Foreign athletes shine at eThekwini race

2012-09-27 00:00

EVANS Taiget led a squadron of foreign runners over the line in Sunday’s eThekwini Township to Township Marathon between Umlazi and KwaMashu outside Durban.

The Kenyan, who earned R40 000 for his efforts, took 500 metres out of compatriot Wilson Kibet with Zimbabwean Brighton Chipere, the winner of the recent Mandela Day Marathon, in third a further 400 metres adrift. Chipere also added the 35 to 39 age group award to his prize money.

Mr Price’s Prodigal Khumalo was the first of only two South Africans in the top 10, taking eighth position.

It was a similar situation in the women’s race where Tabitha Tsatsa took line honours in 2:43,05, followed home by Kenyan, Vicoty Chepkimoi, who blasted off as the early leader before blowing and hanging in for second in 2:47,03. Lesotho’s, Mamorallo Tjoko of the Toyota club was third in 2:53,44.

The race, which is hosted by Umlazi, Chesterville and KwaMashu clubs, alternates direction each year and is considered one of the toughest, but richest in KwaZulu-Natal.

Cary-Ann Smith was the top KZN finisher in Sunday’s Cape Town Marathon, taking third behind debut marathoner Alicen Manake, who took the title in 2:51,37. The Zimbabwean led from the first kilometre, while Smith’s time of 2:57,37 was a personal best, beating her debut time in the same race in 2011, where she finished ninth in 2:59.

“The wind was really tough, but I enjoyed the race. This was my debut marathon last year and to improve my time is great,” said Smith, who prefers to focus on the shorter distances. “I will go back to speed training. I want to do well in the [SA] cross-country trials in January.”

Debby Perry from the Boxer Club also ran a personal best to finish sixth in 3:04,18.

The Cape Marathon was run in cold, wet and windy conditions, with Zimbabwean Gilbert Mutandiro taking line honours in 2:19,16 and securing the R20 000 first prize.

“It was tough. The wind made it impossible to get the 2:17 I had hoped for,” said the diminutive Zimbabwean, who was fourth last year.

Sunday’s Saints Thorntree 15 km challenge is the leading event this weekend. The race commences from the Coach House at St Charles College and covers a relatively tough route up and back to the Hesketh conservancy.

There is a 10 km option for walkers and those looking for a little less challenge, with the first event starting at 7 am. Alan Kockott has more details at 083 440 6765

Up the North Coast at Wallenton Farm, there’s the Tonevale Game Farm 16 km run and walk. This takes participants around a scenic and game-infested course with a couple of major climbs and hills. The race commences on Saturday at 2.30 pm and medals are awarded to finishers.

Lionel Qwabe provides more details at 084  429 0305.

The other off-road race for the weekend is the Mpambanyoni trail run, hosted by Scottburgh Club, which commences from Scottburgh main beach on Sunday at 7 am. This is a new race to the calendar, but is sure to attract a good field of runners. Miles Usher has details at 083 642 5086.

Nationally, there is another couple of big prize money events that will attract the top marathon and ultra runners, as well as the usual influx of foreigners.

The biggest field will be drawn to the Bonitas City to City 50 km, which this year commences at Wanderers in Johannesburg and makes its way through to Centurion, while down in Mossel Bay, there’s the Petro SA Marathon which may not be the fastest 42 km race, but attracts the names.

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