PMB run draws 2 000 field

2008-08-17 00:00

THE 10-year-old record for the 15-kilometre Capital Climb still stands and it does not seem like it will be broken any time soon. In 1998 Eric Biyase finished the race in 42 minutes, two seconds — an unbeatable record so far.

However, Saturday’s event was successful to judge from the big turnout — people from all walks of life entered the competition.

The race started at the City Hall at 8 am and most of the athletes climbed — some crawling — up to World’s View before descending to Voortrekker School. The weather was cool and overcast with temperatures between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius, creating conducive conditions for the runners.

The Voortrekker sportsfields and grounds were buzzing with people camping, braaing and having fun for most of the day.

Families and organisations set up tents and camping chairs around the area and started braai fires while waiting for the athletes to come in.

Sibonelo Duma was first to reach the finish line in 50 minutes, 55 seconds, followed by Khulekani Ngubane in 52 minutes, 17 seconds, and Vusi Sokhela in 52 minutes, 51 seconds coming in third.

In the women’s race, Sibongile Ziqubu claimed victory in a time of one hour, 10 minutes and 24 seconds, with Judith Geldenhuys coming second in 1:10,36 and Debbie Eaton in 1:10,38 in third place.

A variety of runners participated in the race — for the prize money, for the fun of it, for charity and health reasons. The teams ranged from top municipal officials and families to young beer drinkers and senior citizens with their dogs, making up a total of 2 000 runners.

Four friends wearing blue T-shirts labelled “Drunks on the run” on the back, had more fun than they would have had at a local pub.

James Simyoy, Mark Johnson, David and Mark Webb are members of Team Atlas, which was formed at a pub after a couple of beers. “It was absolute fun. The climb was very steep, but we made it,” they said.

Val Bond (62) and Sue Rieker (59) embarrassed some youngsters who came in after them. “It’s a lovely race, full of fun, and people are happy,” said Bond.

Msunduzi municipal manager Rob Haswell and his team also had a good run.

He encouraged all Pietermaritzburg citizens to enter the race. “I enjoyed the race. It was fun, but I must admit the hill was steep. The weather was cool and good for running. I think everybody in Pietermaritzburg should do the race as it would improve everybody’s health.”

The Pregnancy Crisis Centre, as part of a fund-raising campaign, had a team of men running dressed as pregnant women. One of the men, Renny Noble, earlier said pregnant women should be proud. “Pregnancy is a beautiful thing.”

Winnie Maphanga of Ashdown participated with her sister and two brothers. “I am proud of myself and my family. It feels really good. I beat my two brothers; I came in before them.”

Maphanga’s two brothers were running in the main race while she and her sister did the five-kilometre run that avoided the climb to World’s View.

sandilez@witness.co.za

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