I know that a word of thanks and gratitude usually follows after an event, but I would like to thank a few people for their involvement in the annual Kremetart Cycling Races and give you a bit of insight on this great event.
Did you know that this will be the 26th consecutive Kremetart Race? I remember when the Soutpansberg Athletics club use to present the race, many moons ago. The whole club was involved with food preparation, route layout, marshalling and all the various duties concerning the race. Spirits were high and everyone worked together to present an awesome event. During the years, word of mouth caused the event to turn into the biggest cycling race in Limpopo Province. Cape Town has the Argus, Gauteng has the 94.7, Durban has the Amashova and Comrades and every cyclist in South Africa knows about the Kremetart 175km One Day Four Stage Race. This is the only one if its kind in our country, and perhaps in the world, and it is happening right here in our town. But we didn’t stop there. No, we cater for all ages. The Total Kremetart 70km Road Race is especially aimed for teenagers who would like to get involved in cycling. The KFC 10km Fun Ride is set out for primary school kids, with lots of fun and safety and the KFC Kiddies Race are there for the “wee ones”, so that they can also have a turn on a bicycle. On Sunday the Total MTB XCO (Mountain Bike Cross Country Olympic) is presented at Komatiland Forestry, where mountainbikers gets a taste of the technical single tracks on the slopes of our beautiful Soutpansberg. So you can see that we aim to create a weekend filled with all the different cycling disciplines for the whole family to enjoy.
How many other festivals, sport events or community driven projects brings 10 000 people to our district? How many of these events generate over R30 mil worth of income for our residents? Yes, The figures are correct. From accommodation, food, petrol, clothing, or any other usable item, you have to agree that money is spent during the Kremetart weekend. Especially the non-profit organisations, churches and charities benefit greatly from this yearly event. Fleamarket stalls at the Info Centre gets booked a year in advance in order to scoop up valuable funds needed for various organisations.
With the back-up of local businesses at the water points, and sponsors from close and abroad, the organisers and P&L Cycling Club can create a bushveld vibe that people cannot wait to get back to next year.
You cannot believe how many new entries do we receive every year. People who have never attempted a stage race before, grab up the training programme and send me updates on their training up to the event. And then the feedback afterwards! “We will definitely see you again / thanks for an awesome event / the best ever!” This is what keeps us going and give us the motivation to start planning next year’s event already. Always aiming to make improvements and seeing every bit of criticism as a motivation to do things better.
Did you know that the Kremetart Stage Race is famous for their breakfast soup? Yes! We are the only organisers in the world who serve soup to the contestants at breakfast. At other, far off races, you hear the cyclists commenting, and longing for winter and Kobie’s soup at Waterpoort! Our famous Round Table Potjiekos, food stalls and Vivo lunch. The amount of work that goes into all the food preparation for cyclists, marshals and officials is enormous. Thank you to all those who are involved in this part of the race.
The amount of hard labour, hours and hours of administration, phone calls, e-mails, meetings and paperwork is transformed in creating an event that we hope will be successful every year. With 36 departments who all needs hands-on attention all the time, this is a full time job and the club members and management of P&L Cycling Club does all this work, mostly without any pay, in their free time, with spirit and a smile on their faces.
From marketing, medics, physios, supporters, safety, traffic control, cleaning, maintenance, route layout, branding, timing, sweep and back-up vehicles, transport, electrical and venue layout, the logistics in arranging such an event is enormous. Thank you to each and every one who is committed in doing his/her job to the best of their abilities. You are being noticed and you are an effective part of a great organisational machine.
The general public in our town usually sees the road closures, filled up parking and restaurant spaces and might be a bit irritated with a change in the normal Saturday routine. But we are committed to create opportunities for each and every person to benefit from the Kremetart Weekend and ask every one to see the other side – our side of creating an event that will keep on bringing tourists and commerce back to our town while promoting cycling as a sport.
Without the dedication of all the people who works tirelessly to present this prestige event, it would definitely not be possible and we salute each and every one of you. Even your supporting smile and vote of confidence creates an environment where we are driven to work harder and give our heart and soul for three days filled with laughter, fun and festivities.
I hope and pray that each and every person, touched by the Kremetart Weekend will be as excited as I am, in seeing the possibilities to do even better, help a bit more and create an awareness that cycling is a family sport that can be enjoyed by everyone in our safe town.
With the introduction of new technology, the racing industry is changing. The once dominant PC-based software is now competing against cloud-based software with innovative features and enhanced timing capabilities. One market dramatically changed by this technology is South African endurance racing.
We interviewed Gerrit Pieterse, Co-Founder of TimeMe who shared how his team, using Lapio software, are responding to demand for better technology and taking the South African timing industry by storm.
TELL US ABOUT TIMEME AND WHY YOU DECIDED TO GET INTO RACE TIMING?
Little over a year ago we were busy organizing a mountain bike event and needed a company to do the timing for us, we could only get hold of one company and they only replied to our email requesting a quote, two months after the event. We then decided to buy our own equipment and start a timing company on a small scale. This small company has grown faster than we anticipated and we now have numerous events lined up. TimeMe is a young energetic sports timing company that is putting its stamp the local timing industry. Critics silenced, race organizers smiling and correct times given to such an extent that we managed to break 99% accuracy all the events we timed.
WHAT SIZE IS THE SOUTH AFRICAN ENDURANCE RACING MARKET? WHAT TYPES OF RACES ARE THE MOST POPULAR?
Endurance racing is certainly not new to South Africa, but the market only exploded a short while ago. Individuals all over South Africa are claiming top spots in International events. The fastest growing and still the most popular by a great margin is mountain biking and especially mountain bike stage races like the ABSA Cape Epic, Joburg2C and Sani2C only to name a few. Ultra marathon trail running and trail running stage races is also becoming increasingly popular in South Africa. People are even referring to Mountain biking as the new golf of South Africa.
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE ISSUES YOU FACED WITH THE WAY PREVIOUS RACE RESULTS WERE SHARED?
LIVE results is the biggest issue in South Africa, there is a lot of different timing software companies claiming that they can deliver real time results, but they unfortunately still have major hiccups. The most common way is to export all your results into MsExcel and then it has to be populated and sorted, to make sense, before it can be loaded onto your website or the race organiser’s website, this is very time consuming and can sometimes take days if you don’t have all the athletes details – all this while athletes are crying to have their results.
YOU ARE NOW USING LAPIO SOFTWARE FOR ALL OF YOUR ONLINE RACE REGISTRATION AND TIMING. WHAT ISSUES DOES LAPIO SOFTWARE SOLVE?
Well firstly we have LIVE results, that’s actually streamed in real time, to our results page and accessible from anywhere in the world. The other major advantage is that the online entries are integrated into the software and we and the race organizer immediately know how many people have entered and we as race timers no longer have to wait for online registration sites to send us the data – which then still needs to be captured and imported onto our software, before we can start to time an event. Everything is brilliantly integrated with Lapio!
HOW DO YOU SEE SOUTH AFRICAN ENDURANCE RACING CHANGING WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF NEW TECHNOLOGY?
Dramatically! South Africa is and will always be one of the youngest countries in the world; we only receive the majority of the technology dead stone last. All the athletes constantly acknowledges and admire the technology from Europe and America, and it so happened to turn into a desire for almost each and every one of them. We believe with the introduction of Lapio will come a much bigger supporter base for endurance events with everything streamed to social networks instantly. Athletes families and friends will also be able to share in the joy of the participants as they cross the finish line, even if they’re hundreds of miles away.
DO YOU HAVE ANY REALLY COOL RACES COMING UP?
Yes, we have a one day road cycling stage race called The Kremetart Stage Race. This is definitely the highlight of our year where Lapio’s technology would be able to set the benchmark for all the other timing companies/timing software. With a successful Kremetart Stage Race, loads and loads of COOL races are sure to follow!
Thank you to Gerrit and TimeMe from all of us at Lapio! As a company whose mission is to create innovative technology, we are proud to see our customers changing the way races are experienced and how those experiences are shared.