GEORGE NEWS - It's all systems go for the 2020 Outeniqua Wheelchair Challenge (OCC) that will take place today, Saturday 15 February.
The organisers are expecting about 800 athletes from all nine provinces and countries such as Namibia, Zimbabwe and Ghana to be at the starting line at Carpe Diem School.
The first race, the 42km, started at 07:00 and the fun 5km event will start at 10:30.
Event organiser Alewijn Dippenaar said athletes like Ernst van Dyk, Pieter du Preez and Stuart McCreadie, radio personality Martelize Brink as well as the promising young Zach Legward have all confirmed their participation.
The prize money has been considerably increased, which will ensure that this year's race is the most competitive yet.
At a recent meeting of the organising committee, the question was asked whether there is enough money available. Dippenaar said he was positive that the necessary funds would be in place in time.
New routes were designed for this year's race to diminish the impact on normal traffic, but some roads will be closed. York Street to Meade Street will be closed between 05:00 and 13:00. Lang Street in front of Carpe Diem School will also be closed for this period.
The road in front of Blue Mountain Estate near Eden Meander will be closed between 07:00 and 10:00. The grand opening will take place today, Friday 14 February, at 18:00 and the public is welcome to attend.
People are also welcome to attend the prize-giving ceremony on Saturday at 12:30. Both events take place at Carpe Diem School. People are invited to line the streets on Saturday to watch the events.
The OCC traditionally takes place in the second weekend of February. The late Esther Watson pioneered the event and built it into an internationally recognised race for disabled wheelchair sportsmen and women. This year it will take place for the 18th time.
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