Friday, November 14, 2008

Runner Stabbed, Robbed During Race in South Africa

I can't say that this is the wisest group of thieves out there - attacking someone who can run fast and has almost no possesions on them? From The Herald in Port Elizabeth, South Africa:
A COMPETITOR in the Algoa Bus Bay to Bay Challenge was stabbed and robbed in full view of horrified runners and spectators in Port Elizabeth‘s notorious Victoria Drive at the weekend.

Theresa Matthysen, 41, from Despatch, was stabbed three times in the back and robbed of her shoes and watch by two men while running the last leg of the 50km relay event on Saturday.

The attack on a stretch of a Walmer road in which numerous motorists have been stoned, has shocked race organisers, who now plan to change the route of the event next year.

“There was about 8km left of the race near the Walmer Township when I saw two guys coming towards me,” said Matthysen from St George‘s Hospital yesterday. “I tried to avoid them, but the one guy just grabbed me by the neck and I felt a funny feeling on my back.

“They dragged me off to the side of the road and grabbed my takkies, and the one struggled to get my watch off, so I helped him.”

Matthysen, who had just been passed the baton, said she was about 0,7km into the last leg of the relay race when the attack took place.

“It happened so fast. I thought they just punched me on my back. I only realised I was stabbed when two guys who saw it happening came to help me,” she said.

Yikes! Read more here and here...



  1. Serious runners don't carry many possessions, but whatever they have tends to be expensive: GPS watches, heart rate monitors, iPods, and newish top-of-the-line shoes. It's all small, light and easy to sell. If we couldn't run fast, we'd be ideal targets.

    That said, what a terrible story. There was absolutely no need to harm her - she wasn't resisting at all! I hope the victim recovers fully, physically and mentally. I trust karma to take care of the attackers...

  2. Sadly, this sort of thing is also happening in my country, Venezuela, nowadays.

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  4. Horrible. Just...horrible.

  5. South Africa, officially the stabbiest and rapiest place on earth - not a great tourist destination

  6. Very rough story to read. The sad truth is that crime can happen anywhere, though. I lived in South Africa for two months (June-July, 2009)and had a very positive experience. Many people there are incredibly generous and kind, but a person still has to still be aware of surroundings at night, especially. While some parts of the country are fairly rough, Cape Town and the area around it are terrific. Probably my most memorable bike ride ever was riding along the coast just north of Cape Town. Also, several areas closer to the Mozambique border like the Drakensberg mountains (possibly the inspiration for J.R. Tolkien's setting for the Lord of the Rings trilogy- he was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa.) I have to think that with the World Cup a year and a half away, that security will increase dramatically going forward. Am hoping to do Comrades and catch some soccer next year down there.

  7. Correction to previous post-meant that I was in South Africa, June-August, 2004.


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