Falcons soar and Panthers leap over the finish

2016-05-05 06:00
The Tongaat Panthers team ready to take on the Deloitte Challenge last Sunday. Photo: supplied

The Tongaat Panthers team ready to take on the Deloitte Challenge last Sunday. Photo: supplied

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SCORES of brave runners from the Tongaat Panthers and Verulam Falcons local running clubs took on the monumental challenge of finishing both the Chatsworth Freedom Ultramarathon and the Deloitte Challenge; held just one week apart.

As they set off from the stadium and navigated their way through the winding streets of Chatsworth, runners training for the infamous Comrades Marathon were treated to perfect weather conditions as they took on the undulating, energy sapping course.

A total of 12 Tongaat Panthers competed in the Chatsworth 52 and 25 kilometre races on 23 April, with Temba Quniso finishing the ultra in an amazing time of three hours 39 minutes, which placed him 25th overall.

From the Verulam cohort, Falcons front-runners Thulani Hlongwane and Ernest Cele finished in brilliant times of four hours 25 minutes and 4 hours 37 minutes, respectively.

Female star performer for the Falcons, Lindiwe Hlongwa blazed through the 52 kilometre course in just over five hours.

In addition, Comrades silver medallist Derrick Gumede showed his running class when he finished fifth in the 25 kilometre race in a time of 91 minutes.

The hot and sunny conditions on the day made the race a tough one, but it did not seem to deter the spirit of the runners on the day, who all did well to finish.

The conditions for last weekend’s Deloitte Challenge were much different, however, as the first snows in the Drakensburg made for a frosty early morning run.

Verulam Falcons quick Mzamaleni Ngcobo ld the club in the Comrades Marathon qualifier, finishing in a time of just over three hours, while Lindiwe Hlongwa ran in a stellar time of 3 hours 35 minutes.

The 23 competing Tongaat Panthers also did well, with Nkosinathi Khubeka leading the marathon runners and finishing in the remarkable time of 2 hours 52 minutes and 38 seconds.

He was closely followed by Themba Qhanqiso, who crossed the line in two hours 56 minutes.

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