3 fab sporting events for charity

You get a whole lot out of training for a race, participating in it and then celebrating your achievement. But not all races are created equal – some come with an extra dose of good vibes as their primary objective is to raise funds for a good cause. If you’re looking for extra motivation to put your Speedo on or to lace your running shoes, these events all support wonderful charities and initiatives. Are you ready to pay it forward?

#1 The Freedom Swim Series

For some the idea of diving into the icy cold waters of the Cape doesn’t sound like fun. For others, bracing the chill is their ultimate display of support for good causes. The FSS was founded in 2004 and is a succession of cold water Cape ocean swim races to promote swimming and to raise funds. Events are held on public holidays (so there’s no reason you can’t make it!) with each swim linked to the significance of the special day. For example, the Freedom Race day on 27 April is a Robben Island crossing. The Freedom Swim is considered the “Everest” of every open water swimmer in South Africa.
Who it benefits: The SEAL Open water Trust which identifies disadvantaged swimmers and swimming programmes and provides sustainable support in an attempt to nurture and promote new talent and to help bring swimming to disadvantaged communities.
When to swim: 12 August (Ice Swim SA), 24 September (Heritage Day) and 16 December (Reconciliation Day).

#2 Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge

There’s no doubt this race is a toughie. It kicks off at Riversands Commercial Park from where you join thousands of fellow cyclists on a challenging but exhilarating 94.7km ride around one of Africa’s busiest cities. This is an iconic event with supporters lining the streets to spur you on.
Who it benefits: While you can choose to support your charity of choice (see here), the Challenge is a committed supporter of the PinkDrive, an organisation that fuels breast cancer education and awareness. You can register to join the PinkDrive Charity Bond and ride in their bold pink cycling shirts to show your gees.
When to cycle: 19 November

#3 Steenberg Charity Trail Run

Catch this one while you still can – it’s so popular that this year’s 5km/10km Charity Trail Run race has sold out! We can see why. Apart from the beauty of the location of the race in the Constantia hills, you are handed a branded Steenberg glass filled with Steenberg Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc when you finish. There is also complimentary wine tasting afterwards for all runners. You can still join in the fun as a supporter and of course enjoy the “after run” delights the estate offers in the form of wine.
Who it benefits: This trail run is in support of Mdzananda Vet Clinic. You can also bring along leads, collars, blankets, dog/cat food (soft and hard), cat litter/sand/sawdust, black bags, second hand books for book sales and any other items to donate.
When to run: 12 August

Can you tell us what your favourite charity race is and why? Email us at [email protected]

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