Zola Pieterse gets even better

2013-01-09 00:00

SOUTH African athletics legend and more recently Comrades runner, Zola Pieterse, improved her marathon best in December, running a 2:55,39 for the Jacksonville Bank Marathon in the United States.

The 46-year-old, who finished her debut Comrades in 2012, was fourth overall and first master.

The winning time by Russian Maria Korobistkaia was 2:43,23, while Austin Richmond won the men’s race in 2:23,50, suggesting it was not an easy course.

Although currently entered for the up run, the Unlimited Club athlete has earned an A seeding with this performance, which suggests a silver medal is in the offing.

With London Olympics still a vivid memory of performance and celebration, the bid to host the 2020 Games is under way, with three cities making the bid. Tokyo, who hosted the 1964 Games, Madrid and Istanbul are the candidates who over the next months will be presenting their cases. The outcome will be known in September at the IOC meeting in Argentina.

The eight years it takes the organisers to prepare for the games is no different from the eight years that current 15 to 22-year-old athletes need to set and achieve their goal to be an Olympian.

A number of KZN events have already been cancelled, including the Scottburgh Half Marathon and the Isandlwana/Rorke’s Drift half marathon, both of which are traditionally held in January.

Similarly, Durban’s hosting of the Afcon Cup has resulted in difficulties in holding the normal track and field meetings in the Kings Park area. Attempts are still being made to find suitable dates, and athletes and coaches are encouraged to keep in contact with the KZN office for updates.

The first event for the KZN season is this Sunday’s Moffat Optomics Ronnie Davel, which is a 16–kilometre run from the Laddsworth School in Hilton, starting at 7 am. This is the 35th running of this unique event, which climbs up through and around the Mondi forest with much of the route often enshrouded in mist. The majority of the course is on dirt road and timber trucking tracks, and there is something special about the event that not only has a lone piper welcoming runners through half way, but also offers a breakfast pack to all finishers.

The event is open to walkers and runners, and a five-kilometre fun run is on offer to those looking for a less strenuous opening to their year.

Entries will be taken on the day from 5.30 am and Gill Bure has more details at 082 772 9310.

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