NMMU George Campus Madibaz Half Marathon with Outeniqua Harriers – 23 August 2014
Beautiful Southern Cape scenery
While it may only attract a small field, there were 145 entries this year, the NMMU George Campus Madibaz Half Marathon can boast one of the most scenic routes in the Southern Cape. Hosted by the George Campus of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, the race was blessed with good running weather this year as the runners made their way through indigenous forests and pine plantations next to the Garden Route Dam.
Lloyd Bosman of Nedbank Running Club SWD claimed the win in 01:08:43, with club mate Elfonzo Pieterse second in 1:10:39. In the women’s race Nedbank Running Club SWD again came out tops when Melissa van Rensburg crossed the finishing line first in a time of 01:26:13, with Nancy Cloete representing Outeniqua Harriers in second place in 01:33:27. (Thanks to the organisers for the write up and the photo.)
The Kings School West Rand Clearwater Mall Race – 23 August 2014
The Kings School West Rand held their 10km race and 5km Fun Run for the fifth consecutive year. Thanks to a sponsorship deal with Clearwater Mall this year the race started and finished at Clearwater Mall. Although this meant a 400m stretch done on the busy Hendrik Potgieter road before turning off and then climbing up through the quiet and scenic suburb of Little Falls. At three-and-a-half kilometres this is almost the highest point on the course. It then drops and climbs to the five-and-a-half kilometre point offering views out towards the Magaliesberg. It then drops rapidly to the water point at seven kilometres before winding its way back to Clearwater Mall.
The race attracted 1,400 runners and walkers in both races. Clearwater Mall have expressed an interest in continuing the sponsorship next year and race organiser, Andrew Young says incentives will be offered next year to encourage the top runners to bring the times down on this hilly course from the current 00:32:46 held by Z. Dyubeni from Nedbank. (Thanks to the organisers for the write up and Brandon Main for the photos.)
The Rotary Greatest Train Race – 23 August 2014
15 000 runners take on the train for the 28th year!
On the 23rd of August 2014, The Rotary Greatest Train Race hosted the 28th year of the event and once again it proved to be one of the most enjoyable and well organised community projects.
The Greatest Train Race attracted 15,000 runners, some competing in a 5 man team relay, some walking 15km and the brave, taking on the 28km as individual runners.
For a second year in a row the Suzuki Team took first prize in the relay section, with a time of 1:25:42, the winning High school team was HTS Middelburg with a time of 1:42:41 and the winning primary school was Dennesig with a time of 1:59:46.
Johnson Mbwane from the Eskom Running club took first place in the Individual 28km running event with a time of 1:44 while the first lady was Rita van Wyk from the Boksburg running club with a time of 2:25:00.
In the 15km walking event Edward Motsaathaba from NBC won with a time of 1:45:25 and Ria Potgieter walked away with the gold for the ladies.
“For 28 years the Greatest Train Race have been part of uplifting the local community, many charities have benefitted and will benefit for many years to come from the money raised through this annual event. Through this event and the Rotary Clubs, children receive not only books, tables and chairs from all over the world for their schools, but also basic necessities,” said Max Kohler, Chairman of the Greatest Train Race.
“Because of the support from our Sponsors, Anglo American, GC Construction and Glencore, and secondary sponsoring companies such as Coca-Cola Shanduka Beverages, Transnet, Bambanani Occupational Health, TRAC, RiseFM, and Oasis as well as water point hosts, logistics volunteers and the participants in the race, we are able to make the race the success that it is and raise the money for this amazing community projects,” said Kohler.
You can view and purchase your race photos race on www.claypigeonphoto.co.za.
The Train Race has grown from strength to strength and will continue to grow in years to come, watch this space! (Thank you to the organisers for the write up and www.claypigeonphoto.co.za for the photos.)
Pretoria SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge – 30 August 2014
Van Zyl Wins Pretoria Race in Course Record Time
Irvette van Zyl was all smiles as she crossed the finishing line at the Pretoria SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge in a course record time of 00:33:32 on Saturday. It was her first Challenge win since 2012.
Her Nedbank teammate, Rutendo Nyahora, was second, in 33:50, and the winner of last week’s Durban Challenge, Lebogang Phalula (Transnet) was third in 34:05.
Phalula’s twin sister, Diana-Lebo was fourth in 34:17 and Rene Kalmer (Modern Athlete) was fifth, in 34:40.
The top runners started in a bunch, with Van Zyl and Kalmer taking the early lead, but after two kilometres, the leading group started spreading out. The lead changed hands between Van Zyl and the Phalula sisters, until six kilometres, when Van Zyl surged to the front. Running easily, she was in complete command and never looked like losing.
“This means a lot to me,” said Van Zyl. “I was determined to make top three, and I feel blessed to have won. I was more relaxed than I was in Durban last week, and I didn’t start as fast as I did there. I wasn’t under any pressure, and that helped.”
She said she had a couple of bad patches between three and five kilometres, but once she went into the lead after six, she just concentrated on her running style, and this paid off.
“I knew the last two kilometres were downhill, and that helped.”
She said the Pretoria race had always been her favourite Challenge race.
“My first win was in Pretoria, as a junior. It is always a tough race, because it is in the afternoon, but I like tough races. There were a lot of hills, which I don’t like as much as I did when I was younger, but it was a tough course, and that suits me.”
Van Zyl said she would try to win the Johannesburg race as well, but her first priority was the Cape Town marathon on September 21.
“Marathons are the real test of your ability as an athlete, but I will always enjoy the shorter distances,” said Van Zyl.
Nyahora said she had struggled to keep up with the lead bunch at the start, but found herself getting stronger as the race went on.
“I wanted a top three finish, and I could see the Phalulas were struggling a bit, so I was happy when I passed both of them.”
Lebogang Phalula, who won in Durban last week, said she had started too fast.
“I battled on the hills,” she said.
“But I had something to prove, because I tested positive for a banned substance in Pretoria a few years ago. I wanted to show that I was back.”
Diana-Lebo Phalula, who won the Cape Town and Port Elizabeth races in record times, still holds the lead on the SPAR Grand Prix ladder, and seems likely to win the Nissan Micra awarded to the top runner after the Johannesburg race in October.
More than 26,000 runners entered the 10km Challenge and the 5km Fun Run, and Supersport Park was a sea of blue t-shirts as the runners streamed onto the cricket field. (Thanks to the organisers for the write up and Reg Caldecott for the photos.)