Nick Bester’s team warns road running rivals

2013-11-01 15:45

The arrival of last year’s Comrades Marathon champion Ludwick Mamabolo at the Nedbank Running Club (NRC) will make them the team to beat on the road next year.

This warning was sent by the club’s national manager, Nick Bester.

The legendary marathoner pointed to the recent addition of Mamabolo to the “Green Dream Team” as their reason to be optimistic.

“We want to make sure that we develop South African champions and Mamabolo is our kingpin for next year,” said Bester.

He said as next year’s Comrades is a “down” run, their hopes will be on Mamabolo, Bongumusa Mthembu, Claude Moshiywa and Mthandazo Qhina.

Moshiywa is the defending Comrades champion and, he too, believes that they have assembled the strongest team.

“We have come far with Ludwick as we used to be team-mates at Mr Price in 2010,” said Moshiywa, who became the first South African to win the “up” Comrades run in 21 years.

“Ludwick brought in a wealth of experience and many of us will continue to learn from his courage and big heart.”

The team also fancies its chances in the upcoming high-profile events such as the Two Oceans and the SA10km, 21km and 42km championships.

Bester said they have also set their sights on the Spar Women’s Challenge, Om Die Dam and the Loskop marathons.

The NRC has grown its membership to 3?300 runners, more than 908 of whom competed in this year’s Comrades, while 638 lined up in the Two Oceans in Cape Town.

Bester also highlighted the club’s commitment to development, which is headed by a former marathoner, Pio Mpolokeng.

NRC runs three development clubs in Klerksdorp (North West), Franschhoek (Western Cape) and Boland.

Nedbank Green Dream Team 2013 champions

Claude Moshiywa – Comrades Marathon 87km (up run)

Meseret Mengistu (Ethiopia) – Two Oceans 21km

Jennifer Koech (Kenya) – Loskop 50km and City2City marathons 50km

John Chebii (Kenya) – Om Die Dam 50km

Rutenda Nyahora (Zimbabwe) – Spar Women’s Challenge 10km winner (Cape Town and Port Elizabeth legs)

Gezashigh Gemeda (Ethiopia) – Spar Women’s Challenge 10km winner (Johannesburg leg)

David Manja – the Gun Run 21km

Loyds Bosman – Knysna 21km

Fikile Mbutuma – Legends marathon 21km

Cornelia Joubert – SA and Mauritius marathons

Rene Kalmer – SA half-marathon

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