Race Announcing (past activity)

This is a past activity of mine at road races.

In January 2010 I took over some of the announcing /  commentating duties of my late friend George Koertzen.

George Koertzen, one of the countries best known race announcers, passed away on Saturday 16 January 2010 from a heart attack. In October 2009 he had his first one and made a remarkable recovery after cardiac surgery. He mended his ways by exercising regularly, eating healthier and loosing weight. At recent races he now ate muesli and low fat milk instead of the usual greasy boerie roll and pancakes. Always finishing off with a lekker cold Powerade.

For a few years I had been a sort of co-commentator with George at many races in Gauteng.  Looking back he was training me for a future time when he would not be around any more and I and other apprentice commentators would take over his presence at races. At the Dischem half marathon this year (2010), the day after George passed away, I had the sad honour of holding back 6500 runner to give a eulogy for him at the start of the race and then go on and commentate the race for him. I believe that he loved the idea of holding back those runners for him.

The next great honour in the sad saga was to be able to commentate the usual spot that George always did at the Two Oceans Marathon. The corner now know as Koertzens Corner is at the two and a half kilometres to go to the end of the race at UCT. It is the toughest point in the race where George stood and encouraged the runners to dig deep and push for the finish line. He chirped and joked which all helped the runners on to the end. It was great to be there for him and the hoards of runners that were all expecting a joke and a chirp as they passed.

What a hard act to follow, but George always said the show must go on. And it does.

George was a gentle soul and a great guy who would give everything he owned away if he could. He was forever giving running shoes and stuff to needy runners around him. Yes he was abrasive and cantankerous at times buy then “George was George” and he lived his life just like he wanted to.

George my friend, go well my boy and we will all miss you so much, but as you always said “The show must go on”. We will all go on but it will not be the same without you at your corner along the Two Oceans route.

I will be continuing to commentate where I am asked to by George’s company. If you see me at races in the Powerade caravan come over and say hi.