Newcomer first at the tape in KZNA race

2008-04-14 00:00

Chatsworth’s Thabiso Ngalonkulu proved a surprise winner at the weekend’s KZNA half-marathon championship, taking the tape ahead of more established athletes in a time of 68 minutes 56 seconds.

Sipho Ngxongo, who opted for a more conservative approach and who was about 150 metres adrift over the opening section, had caught up by four kilometres and proceeded to pull the field apart, with only Ngalonkulu able to stay with him.

The pair went through seven kilometres in 22:20, and had opened a substantial lead by the 10 km (31:59), with Zimbabwean refugee Garikai Madawo the closest contender just under one minute behind.

The leaders remained stride for stride until the turn back into Badulla Drive at 19 km when an errant car partially blocked the pair’s progress providing the Chatsworth athlete a slight advantage. Ngxongo couldn’t close the gap as Ngalonhulu found new strength stretching the lead to over 130 metres at the line.

"This is my first win and a massive personal best by around three minutes," said the ecstatic winner and 2008 KZN Champion. "I haven’t raced much, but this gives me great confidence"

Madawo held on to third in 72 minutes exactly.

An over-ambitious start cost Danielle Adlam dearly in a hard-fought women’s race.

Adlam and Zimbabwean Varaidzo Shindi diced for the early pace. As the duo began to regret their eagerness, Janene Carey and Maya Lawrie, competing in the 35 and 40 age groups respectively, found themselves closing the gap with little effort.

Lawrie once again defied her age by reeling in the youngsters to power her way to the tape recording 82 minutes 43 seconds for South Africa’s fastest half marathon by a 40-year-old women this year. This is Lawrie’s first provincial title since her comeback began and her time set her below the required qualifying selection standard for the Nedbank SA half-marathon championships in Motherwell in July.

Up the north coast, the tough hilly King Cetshwayo marathon between Melmouth and Ulundi was won by Bongani Msimango in a slow 2:47.22, while Iris Ndlovu took the women’s race in 3:36.34, well clear of her club colleague Maria Mthembu who also secured her 35 age category award.

Two South African women competed in Sunday’s Rotterdam marathon in the hope of making the Olympic team for Beijing. Charne Bosman got off to a good start covering the first 10 km in 36:53, but fell off goal pace to finish 12th in two hours 39 minutes and 51 seconds, 26 seconds outside her PB set in Amsterdam in 2005.

The 43-year-old Tessa Burrell, had an impressive run carving just under eight minutes from her PB to take second spot in the women’s 40 category behind Nathalie Vasseur (2:40.39). Burrell’s 2:48.06 is the fastest time by a 40-plus South African marathoner this year.

Wings Half Marathon and KZNA Championships

Men: 1 Thabiso Ngalonkulu Chats 68:56, 2 Sipho Ngxongo Hlabisa 69:22, 3 Garikai

Madawo Boxer 72:00;

Juniors: 1 Philasande Shabalala wings 79:50;

35-39: 1 Eugene Ncube YWP 78:00;

40-49: 1 Bheki Mbhele Toyota 82:22;

50-59: 1 Andy Daly West 88:26;

60+: Pieter Badenhorst PDAC 91:44.

Women: 1 Maya Lawrie DHSOB 82:43, 2 Danielle Adlam Boxer 83:45, 3 Varaidzo

Shindi MrP 84:32;

35-39: 1 Janene Carey Boxer 84:41;

40-49: Maya Lawrie DHSOB 82:43;

50-59: 1 Sheree Kirsten PDAC 1:50.55;

60+: 1 Lien Botha Toti 1:40.45.

King Cetshwayo Marathon

Men: 1 Bongani Msimango (Boxer) 2:47.22, 2 Mthembeni Nzama (Nedbank) 2:53.09,

Wanda Zunga Vryheid 2:58.39;

35-39: Mthembeni Nzama (Nedbank) 2:53.09;

40-49: Sipho Mhlanga (Boxer) 3:18.10;

50-59: Jeremiah Ngwenya (Boxer) 3:12.18;

60+: Linford Nzama (Nedbank) 4:32.04.

Women: 1 Iris Ndlovu (Boxer) 3:36.34, 2 Maria Mthembu (Boxer) 3:50.58, 3 Kathy

Kruger (Eskom) 4:09.00;

35-39: Maria Mthembu (Boxer) 3:50.58;

40-49: Zanele Mthiyane Umhlathuze 5:33.09;

50-59: Elizabeth Zulu UmHlathuze 5:43.48;

21km: Men: Thelumufa Nkosu Ngoma 76:39.

Women: Nomthandoza Zulu Ngoma 1:49.15.

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