Mr Price runners take main podium spots in Savages’ jubilee half-marathon

2010-05-18 00:00

MR PRICE athletes had a clean sweep of the podium at Savages’ 50th year celebratory half-marathon in Durban on Sunday.

Wellington Chidodo opened 150 m over club-mates Samuel Pazanga and Professor Mallen on the return from the climb up McKeurton Drive to cross the line in one hour, six minutes, 31 seconds.

The race, which was held in ideal running conditions, attracted Mr Price’s top Zimbabwean woman athlete, Tabitha Tsatsa, who outclassed the rest of the field to take line honours in 1hr:21min:6sec, leaving her Mr Price colleague Cary Ann Smith over 800 m adrift for second. Boxer’s Sibongile Mpanza was a distant third 53 seconds outside the 90-minute barrier.

Tsatsa added the 35-39 age group award to her prize haul while Maya Lawrie was the leading 40-49-year-olds in 1hr:31min:40sec for fourth overall.

Lunigsa Moedelwa (25) of the Nedbank club was the only athlete to beat the 30-minute barrier in the associated 10 km race. Moedelwa took 100 m out of the province’s leading short-distance athlete, Thubalethu Phaku, ensuring the top spot in 29min:47sec. Prodigal Khumalo was a further 500 m adrift to close the podium spots.

Only Mbali Mnyandu could get under the 40-minute standard in the women’s race, where she recorded 38min:48sec. The KZN strider led from gun to tape, leaving Phumzile Gwala and Nedbank’s Fikile Mbuthuma to dice for second and third, which saw the uMlazi athlete have a 13-second advantage at the tape.

Over 1 400 runners participated in the races, which form part of the jubilee celebrations of the Savages Club, a stalwart in South African athletics since its inception in 1960.

The club has provided many of the country’s best track and road athletes. It has also been a major contributor to the evolution of the ultra scene through runners such as Comrades number one Clive Crawley and Kenny Craig, who completed over 40 Comrades and held the John O’ Groats to Lands End record for the run down the full length of the UK.

Washington Zuma, Michael Mabaso and Muzi Madikwa were the main contenders in the Spartan 10 km race run from Woodburn Stadium on Sunday. Zuma put the Mr Price colours on the top step of the podium with his 33min:51sec performance, leaving Collegians Harriers’ Madikwa a rugby-field adrift at the tape.

Natal Carbineers’ Erica Walker continues to leave many of her juniors in her wake and it was no different on Sunday when the 43min:09sec she took to cover the route not only gave her outright victory, but also a 40-49 age category win. Sibongile Ziqubu was the closest competitor over a minute later with Debby de Koning, also of the Eskom club, closing the podium in third.

SAVAGES 21,1KM HALF-MARATHON

Men: 1. Wellington Chidodo Mr Price A C 66:31; 2. Samuel Pazanga Mr Price A C 67:04; 3. Prof Mallen Mr Price A C 67:10

Women: 1. Tabitha Tsatsa Mr Price A C 81:06; 2. Cary Ann Smith Mr Price A C 83:36; 3. Sibongile Mpanza Boxer A C 90:53

10km

Men: 1. Lungisa Moedelwa Nedbank 29:47; 2. Thubalethu Phuku DUT 30:04; 3. Prodigal Khumalo Mr Price 31:27

Women: 1. Mbali Mnyandu KZN St 38:48; 2. Phumzile Gwala Umlazi A C 40:36; 3. Fikile Mbuthuma Nedbank A C 40:49

10km Walk

Men: 1 Prof Cele Toti 49:15; 2. Oxley Africa Boxer 53:48

Women: 1. Kethiwa Memela Boxer 61:40; 2. Phillipa Chiliza Boxer 64:01

SPARTAN 10KM PMB

Men: 1. Washinto Zuma Mr Price 33:51; 2. Muzi Madikwa Coll Harr 34:14; 3. Michael Mabaso Ind 34:24

Women: 1. Erica Walker Ntl Carb 43:09; 2. Sibongile Ziqubu Escom 44:05; 3. Debby De Koning Escom 46:19

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