Irvines Game Park Run. Not to be put off by the rather fiercely demanding experience of running 20 km in the recent Aware Trust Rhino Event at Chivero Game Park in 38˚C heat, the following weekend I opted to run 15 km in the Irvines Cross Country Run at Irvines Game Park, accompanied by Sarah, Gillian and various other running enthusiast friends, some of whom did 7,5 km and some, the 15.
Outdoor with Rosie Mitchell
This event was the last in the series of bush-based runs organised annually by Harare Athletics Club (HAC) and supported by Irvines.
With an earlier start than the preceding Aware Chivero Run for Rhino, we would have hoped it might have been cooler, but it still turned out to be a very hot run. All the same, it was also a very enjoyable one, with game to spot along the scenic Miombo woodland route.
I enjoyed watching zebra racing across my path, as well spying kudu and impala, and later, we drove the route and spotted tsessebe, sable and giraffe as well.
A really big crowd turned out for this event and Irvines had pulled out all the stops, providing drinks, breakfast and lunch for everyone, as well as “goodie packs” for participants, comprising lots of eggs, plus an Irvines branded drinking bottle.
Lots of families participated, since walking was an option as well as running, and we also observed a number of parent and child runners enjoying the route together.
Antelope Park Ride, Run
I really love game park runs and rides, as the routes are so beautiful, scenic and varied, and it’s always exciting to see game while out running or cycling. It seems these are becoming increasingly popular, with two more slated for before the end of this year. Antelope Park is offering a 50 km cycle, plus 10 and 20 km trail runs on the weekend of November 1 and 2, with special rates for accommodation, contact 0773 715 984 to get more details.
Matobo National Park Ride, Run
The Matobo National Park Jacaranda Challenge on November 23 and 24 is hosted by Matobo Hills Lodge this year and comprises 10 km and 21 km Trail Runs, and 21 km, 45 km and 60 km Trail Bike Rides and dinner, music and entertainment on Saturday night. Any proceeds will go to Ethandweni Children’s Home in Matobo.
RAW Adrenaline will offer abseiling, rock climbing and zip lining all weekend and the runs and bike rides take place early Sunday morning and are for all ages, contact 0779 544 204.
Festival of Viennese Operetta a triumph
We managed to catch the last performance of the Festival of Viennese Operetta at Reps, a show for which I had intended to audition for right after the Marden Singers Night at the Opera.
On second, more realistic, thoughts, I decided sadly to forgo this possible privilege due to a ridiculously full work and extra-curricular calendar for the duration of the demanding rehearsal schedule and performances; apparently a wise decision.
Friends in the operetta cast described the workload as substantially more demanding than even Night at the Opera, after which, I and most of the cast were completely trashed.
The results of the operetta cast and crew’s hard work and dedication, was plain to see. We were very pleased to have made the effort to go and enjoy this show, which really was excellent — very polished and clearly very well-rehearsed, with great singing and music, great acting and directing, great narration to elaborate on plots and increase audience enjoyment and understanding of context, and great sets too.
It featured entertaining songs from four famous operettas, The Merry Widow and The Land of Smiles by Franz Lehar and Die Fledermaus and The Gypsy Baron by Johann Strauss II.
Lorna Kelly directed the music and Linda Hyde the action, and it was wonderful to discover a bunch of new and very talented soloists, as well as a few we know but are seldom seen and of whom we hope to see more.
Practically the whole cast had at least one solo slot, a number of them, several, and all songs were presented in English, making the whole show more accessible and appealing to those unfamiliar with operetta.
Since absolutely every member of the cast did a superb job of both their singing and their acting, I won’t list them all —suffice it to say that this country has an incredible amount of top notch talent and we look forward to seeing a lot more of all those involved in this show, which was engaging throughout, and thoroughly entertaining.
I truly took my hat off to the few cast members who went straight into this gruelling rehearsal schedule from A Night at the Opera — now that is what I call stamina.