A picture from the inaugural race in 1978
By Vince van der Bijl
The Western Cape medical profession is astonishing. The popular Medical 10 (km) handicap fun run was held as a “virtual event” in 2022 and raised over R67 000. This at a time when for over two years, Covid had had a devastating effect on their peers and the additional hours they have had to work. This year MasiSports was lucky enough to receive this wonderful donation.
Their project, named Medical 10, is a race inspired by a letter to the South African Medical Journal in 1978 by Hennie Muller, a senior physician in Cape Town. He highlighted a group of doctors in Finland who had organised a race for medical practitioners over 10km. They felt that it would add credence to their recommending healthy lifestyle to their patients if it could be shown that they practised what they preached, especially regarding exercise. The SA Medical 10 was initially organised by J P van Niekerk (then deputy dean of the Faculty of Medicine) and Tim Noakes (recently retired Professor of Sports Science at the University of Cape Town).
The race was for the doctors and all the medical profession to finish the 10km race in under 40 mins – some going! Those over 40 were given a minute extra per km for the handicap finish which was soon trimmed to half a minute! For the first time in 2020, cycling and paddling have been added, with fifteen paddlers “racing” the 10 Nautical miles from Fish Hoek Beach to Roman Rock Lighthouse and back.
Dr Syd Cullis
Dr Syd Cullis, a retired surgeon, drives the event and is helped by legendary organiser, Mathilda Mallinson of Life Healthcare. I was in fact Syd Cullis’s private fag at Bishops, and used to polish his rugby boots to a brilliant sheen every week. Syd was the first team hooker, so my labour was destroyed in the first scrum! Syd was a great mentor to me in my very unsettled puberty years.
Thank you, the Western Cape medical profession. Take another bow. We will be hosting them at Ukhanyo Primary for the first cricket match to be held on the pitch that they are sponsoring. That will be a gala event.