people with
underlying health conditions drove me to keep my training focussed and
eating under control. When the subs opened up for Comrades I got myself an
entry knowing at the back of my mind that the race would be cancelled but
also knowing that I needed a specific goal to work towards.
“I got a lot of inspiration and encouragement online from other runners who
are seasoned Comrades runners, and the friendships, advice and positive
attitudes of many on the Facebook group really makes you realise just how
great people are and how much of an encouragement they can be in times of
“In part our run on Sunday is going to be showing our thanks for this
support. I am really looking forward to the opportunity of running the
actual Comrades Marathon as soon as the opportunity arises!” he added.
“My training rubbed off on my fiancé Magriet and she started training to run
the Knysna Half Marathon in July, when this was cancelled and Comrades were
offering the option of a 21km Race The Legends she jumped on board with the
idea of getting a few friends along for The Cows Rad Cow 90km relay.
The link for the Givengain site
More information about The Cows can be found at
About The Cows
The Cows were started in 2008 by a group of eight enthusiastic cyclists
keen to make a difference and raise funds for the CHOC Childhood Cancer
Foundation of South Africa. Cordi van Niekerk was
one of the founder members and joined Kerrin and Grant Bain in cycling the
947 Cycle Challenge in memory of their daughter, Jessica, who had
recently died from cancer at just 20 months old.
As CHOC had played a
significant role in the Bain family's life in the last few weeks of
Jessica’s life, specifically with palliative care and emotional support, the
decision was to make CHOC the beneficiary of their quest. They decided to
don cow suits and succeeded in raising R230 000.
In 2009, the herd gained momentum and grew to 140 energetic
cows. Just two years later the herd numbered a staggering 350 cows all
riding for a purpose. Armed with the ‘Love Living Life’ slogan and a healthy
dose of enthusiasm, the herd has enjoyed much success and acclaim.
Ten later, hundreds of people have participated in events wearing
cow suits. The Cows have raised well over R30 million for specific projects implemented by CHOC and The Cows brand is
prominent in many sporting events in South Africa. With these funds, CHOC is
able to make a difference to the children being treated for cancer
throughout South Africa.
One herd; one quest: to make a difference to children with cancer. Love
More information can be found at
Click to download the hi-res
The Cows Logo - JPeg
Alan Hardaker and his fiancée
Magriet training for the upcoming virtual Caomrades Marathon. Harkadker will
run 90km between his home in Sandbaai and Hermanus, while Magriet leads a
team of family and friends in The Cows RadCow relay to raise money for the CHOC
Childhood Cancer Foundation.
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