South Africa’s endurance sport love affair

first_imgIt’s no wonder that South Africans love long-distance challenges – the country’s climate and contrasting landscape is ideal for endurance sport activities.Whether on land or in water, South Africans love testing their endurance ability and an ever-increasing number of people from overseas have discovered the fantastic events the country has to offer and are participating in them.Learn about some of the challenges that South Africans hold dear. Among them are a good number of world leading events:ON FOOTEndurance running, which is widely supported throughout South Africa is a discipline ideally suited to the country’s varied and beautiful landscape. It is highlighted by two ultra-marathons, both of them world-renowned events.The Comrades MarathonThe Comrades Marathon is run annually between the capital of Kwazulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, and the balmy coastal city of Durban. The distance can vary slightly from year to year, but it usually is in the region of 90 kilometres.The race attracts approximately 18 000 runners, and the route is lined by great numbers of cheering supporters. The biggest entry in the history of the Comrades Marathon occurred in 2000, when the race celebrated its 75th anniversary. An extra hour was allowed for bronze medal finishers to celebrate the milestone and the public responded in incredible fashion with the field topping out at 23 961.Since the introduction of prize money, the Comrades has also drawn some of the world’s top ultra-distance athletes. The undoubted King of the Comrades, though, is South Africa’s Bruce Fordyce, who won the grueling race an astounding nine times between 1981 and 1990.In recent times, runners from overseas have also claimed their share of victories, including Vladimir Kotov winning the up run for Durban to Pietermaritzburg three times in succession, but no one has managed in any way to duplicate the successes of Fordyce in both directions.The popularity of the Comrades is based largely on some dramatic finishes over the years. But it is not the race for the title that provides the drama as much as the struggle for the also-rans, right at the end of the race, to cross the finish line before the cutoff gun sounds for medals.Special mention should be made of two-time women’s winner Isavel Roche-Kelly, who became the first woman to win a silver medal in 1980. More than that, however, she also won the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour in 1984, making her the only woman to achieve the unique double of victories in the Comrades and the Cycle Tour.The Two Oceans MarathonSA’s second ultra-popular ultra-marathon is the 56-kilometre Two Oceans Marathon. Its greatest drawcard is an extremely picturesque route that winds along the coastline surrounding Cape Town. The Two Oceans, like the Comrades, also manages to pull top professionals from overseas.Zimbabwean men have enjoyed good success in recent years, being the dominant runners in the event since 2001, including Marco Mambo being crowned champion in 2004, 2005, and 2008.The women’s race has succeeded in drawing many of the top female athletes preparing for the Comrades Marathon, which takes place just over a month after the Two Oceans, and as a result has produced winners who have gone on to Comrades’ victory. They include Elena and Olesya Nurgalieva and Tatyana Zhirkova.ON WHEELSThe Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle TourCycling is a very well supported family-oriented sport, and South Africa boasts the world’s largest individually time event, the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour.Like the Two Oceans Marathon, it is raced around the Cape Peninsula. In recent years it has drawn an increasing number of overseas cyclists, and it forms part of the International Cycling Union’s prestigious Golden Bike Series.The event at one stage formed part of the now defunct Giro Del Capo, a professional tour event, which ended with the Cycle Tour, and thus drew professional teams from South Africa and from abroad.Robbie Hunter, the first South African to win a stage of the Tour de France, the most famous cycle race in the world, has won the race on a number of occasions.The Laureus Foundation has used the Cycle Tour to raise funds for sport in South Africa, drawing big names to help boost the profile of the event, including Miguel Indurain, a five-time winner of the Tour de France, decathlon star Daley Thompson and rugby legend Hugo Porta.Even Lance Armstrong, before his seven Tour de France titles were removed, took part in the event, along with Stephen Roche, the winner of the 1987 Tour de France, and Jan Ullrich the 1997 Tour de France champion.The man many regard as the greatest cyclist of all time, Eddy Merckx (five Tour de France wins, five Giro d’Italia victories, one Vuelta a Espana win, and three World Championship titles) has also taken part in the Argus.Overseas interest in the race continues to grow and in 2006 it topped 2 000 entrants for the first time, including competitors from Africa, North America, South America, Asia, Australasia, the Middle East, Europe, and the United Kingdom.The Momentum 94.7 Cycle ChallengeThe Voice of Cycling, Phil Liggett, is a huge fan of the event, and also loves the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge, another mass-participation cycle race that takes place in Johannesburg.The race has been recognised by cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, as a model to the cycling world, and it continues to show fantastic growth. The aim of the organisers is that the size of the Cycle Challenge’s entry should eventually eclipse that of the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour.In 2007, the Cycle Challenge became the first event to attract Eddy Merckx to South Africa. Nicknamed “The Cannibal” because of his hunger to win every race he entered, Merckx was named the UCI Cyclist of the Twentieth Century. He was named Belgium’s Athlete of the Century, and he was voted World Sportsman of the Year three times.The Absa Cape EpicThe Absa Cape Epic is truly that – an epic challenge, covering eight stages of extremely testing terrain.It covers roughly 700 kilometres, but any images one might have one open roads and flat riding should be dispelled very quickly. The Epic is a supreme challenge and it attracts both the casual competitor and the world’s best mountain bike endurance racers.It is also the world’s most broadcast mountain bike event. By March 2009, it had generated 8 000 hours of television in Europe, America, the Middle East and Africa.The Sani 2 CAmong the mountain bike community, another event that is held in high esteem is the Sani 2 C. It has been voted the best MTB race in South Africa by many different publications on a number of occasions.It’s a three-day event, covering about 260 kilometres, that starts at Underberg in the Drakensberg Mountains and sweeps all the way down to the KwaZulu-Natal coast at Scottburgh.Competitors love the Sani 2C’s course: it’s a challenging mix of surfaces, climbs and descents, and scenery that tests and exhilirates competitors. Like the Absa Cape Epic, it attracts the cream of South Africa’s mountain bike racers, as well as top overseas stars.ON AND IN WATERThe Dusi Canoe MarathonOff of land, the Dusi Canoe Marathon is a three-day challenge that requires remarkable stamina. It is not just about canoeing, but running too, and that with a canoe on one’s shoulders. Plenty of portaging means that good running is a requirement to do well.The Dusi pulls about 2 000 competitors annually, but overseas contestants tend to shy away from it because of the high premium it places on running.The race is synonymous with Graeme Pope-Ellis, a man known as the Dusi King. From 1972 to 1990, he won it an astonishing 15 times and placed second on three occasions. Only a broken boat in 1979 had prevented him from achieving another top-two finish.The Fish Canoe MarathonThe Fish River Canoe Marathon, however, does draw some of the world’s top marathon paddlers. It takes place over two days, starting in the Eastern Cape Town of Cradock.In 2006, the event had its first ever international winners when the Czech combination of Michala Mruzkova and Katarina Vacikova claimed the women’s title in record-setting fashion.South Africans, though, are among the best canoe marathon paddlers in the world and are tough to beat. This is borne out by the fact that Hank McGregor won the K1 Canoe Marathon World Championship title in 2003 and 2011, while Shaun Rubenstein landed the title in 2006.In 2008, Ant Stott and Cam Schoeman teamed up to win the K2 Canoe Marathon World Championship title in the Czech Republic. Interestingly, both paddlers attended the same school: Maritzburg College.The Berg River Canoe MarathonThe Berg River Canoe Marathon is regarded by many as the world’s toughest canoe marathon. It features four stages and covers about 230 kilometres.Andre Collins and Giel van Deventer completed the event for a 40th time in 2011.Nine-time champion Hank McGregor, the 2003 and 2011 World Marathon K1 champion, believes the Berg is definitely the world’s toughest race.The Midmar MileSouth Africa is also home to the world’s largest swimming event, the Midmar Mile, which has been recognised as such by Guinness World Records. The number of entries has rapidly accelerated well past the 10 000 mark, topping 16 000 by 2003. It is so popular that it is now swum over two days.Former winners include some big names in the world of swimming, such as Ryk Neethling, a previous winner of the Fina World Cup swimming series and an Olympic gold medal winner in the 4 by 100 freestyle relay, as well as Germany’s Jorg Hoffman, a former world champion over 400 metres and 1 500 metres, and Terence Parkin, the winner of silver in the 200 metres breaststroke at the Sydney Olympics.Johannesburg-born Keri-enne Payne, a seven-time winner of the women’s race, finished second in the 10-kilometre open water swim in Beijing, and is a two-time world champion.Sam Greetham attended the Midmar Mile in 2005, when the entry was 17 050 swimmers, as a member of swimming world governing body Fina’s open water swimming technical committee. He was blown away.“Nothing I have seen comes anywhere near the Midmar Mile,” Greetham said. “Both in terms of the number of participants, tip-top organisation, security and safety aspects, and the interaction between the participants and the public.”Greetham helped design the 10-kilometre open water course for the Beijing Olympics, and he also designed the course for the 2012 Olympics in London.His view was echoed by German star Nadine Pastor, the runner-up in 2009, who reckoned: Honestly,” she said, “I’ve never seen anything like it: the number of swimmers, the crowds, the organisation, and the beautiful setting.”In 2011, former 25-kilometre open water world champion and coach of the USA’s national team at numerous open water World Championships, Steve Munatones said: “It sets the worldwide bar in every category.”Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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Evalauting fixed costs on the farm

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The current farm economy landscape is affecting how farmers should look at fixed costs. As profit margins shrink and commodity prices go down, operations with high fixed costs could see prolonged periods of loss. Eventually, this can stress working capital and negatively impact operations if not adjusted quickly enough.Evan Hahn, Vice President Credit-Agribusiness with Farm Credit Mid-America says farmers should begin assessing their fixed costs situation.“Get the records straight. Having detailed, accurate farm records will help you make objective decisions,” Hahn said. “At Farm Credit, we encourage growers to keep an eye not only on their input costs but also on their fixed costs. This provides a fuller picture of operating costs and can help farmers determine if a fixed cost is positively or negatively affecting the bottom line.”What are two fixed costs farmers can look at right away?“This is an ideal time for farmers to analyze equipment utilization. Ask yourself: What equipment do I need to have? What is nice to have? And what am I not utilizing fully?,” Hahn said. “Land is another fixed cost that needs attention. When looking at land costs, begin with an honest assessment of the profitability of each acre. Land that doesn’t generate positive margins can stress an operation.”Armed with acre-by-acre numbers, Hahn says farmers will be better prepared to negotiate rental rates with landlords to ensure their operation remains profitable as commodity prices lower.AUDIO: The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins visits with Farm Credit Mid-America’s Evan Hahn about evaluating fixed costs on the farm.FCMA Financially Speaking Evan Hahn 4.10.17For more financial tips, insights and perspectives from Farm Credit Mid-America visit e-farmcredit.com/insightslast_img read more

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Video Editing Tips: Consider Slides, Pushes, and Splits in Premiere Pro

first_imgGrowing tired of the same old default cross dissolve in Premiere Pro? Consider spicing up your splices with pushes, slides, and splits.Cover Image and Footage via Shutterstock.Good video editing requires a keen eye, a deft touch, and a deep understanding of what the scene needs to tell its story. It therefore stands to reason that good video editors would want a full array of tools at their disposal.If you’ve been solely using and relying on default video transitions in Premiere Pro (which would be the classic but over-used cross dissolve), you’ve been cutting your craft short. Here are three transitions to consider using in your next Premiere Pro editing project: the slide, the push, and the split.The Slide TransitionAll three of these transitions are in the Premiere Pro “Effects” Panel (which defaults to the upper left corner of your screen in the latest CC edition). They are all under “Video Transitions” and the “Slides” folder.Like the folder’s name indicates, all three of these transitions are variants of an editing “slide,” but let’s start with the namesake. If you have two shots — the first being your “A Shot” and the 2nd being your “B Shot” — the transition simply “slides” the B shot across the A shot.As you can see in the image above, once you’ve dropped your slide transition, you can change the alignment, the direction, the timing, and the borders. I’d recommend playing around with the borders and directions to get a feel for what you like.The Push TransitionSimilar to the slide transition, the push is, well, a little pushier. In this transition, the B shot literally “pushes” the A shot out. The result can be a little more jarring but also more playful — with the right juxtaposition.The “Effect Control” options are pretty much the same as you saw with the slide. In the image above, you can see some of the effect modifications, including the border width and the shot reversal (to give it a more interesting look).Pro-tip: Using the A and B previews, you can actually choose where you want each shot to begin, frame-by-frame, giving you pinpoint control of your transition.The Split TransitionPerhaps my favorite of these three, the split (as opposed to the center split, which I will not recommend in this article) operates on the slide principle of overlaying your B shot on top of your A shot. However, unlike the slide, the split begins from the middle and moves evenly out in opposite directions. You can also reverse this transition so the B shot appears to close over the A shot.The Effect Controls are the same as those you saw with the push. Personally, I try to use at least a six-point border width for these transitions as it gives the viewer a little more understanding of what they are seeing. Depending on your shot compositions, you can also use the split thematically to separate themes or create the feeling of either a reveal or closure.Looking for info on other video editing transitions or additional tips and tricks? Check out these other articles and resources.Quickly Applying Default Transitions in Premiere ProThe Hidden Meaning Behind Popular Video Transitions10 Free Packs: Over 125 Must-Have Assets for Video EditorsWhat are your go-to video editing transitions? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more

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N Korea demands security guarantees for nuclear talks from United States

first_imgSeoul: North Korea on Monday demanded the United States provide security guarantees as a precondition to resuming deadlocked nuclear talks, dampening hopes for progress at a working-level dialogue expected in the coming weeks. Negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington have been gridlocked since a second summit between the North’s leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump in February ended without a deal. The pair agreed to restart working-level dialogue during an impromptu meeting at the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas in June, and Pyongyang last week offered to hold those talks in late September, a move the US said was “encouraging”. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USBut hours later, Pyongyang carried out the latest in a series of weapons tests. A senior official from the North’s foreign ministry said Monday that “discussion of denuclearization may be possible when threats and hurdles endangering our system security and obstructing our development are clearly removed beyond all doubt”. North Korea has always insisted that security guarantees would be necessary as part of any deal — but it has not generally demanded them as a precursor to negotiations. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsThe director-general of the department of US affairs, who was not named, said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency that working-level talks were expected to be held “in a few weeks”. It was up to Washington whether it would prove to be an opportunity or “an occasion to precipitate crisis”, he added. “A proposal that the U.S. put forward at the negotiations may improve the relations and, on the contrary, may add to the hostility towards each other.” Pyongyang has also threatened to pull out of talks with Washington and has blasted senior US officials in recent months. Despite the escalation in tensions, Trump has insisted his relationship with Kim remains unharmed, and the pair have exchanged personal letters in the absence of talks. The North Korean leader asked Trump to visit Pyongyang in a letter sent last month, South Korea’s JoongAng Ilbo newspaper reported Monday, repeating an invitation issued at their last meeting in the DMZ. At their first summit in Singapore last year, Kim and Trump adopted a vaguely-worded statement on the “complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula” but little progress has since been made on dismantling the North’s nuclear programme.last_img read more

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Pamela Anderson to Gordon Ramsay Drop the Foie Gras at Flagship Restaurant

first_imgIn the lead-up to World Vegan Month (November), PETA Honorary Director Pamela Anderson is calling on TV chef Gordon Ramsay to remove foie gras from the menu of his flagship establishment in London, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, and replace it with faux gras for the month.“[F]oie gras is nothing more than a diseased liver produced in a real-life Hell’s Kitchen,” writes Anderson in her letter to Ramsay. “Given your exceptional talent, I have no doubt that you can create dishes to impress that don’t involve this cruelty.”To produce foie gras, ducks and geese are force-fed several times a day until their livers become diseased and swell to up to 10 times their normal size. PETA U.K. — whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way” — has released exposés of foie gras farms that revealed that birds used for the cruelly obtained food were sick, dying, and dead and that some had holes in their necks from being impaled by the feeding pipes. Foie gras production is so inhumane that it’s illegal in the U.K. and more than a dozen other countries.last_img read more

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CTV TAPS THE BEAVERTON TO DELIVER ITS NEW YEARS EVE MARQUEE SPECIAL

first_img Facebook TORONTO, Dec. 13, 2017 – CTV announced today that it’s recruiting the minds behind THE BEAVERTON to highlight its New Year’s Eve must-watch viewing schedule with the year-end special event, THE BEAVERTON’S YEAR IN REVIEW: 2017, THE YEAR THAT SADLY WAS. Debuting Sunday, Dec. 31 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CTV, the up-to-the-minute special helmed by co-anchors Emma Hunter and Miguel Rivas is charged to deliver a satirical audit of the year’s unbelievable news with the same unapologetic and biting wit of its wildly popular online incarnation, TheBeaverton.com. Login/Register With: Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisementcenter_img Advertisement In the last 12 months, the world has survived Twitter wars, said goodbye to several cultural icons – either due to physical or social death – and witnessed the power of a can of Pepsi. Needless to say, there’s a lot to cover. So before 2018 starts blasting out headlines, THE BEAVERTON’S YEAR IN REVIEW: 2017, THE YEAR THAT SADLY WAS feasts on the year’s opioid-induced highs and apocalypse-adjacent lows, as it revisits the most-talked about topics of the year. Here’s a peek at what’s in store for viewers:Hosts Emma Hunter and Miguel Rivas weigh in with the Top 17 explosive (and often surreal) news stories which include plenty of ‘TNT’, a.k.a., Trudeau and Trump.The Beaverton Sports Network checks out the Top 10 sports highlights of the year.Miguel and Emma face off in an epic battle, in 2017’s final Point/Counterpoint segment.The special also airs on The Comedy Network on Monday, Jan. 1 at 10 p.m. ET, and will be available on demand at CTV.ca, CTV GO, TheComedyNetwork.ca, and CraveTV, following its Comedy broadcast.Fueled by the no-holds-barred wit of a writing room led by co-creators and series showrunners Luke Gordon-Field and Jeff Detsky (CALL ME FITZ, SEED), The Comedy Network’s original series THE BEAVERTON hits above, below, and to the right and left of the belt, casting a Canadian lens on global issues with timely and topical viral-ready segments. Delivering the critical blows are comedians and co-anchors Emma Hunter and Miguel Rivas, along with correspondents Aisha Alfa, Dave Barclay, Laura Cilevitz, Donavon Stinson, and Marilla Wex.Seasons 1 and 2 of THE BEAVERTON are currently streaming on CraveTV. Viewers can also engage with the series and access exclusive digital content 24/7 across The Beaverton and Comedy’s social media accounts, and TheBeaverton.com. New episodes of THE BEAVERTON return to The Comedy Network Wednesday Jan. 10 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.THE BEAVERTON is the brainchild of co-creators Luke Gordon Field and Jeff Detsky (CALL ME FITZ, SEED) of TheBeaverton.com, as well as website senior editors Jacob Duarte Spiel and Alexander Saxton. Directors are Shelagh O’Brien (JUST FOR LAUGHS GALAS), Andrew Bush (PICNICFACE), Craig David Wallace (TODD AND THE BOOK OF PURE EVIL), and Henry Sarwer-Foner (THE RICK MERCER REPORT). Pier 21 Film’s Laszlo Barna and Melissa Williamson serve as Executive Producers. Nicole Butler serves as Producer.THE BEAVERTON is produced by Pier 21 Films in association with The Comedy Network, with the participation of Canadian Media Fund, and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit. Sarah Fowlie is Director, Original Production, Comedy, Bell Media. Production executive for Bell Media is Bill Lundy. Corrie Coe is Senior Vice-President, Original Programming, Bell Media. Mike Cosentino is President, Content and Programming. Randy Lennox is President, Bell Media.SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:Twitter:CTV on TwitterThe Comedy Network on TwitterThe Beaverton on TwitterEmma Hunter on TwitterMiguel Rivas on TwitterFacebook:facebook.com/ctvThe Comedy Network on FacebookThe Beaverton on FacebookInstagram:CTV_TelevisionAbout Pier 21 FilmsPier 21 Films is a television and film production company that builds on founder Laszlo Barna’s history of creating award-winning scripted and non-scripted television series, mini-series, movies of the week, and feature films. Pier 21’s reputation for the development, production, financing, and packaging of innovative top quality programming within North America and for the international marketplace is growing rapidly. Following the success of Pier 21’s G-SPOT, DA VINCI’S INQUEST, WRATH OF GRAPES: THE DON CHERRY STORY II (2012), and TREASURES DECODED, Pier 21 is continuing their tradition of delivering innovative programming. www.pier21films.comAbout Bell Media Original ProgrammingBell Media has commissioned some of Canada’s most-watched and most-acclaimed original programming, working with the best Canadian independent producers in the country. Hit series commissioned by CTV include the hit drama CARDINAL, the record-breaking THE AMAZING RACE CANADA and MASTERCHEF CANADA, new original series THE DISAPPEARANCE, THE INDIAN DETECTIVE, and THE DETAIL, and the upcoming international TV format THE LAUNCH. Among the original series on Bell Media specialty and streaming platforms are Space’s KILLJOYS and WYNONNA EARP; CraveTV hit comedy LETTERKENNY; Discovery’s first-ever drama FRONTIER; Comedy’s satirical news series THE BEAVERTON as well as the upcoming CORNER GAS ANIMATED; and multiple series and specials for food and lifestyle channel Gusto, including ONE WORLD KITCHEN. Discovery is also home to Bell Media’s hit factual franchise HIGHWAY THRU HELL, HEAVY RESCUE: 401, and CANADA’S WORST DRIVER, among others. Bell Media is one of the first media companies in North America to commit to producing all new original scripted series in 4K.About CTVCTV is Canada’s #1 private broadcaster. Featuring a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming, CTV has been Canada’s most-watched television network for the past 16 years in a row. CTV is a division of Bell Media, Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, digital, and Out-of-Home. Bell Media is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. More information about CTV can be found on the network’s website at CTV.ca.About The Comedy NetworkCanada’s first specialty comedy service, The Comedy Network airs comedy of all kinds, 24-hours-a-day, across multiple platforms, including a revolutionary broadband service at thecomedynetwork.ca. Launched in October 1997, Comedy broadcasts, uncut and uncensored, an eclectic mix of scripted, stand-up, sketch, improv, and animated comedy – as well as topical comedy talk shows, game shows and classic situation comedies. Offering an unrivalled slate of original Canadian programming, Comedy reinvests nearly 50 per cent of its revenues into home-grown productions. Comedy is a division of Bell Media, which is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company, and is available in nearly six million households across the country. “In the crowded landscape of late-night satire, THE BEAVERTON has broken through boundaries, and carved out its own space” said Mike Cosentino, President, Content and Programming, Bell Media. “Capping off the year with a stand-alone special on CTV made perfect sense, as we continue to champion this show and expand its reach.”“THE BEAVERTON’S YEAR IN REVIEW will help us figure out 2017, a year that was strange to live, but funny in hindsight,” said Executive Producer and President of Pier 21 Films, Laszlo Barna. Twitterlast_img read more

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