William Chirp
Photo Credit: Karoline Hanks - Supplied

William Chirwa is one of the men who works with Project Noordhoeked; he recently found a passion for trail running and took part in his first-ever race.


Noordhoek, South Africa (01 December 2023) – William Chirwa has made his team incredibly proud after taking up the hobby of trail running and earning a top 10 spot in his first race up Table Mountain! William is one of the guys working for Project Noordhoeked, building incredible ecobrick benches, keeping the wetland snare-free and helping the town stay tidy.

William Chirwa is one of four guys employed by Project Noordhoeked. It is a community-funded, job-creation greening initiative based in Noordhoek which was founded in 2018 by Karoline Hanks and Filippo Faralla. The men employed for the project, work around three days a week on various projects.

The project team picks up ocean plastic off the beach, manages Kakapo the wire whale, builds ecobrick benches; they extended the Noordhoek beach boardwalk and built a special horse path to prevent dune erosion; they also look after nesting plovers on the beach, clear invasive alien plants in the wetland, clear footpaths, collect trash on the road verges and so much more.

William joined the team in 2019. In 2022, the team of four guys assisted at one of the RMB UTCT trail race (100 miler) aid stations. William indicated his interest in competing so Karoline and Filippo, who are avid trail runners themselves, took William under their wings.

“William spoke to us about wanting to start running, and so we decided to try and encourage it. We got him a free entry to the 35k race (on the back of our assistance in 2022), and bought him a pair of running shoes in September 2023.

He started training about 4 months before the race, and literally made his commute to work in Noordhoek (from RedHill) part of his training. He usually cycles to work, but started running.” 

“We took William on a training run along the route (Table Mountain) about two months ago, and could see his raw talent, as he shot up Platteklip Gorge at some pace!” – Karoline Hanks

Karoline shared that it was the first time William had gone to the top of Table Mountain. She shared the picture of him above, showing how proud he was of the accomplishment.

When it came time for William to run in his first race, excitement within the Project Noordhoeked team grew. The three other guys, Edgar Phiri, David Mohale and Jacob Mohale stood on the sidelines cheering for their friend and collegue.

“William lined up with some top trail runners – the field was incredibly competitive, with some international, sponsored elites. He was rubbing shoulders with guys from Cameroon and France, yet this did not discourage him”

“He ended up coming in 8th male and first Malawian home. For a newbie in this space, it was a remarkable achievement and as a project, we are INCREDIBLY proud of him. He unfortunately took a wrong turn towards the end and lost about ten minutes, so who knows, he could well have podiumed.

We will continue to nurture his evident talent and ensure that he enters more races so that he can hone his skills and learn from experience.”

Karoline shared that Edgar, David and Jacob shed tears of pride for William’s accomplishment. They had a sign with his name and cheered as he passed them.

Competing in the 35k, William became the first Malawian man to place in the top 10. Now he is setting his sights on the next big races and his dreams are soaring!

Sources: Karoline Hanks – Supplied
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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