The 32nd Freshpak Fitness Festival took place in and around Clanwilliam in the heart of the Rooibos world on Saturday, 29 September. Professional and amateur athletes competed in various swimming, cycling and running events at this multi-sport festival which celebrates fitness, family fun and all things Rooibos.
Nicholas Quenet, a student from Stellenbosch University, won the men’s triathlon for the third consecutive year. Slashing his time by almost four minutes, Quenet took advantage of the ideal conditions to finish in 01:00:44. Dean Hopf won the duathlon. Michelle Krebs was crowned as the women’s triathlon champion, finishing in a time of 01:15:03 and improving her 2017 time by over six minutes. Almari de Milander secured a comfortable win in the women’s biathlon.
The 1,5 km open-water swim was won by Dylan Pivo in the men’s category and Jessica Ashley-Cooper in the women’s category. The 3 km open-water swim was won by Rudolph Visser and 15-year-old Hannah Pearce.
The day’s programme featured a 1.5km or 3km long swim, duathlon (5km run/20km cycle/2.5km run), biathlon (5km run/20km cycle) and triathlon (800m swim/20km cycle/5km run) where participants competed individually or as part of a team. Younger kids competed in the FitKids challenge (1km run, 200m swim, 1km run) and the Run for Fun (1km).
Athletes and spectators were rewarded with a dam that was 100% full after the drought. Last year, the Clanwilliam Dam’s levels were the lowest in the history of the event.
A percentage of the proceeds raised from entry fees was donated to CANSA’s local branch that serves the West Coast region. Rooibos, which only grows in the Cederberg, has antioxidant properties that help to fight cancer when incorporated as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Staff members from Rooibos Ltd took care of the preplanning of the event and all the arrangements with the registrations. As in the past, Rooibos Ltd sponsored and presented a workshop to train local inhabitants as marshals to provide support to athletes on the day of the Freshpak Fitness Festival. The team of cross-country runners – Hardlopers vir die Here – sponsored by Rooibos Ltd, helped at the festival to keep the venue clean throughout the day.