Yellow Pages, London and Loskop marathons, and dick king half-marathon

2011-04-19 00:00

CASTER Semenya doubled the 800 m and 1 500 m again in the second leg of the Yellow Pages Inter-provincial Challenge in Bellville on Saturday.

The middle-distance star was still unable to run under the magical two-minute barrier for her chosen 800 m event, this time recording 2:01:88, just 0.11 seconds slower than her time in Germiston in the first leg of the Interprovincial. Juanee Cilliers was a distant second.

Semenya’s 1 500 m was also slower than her 4:12 at the SA Senior championships in Durban, but this time she finished on the shoulder of her training partner, Violet Raseboya, who clocked 4:20:05 to Semenya’s 4:20:14.

The South African 3 000 m steeplechase record holder provided the performance of the meeting by qualifying for the World Championships in South Korea with a 8:22:46 victory over the barriers.

It was good to have a few of KZN’s athletes in competition in this round of the challenge.

Shane Victor ran a useful 47:11 second place behind Willie de Beer’s 46:30 in the 400 m event, while Justine Palframan finished third in the ladies’ one-lapper in 54:53 behind Wenda Theron (53:96) and Sonja van der Merwe (54:46).

Simone Meyer was also in action coming third when she spun the discus out to 44,87 metres.

Elizna Naude continues to battle to reach qualifying form for the World Championships and achieved a distance of 58,96 m, well short of her best.

On the road, the Forever Resorts Loskop Marathon had the focus of attention when Samuel Moleshioa surprised the field of 3 500 runners and himself by running to victory in two hours 44 minutes and 43 seconds. He would probably have set a new course record had he not been slowed and then forced to walk by cramps in the final kilometre.

Moleshioa had left the contenders at 16 km and ran the remaining distance on his own with Elias Mabane filling third and first veteran in a world class age group time of two hours 47 minutes 53 seconds. This will be listed as a notable performance as the course is downhill and point-to-point.

KZN’s Eloi de Oliveira finished second in the 50-59 category to Bernard Matela (3:17:41) in 3:30:22.

Zimbabwean Chiyedsa Chokore regained her crown in the ladies’ race in 3:23:29 and her sister Lizh is due to compete in the Two Oceans 56 km next Saturday, where she will come up against the Nurgalieva twins.

Multiple Loskop winner Grace de Oliveira opted for the shorter, but tough, half-marathon where she finished third and second in the 40-49 category in 1:40:26. The race was won by Olivia Chitate of the Bashewa club with Zola Pieterse runner up and first in the 40-49 category in 1:37:21.

Pieterse is touring the country as an ambassador for a new brand of forefoot running shoes, and may well return to South Africa from her current home in Myrtle Beach on the east coast of U.S. soon.

nternationally the London Marathon produced fast winning times, with Emmanuel Mutai (2:04:40) and Mary Keitany (2:19:17) each recording the world’s fourth fastest marathon times.

KZN’s Tanith Maxwell was disappointed with her 2:39:07 performance, which provided her with 29th position out of the 33 Elite finishers.

Putting the size of the Virgin London Marathon into perspective, only 23 500 of the 35 000 entrants finished in under the Comrades and Two Oceans qualifying time of five hours.

With a third of the field finishing after this time restriction is it any surprise that we fail to have a decent-sized city marathon in this country?

It was a local athlete Michael Mzobe who took the honours on the undulating out-and-back Goss and Balfe Dick King Half-marathon held in constant drizzle on Sunday.

It certainly wasn’t beach weather when the 500 runners lined up for the race, but the cool conditions made for good times for many of the participants.

After dropping from contention, Zimbabwean Richard Nene managed to hold on for second 45 seconds adrift as they powered towards the main Amanzintoti beach. Third place went to Bonikosi Zwane from the host club in one hour 14 minutes and 23 seconds.

Jenna Challenor was in a class of her own in the ladies’ race, breaking the tape in one hour 20 minutes and 36 seconds with Loveness Madziva and Maya Lawrie fighting over the remaining podium places. Madziva was 40 metres clear at the tape in 1:25:45, but Lawrie had the consolation of taking honours in the 40-49 category, while Madziva added the Junior award to her take-home cash.

Jenna’s husband Brett added a third place in the men’s 35-39 age group to the Challenor family winnings.

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