Hard work pays off for young runner

2012-08-20 00:00

THE Witness Capital Climb proved to be an uphill battle for the thousands of athletes who could not break any records in this year’s marathon.

The 36th annual race, which started from and ended at Voortrekker High School on a cool Saturday morning, was won by to the 23-year-old Zimbambwean-born Munyaradzi Jari, who finished the race in 51 minutes 10 seconds.

Jari, who hails from Mutare in Zimbabwe, told The Witness that he has been running since he was 14 years old. “I have been running this race since 2010. Last year I was in the second place because I’m more familiar with the route,” he said.

Jari said he was more prepared for this race because he now lives in Pietermaritzburg and he has been training hard on the same route, unlike before when he was living in Durban.

“Running this race was part of my training session to prepare for the Gauteng Marathon next month,” he said. Kristin Williams was the first woman to cross the winner’s line in a time of 1:06:03.

Marathon convenor Tony Morrison hailed the event as a great success. “I think it went off very well,” he said.

Morrison said they had positive feedback from all the runners.

“We had a new timing system which we think was a success in improving the race,” he said.

Morrison said runners were also excited about running the new additional routes, which were introduced on this weekend’s race.

While others had aching muscles from the 15 km and five kilometre marathons, for some it was a family day filled with smoke from braais on the Voortrekker Sports Ground.

Kids took turns swinging the ball with cricket bats.

For female athlete, Sthabile Ngcobo from Umlalazi, it was her first Capital Climb and next year she hopes to improve after coming seventh in the woman’s race.

“I battled on the hill, but I will train harder,” she said.

The 66-year-old Tommy Chenchiah had a message for younger runners. “I run to encourage the youngsters that sport is important in keeping them healthy and away from mischief,” he added.

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