On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. vol.98 n.10 Cape Town Oct. 2008
Department of Surgery, University of Cape Town Medical School, Cape Town, email@example.com
To the Editor: The Medical 10 was first staged in 1978 as a result of a letter to the South African Medical Journal by Hendrik Muller, a senior physician in Cape Town.1 He pointed out that a group of doctors in Finland had organised a 10 km race for medical practitioners who felt that it would add credibility to recommending a healthy lifestyle to their patients if it were shown that they practised what they preached. The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company sponsored the event, which was run on 9 December at the University of Cape Town. Bob Jamieson won on handicap, and the fastest scratch runner was Lood Rabie. The results list Clare Stannard as the fastest female runner, but she thinks she was beaten by runner No. 88 (see photo); can anyone identify her?
In 1982, the venue was moved to the University Sports Complex in Pinelands, and in 1989 to the Warner Lambert facility in Main Road, Retreat. By then it had become an established part of the calendar of medical events in the Western Cape, not least because of the amusing commentary provided by ENT surgeon John Steer, and attracted over 200 runners plus a group of walkers from the Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit. In 2005 the venue moved to the Western Province Cricket Club sports complex in Newlands, and Life Healthcare took on the sponsorship. Victoria Hospital continued to receive the proceeds of the event - over R19 000 was donated last year, which enabled them to acquire a washing machine for their endoscopy unit. At this stage, entry was opened to the nursing staff and paramedical disciplines.
The race retains its uniqueness of being run on a handicap basis but, to give the scratch runners more chance, the handicap was cut from 1 minute to half a minute for each year of age over 40.
This year's event begins at 06h30 on Sunday 30 November, and will mark the 30th staging. We hope that as many as possible of those who ran the first race in 1978 will be able to be present - at least for the breakfast, if they are not able to run or walk the route.
Entry forms for the 2008 event can be obtained from any Life Healthcare hospital in the Western Cape or by email from Mathilda.firstname.lastname@example.org or the website www.lifehealthcare.co.za.
1. Muller H. Letter to the Editor. S Afr Med J 1978; 53: 1010. [ Links ]