Something for the ladies in Durban

2009-07-24 00:00

EVENTS this weekend commence with the next round of the Cross Country Leagues which is hosted by Eskom Gijima’s at Gelofte School in Pinetown tomorrow, starting at noon.

Runners should note that this league has been brought forward a week from the date given in the fixture list. Lisette Mundell has more details at 083 233 1156

The primary focus however is on the Spar Ladies five-kilometre and 10-kilometre events which commence outside Sahara Kingsmead stadium on Sunday morning. In the past, this event has attracted more than 16 000 women runners, and entries continue to flow in at the expo and registration being held at the stadium until Saturday.

The 10 kilometre is first off on Sunday morning at 8 am with the five kilometre starting 30 minutes later. Both routes have the potential of producing fast times and many of the country’s top athletes will be in action looking for a share of the spoils. The race also provides the opportunity to gain points towards the Grand Prix league held over the series.

Junior athlete Maxine Heine-Wacker currently tops the league ahead of Rene Kalmer, who has 56 points from two wins, compared with Heine-Wacker’s 58 points which come from the bonus for having improved on previous junior times. Michelle Bartman is third on the log having also gained bonus point for being in the 40 plus category. With Maya Lawrie beating Bartman in the Nedbank South African championship half-marathon, there is sure to be a hard-fought race on hand over this 10 kilometre distance, which also provides a preview for the South African 10 kilometre at the end of next month. Following her excellent race in the Nedbank SA half-marathon championships, many eyes will be focused on Annerien van Schalkwyk, who could well post another personal best on the beach-front course. Van Schalkwyk missed the Cape town race but is in the top 10 based on the PE event and will climb the ladder after Durban. Jenna Challenor is KZN’s top performer in the league in fifth position, but Mr Price and South African marathoner Tanith Maxwell is expected to come down from the training camp for the race which should see her make one of the top five positions.

Other KZN ladies to watch out for include Danielle Adlam, Janine Carey and savages Makosi Mhlongo who posted a creditable 37:07 on last week’s hillier Forest Hills course.

For the local women there is the added incentive of targeting times that could see them make the final selection for the provincial team to the SA Nedbank 10 kilometre championships in Boland on August 29. This team is expected to be announced next week.

For the majority of participants, the objective is simply to complete the distance and enjoy the challenge, and in that regards the Spar is as much a celebration of the sport as it is a competitive race.

More details are available from the KZN Office at 031 312 9374.

Zululand Multi-sports Club has a busy couple of weekends ahead of them. On Sunday they host the annual Richards Bay Coal Terminal Charity Relay race, and the following weekend the Foskor 21 kilometre and 10 kilometre, which has possibly the largest prize money of an event in Richards Bay road running history.

Sunday’s relay attracts club and corporate teams from around the province and South Africa to compete over laps of a flat 8,2km course starting at 6.30 am from the car park outside Bay Hall.

Although there are some prizes the main objective is to raise funds for charity. Support for the event is excellent in this respect, with around 600 teams of six runners or three walkers participating. Jeanette Small has more details at 082 820 6790.

Schools, clubs, coaches and athletes are reminded of the preseason track and field meet and coaching clinic being held next weekend at Port Natal in Queen Mary Road, Umbilo, Durban.

Friday’s track meet caters for all age groups and has a programme that includes a number of non-standard distances.

This sets the tone for the following day’s clinic where parents teachers and athletes can benefit from the advice of experienced athletes.

The clinic on Saturday morning starts at 08:30 am.

Clyde Kinloch has more details of both events at 082 572 3408.

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