Port Elizabeth comedian Gino Fabbri – and his alter ego Clyde Smithers – is ready to rock when they entertain thousands of ladies at the SPAR Women’s Challenge races in PE next month.
The popular roadrunning event, taking place on March 21, offers distances of 10km and 5km, with the race village in Summerstrand, adjacent to Pollok beach.
For a decade, Fabbri has been creating a festive vibe at the start of the race and he says this year will be no different.
“Basically I try to put maximum energy into the start of the race,” he said. “This year I’m using my jogging guy – Clyde Smithers – as my special character and you can spell that any way you want to, perhaps Clarde!
“He’s going to be helping the runners get their energy up at the start to get them going for the race.”
Fabbri’s blueprint is to belt out popular songs with a catchy tune, encouraging all runners to sing and dance along with him.
“This year we have put excerpts of a whole lot of songs together in a 10-minute medley,” he added.
But it’s not just about singing from his platform above the start line. Fabbri, or Clyde, will be mixing with the runners to warm them up.
“We will be on the line before the start and get everyone to jump around and have some fun,” he said. “There’s nothing better to get those muscles warm than a couple of exercises through dances such as the Macarena.
“And the feedback we’ve had has been fantastic. Even the elite runners join in the fun and that’s what it is all about – having some fun.”
Once the races are done, the atmosphere will change from Fabbri’s hectic antics to the popular tune of Eastern Cape band ChapterTHREE.
This three-member vocal group were established at the beginning of 2008 and they have performed at a variety of events.
“We are delighted to have a local band there to entertain us,” said SPAR EC sponsorship and events manager Alan Stapleton.
“They cover songs from a wide range of eras and genres, including hits of the ’70s to chart-busting singles of the modern era.
“It is this versatility that has seen ChapterTHREE becoming one of the Eastern Cape’s most sought-after entertainers in a short space of time.”
Stapleton added that there would be various activations on the run, while competitors could look forward to a heap of lucky-draw prizes.
“The high point of this will be one runner walking away with a year’s supply of groceries,” he said.