IT was with great sadness, shock and regret that I had learned about the passing away of Carl Hendricks yesterday.
(Hendricks is pictured fifth from the left in the back row)
I was a junior way back in the late 70s when I met him. Out of respect, I called him Boeta Kal. He was already a senior runner. There were better, greater and faster runners than him on the scene at that time, but Boeta Kal had a demeanour about him that endured himself to this junior.
Boeta Kal disappeared off the scene in the eighties, but he emerged again during unity to show that he could have been a contender if he had the opportunity. Of course, when unity arrived, he was past his prime and almost 50 years old. And it was in the masters’ section of the road races in the Western Province where he made his mark.
Boeta Kal, his wife, Gene and I had many a pleasant chat after the road races, especially those where he won the over 50s section.
Because of his length, Boeta Kal’s running style appeared ungainly, but he seemed to love winning road races in cut-throat fashion holding off his opponents in enthralling sprints to the finish line.
I can remember at least three occasions where it was a dead split between him and the runner who came second. In August 1993, he won the West Coast 21.1km race in 1:31:37 – exactly the same time as second-placed Cecil Van Rooy of VOB. In March 1995, he won the Transnet 21.1km in 1:25:06 with Riel Hugo of Bellville second in 1:25:06 as well. He did the same in May 1995 when he won the Masters 10km in 38:26 with Roy Anderson of Fish Hoek breathing down his neck in 38:26 as well.
However, he also knew how to win races outright. In 1994 he won the Rainbow Chickens 21.1 in Worcester in 1:29:24, the Ravensmead 15km in 56:55 and the Paarl 15km in 57:10 way ahead of the opposition.
Boeta Kal, I knew you as a runner, but you were so much more than a runner – husband, father, leader, friend and a true legend.
Hamba kahle, Boeta Kal!
- Hendricks’ memorial service will be held at the TUF Centre, 11 Lood Street, Brackenfell, this evening at 7pm. The body will arrive at his home at 9am on Saturday: 43 Leslie Crescent, St Michaels, Brackenfell. The funeral service will be held at 10am at the St Kevin’s Catholic Church, Northpine Drive, Northpine, on Saturday, 1 June 2019. He is survived by his wife Gene and children. Hendricks was 76 years old.