Monday, 18 May 2015

2015 Comrades Marathon Route Distance Confirmed

The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has announced the final race distance for the 90th Comrades Marathon. CMA Race Director, Rowyn James has confirmed that the route measurement has been finalised and the official distance is 87,72km, making it one of the longer Up-Runs in recent history. 
James has explained that due to the GO!Durban Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network road-works in Josiah Gumede Road (Old Main Road), Pinetown, the route has deviated slightly for Comrades race day. The CMA took the decision in accordance with its strict protocols on runner safety. The deviation occurs between the 69km – 67km to go Bonitas Kilometre marker boards and means an extra 877 meters has been added onto the same route as the 2013 Up-Run. 
James continues, 'The construction in Pinetown does not adversely affect the route or the race and everything has been done by ourselves and the Municipality to minimise the impact on the event.' 
Runners coming down Cowies Hill into Josiah Gumede Road (Old Main Road) in Pinetown will turn left into Beviss Road just beyond the SAPS Building, then right into Bamboo Lane, cross over St. Johns Avenue and then turn right into School Road, cross over Josiah Gumede Road, and turn left into Kings Road crossing over Crompton Street and Glenugie Road before turning left into Anderson Road and then right back into Josiah Gumede Road to resume with the existing route towards Fields Hill.

James has stressed that Pinetown is the only place where the route deviation will occur. The remainder of the 87.72km route will stay the same as per the up-runs of the recent past.
James concludes, 'The CMA has worked closely with our provincial athletics federation, KwaZulu-Natal Athletics in terms of route measurement and the deviation; and will continue to do so with regard to other related contingencies. We look forward to an amazing race day for our runners and supporters alike.'

James has advised that the following cut-off times will be in place at various points along the route and that runners need to factor this into their overall race day plan.

Cowies Hill17km70km2: 40:00 (08h10)
Winston Park30km57km4:30:00 (10h00)
Drummond (Halfway)43km44km6:00:00 (11h30)
N3 Subway – Cato Ridge57km30km8:00:00 (13H30)
Umlaas Road Interchange67km20km9:30:00 (15h00)
Top of Polly Shortts79km8km11:10:00 (16h40)

The new cut-off introduced is at the base of Cowies Hill – corner of Josiah Gumede Rd (Old Main Road) and Otto Volek Road intersection (opposite Sandy Shopping Centre).

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Fly direct Johannesburg to New york

NEW YORK, NY - South African Airways' (SAA), the national flag carrier of South Africa and Africa's most awarded airline, has resumed nonstop service on its daily flight from Johannesburg to New York-John F. Kennedy International Airport, effective March 7, 2015. While SAA's daily flight from New York-JFK to Johannesburg has operated on a nonstop basis for several years, the return flight was making a 1-hour enroute stop in Dakar, Senegal, during the low season winter months.
Due to the popularity of this route, SAA's service between New York and Johannesburg will, once again, operate nonstop in both directions on a year-round basis. The resumption of the nonstop service on the northbound flight from Johannesburg to New York-JFK reduces the overall travel time on the route by nearly 90 minutes, making it the fastest way to travel from South Africa to New York.
The nonstop flights in each direction are timed conveniently to connect in Johannesburg with SAA's extensive route network in Southern Africa of over 55 destinations and in New York with flights to over 35 cities in the U.S. and Canada through our code share partners JetBlue Airways, United Airlines and Air Canada.
SAA's flights between New York-JFK and Johannesburg are operated on the state-of-the-art wide-body Airbus A340-600 aircraft, featuring 42 full-flat 180° beds in Premium Business Class and 275 seats in Economy Class, ergonomically designed with adjustable headrests and industry-leading legroom of up to 34" for long-haul travel. Customers traveling in both Premium Business Class and Economy Class enjoy an extensive menu of on-demand audio and visual entertainment options, freshly prepared meals and complimentary bar service featuring award-winning South African wines.
Having served the U.S. for more than 45 years, South African Airways offers the most daily flights linking the U.S. and South Africa with 28 weekly departures, including service between New York-JFK & Washington, DC-Dulles and Johannesburg.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Thursday, 22 May 2014


Few people realise that Durban has its own castle, complete with tower and battlements. Now open to the public by appointment only, you’ll find Coedmore Castle tucked away in a corner of the Stainbank Nature Reserve in Yellowwood Park.

It was built in 1882 by Dering Stainbank, who arrived in Durban in 1857 on The Lady of the Lake after a three-month sea journey from England – and it still looks exactly as it did 130 years ago.
The story starts when Stainbank wanted to find a place to settle and make his home. He met an elderly Zulu man who took him to a site on the south bank of the Umhlatuzana River, an area regularly used by Shaka’s riding party on their way to Pondoland.
Stainbank knew immediately that this was the perfect place for him and, with the help of two Scottish stone masons from Aberdeen, began to build his home from local stone quarried on the premises.
It took three years to complete – but it was no ordinary home. It was a castle with all the grandeur of its European counterparts, the only difference being that instead of peacocks roaming its extensive gardens, there were zebra, bushbuck, deer, duiker and hundreds of monkeys.
 Four years later Stainbank married Ethel Lyne from Pietermaritzburg and the couple had seven children. Kenneth, his third son, inherited the castle after his two elder brothers were killed in World War I, and his daughter Elizabeth Keith and her family still live on the property which, apart from the installation of electricity and running water, is unchanged.
The castle’s rooms still have intricate steel-pressed ceilings, beautiful carved panelling and a circular iron staircase leading to the tower room above the battlements. Its original furnishings and household contents are still intact and in regular use, giving a fascinating look into life as it was 130 years ago. Its other priceless heritage is that many of the rooms contain sculptures by the well known artist Mary Stainbank.
Mary, born in 1899, was Dering’s daughter. After she returned from studying in London, she began working in “Ezayo”, the name she gave to her studio in the castle grounds where, between 1926 and 1940, she produced some of her finest work.
Though her talent was recognised, she was discriminated against because she was a woman and because of her subject matter, which was predominantly African.
Years later she was credited with introducing the modern school of sculpture to South Africa. After World War II she lectured in the Sculpture Department at the Durban School of Art until she retired in 1957.
Soon, however, all her work will be given the posterity it deserves and will be housed in a gallery in the grounds of Coedmore Castle where a Stainbank Memorial Gallery is planned in the old granary located over the cowshed, once the site of her original studio. When this is opened it will be the largest intact collective body of work remaining by a single sculptor in South Africa. This building, though it once housed animals, has a beautiful façade.

The Stainbank legacy, however, is greater than the castle and Mary’s talent.
In order to afford this, he created the township of Yellowwood Park where the first houses were built in 1960.In the early 1940s Kenneth decided to establish a nature reserve for the people of Natal to enjoy and his offer of land was accepted by the Administrator of Natal in 1946.
The adjoining 253ha was proclaimed the Stainbank Nature Reserve in 1963, and is today managed by KZN Wildlife.
Today this is regarded as one of the finest reserves in the Durban area. It also has 13km of walking trails, a challenging 10km biking trail and a picnic site. Entry is R15 for adults and R5 for children.
Coedmore Castle is open to the public, and tours are conducted by appointment for groups of 10 or more at a cost of R45 per person which includes tea and scones served in the Grand Dining Room. All tours by appointment only. Its grounds are also perfect for weddings and other functions.
To complete a day’s outing, you can visit CROW, a centre for orphaned and injured wild animals and birds, which opens to the public on the last Sunday of the month.
l Telelephone  031 462 3005 031 469 8811 or  083 419 6428. E-mail:
l Stainbank Nature Reserve  031 469 2817, CROW - Sunday Tribune

Friday, 28 October 2011

Contemporary South African talent & classical and baroque sounds in Durban.

■ South African band Freshly­ground hits the road to cele­brate 10 years of making some of the most popular music in the country. The Love No Hate tour includes two show-stopping performances in KwaZulu-Natal in November. 

Golden Horse Casino, ­Pietermaritzburg, Thursday November 3 at 8pm.

Sibaya Casino, Durban, Sunday November 20 at 8pm. ­
Tickets are R140 from ­Computicket. 

■ The KwaZulu-Natal ­Philharmonic Orchestra this week brings the spring season of its 2011 World Symphony Series to a close with a glittering gala finale. Internationally acclaimed South African ­mezzo-soprano Michelle Breedt joins the orchestra under the baton of Arjan Tien in an uplifiting ­evening of operatic highlights. 

Patrons are encouraged to don black tie and evening dress for this glitzy event, which also serves to launch the orchestra's 2012 Summer Symphony Season. The audience is also invited to a celebratory party to be held in a marquee outside the City Hall after the concert. 

Durban City Hall, Thursday November 3 at 7.30pm.

Tickets R40 to R180 at Computicket. 

■ Before the classical music era there was baroque music, which is considered by some as the acme of musical history. The dominant form of the 17th century, baroque saw composers and performers using more elaborate musical ornamentation and developing seminal instrumental playing techniques. 

Baroque music expanded the size, range and complexity of instrumental performance and it is that spirit that is celebrated by the Durban ensemble Baroque 2000, whose next concert takes place this weekend in the acoustically sublime Church of the Monastery in Mariann­hill. It features as soloists three talented young musicians from KwaZulu-Natal. 

Warren Vernon-Driscoll (tenor) sings arias from Handel's Acis and Galatea and Bach'sMagnificat. Samantha Gold­blatt (soprano recorder) performs Vivaldi's ­Concerto for Sopranino RV 443. Summer, from Vivaldi's milestone work Four ­Seasons, is performed by William Chin (violin). The Concerto Grosso by Corelli is also on the ­programme.

Church of the Monastery, Mariannhill, Sunday October 30 at 3pm.

Tickets are R90 at the gate and booking is recommended. Tel:             031 312 5539      .