Formula One athletes dominate local races

2010-05-04 00:00

BLUFF Meats Formula One athletes are out testing their speed and endurance in local races as part of the final build-up to the 85th Comrades Marathon.

The club that provided many of the front runners and the winner in last year’s down run is now dominating most local races.

Ticha Matende and Simon Mpholo ran together for much of the Verulam Falcons 27 km challenge that covered a new, safer route from Durban to Mount Edgecombe and back. Although still covering a hilly course, the less trafficked route and the tour of the golfing estate made this a popular change.

Matende broke free of Mpholo on the 800 m climb up to Umdloti Road and opened almost 300 metres on his club-mate to take the tape in 1 hour 29 minutes 2 seconds. Mr Price’s Zimbabwean runner, Richard Nene, was third by almost the same distance again.

The Nedbank duo of Hleziphi Ncayiyane and Fikile Mbuthuma led the women’s race for much of the way, but it was a late charge by Sibongle Mpanza that brought the Boxer athlete victory. Her drive on the return leg saw her open over 200 metres on Ncayiyane, who was unable to respond. Mpanza took the tape in 1hr 57min 51sec.

Another Formula One runner looked to have the shorter 15 km event sewn up when he turned in the lead just before the eight-kilometre mark, but he paid dearly for his early exuberance and was overpowered by Gerald Munetsi of Glenwood, in 46:06. Once again the route was found to be short by around 800 m, throwing time comparisons out of kilter.

Clermont’s Arron Mathandabuto was third, almost a kilometre off the pace.

Boxer’s Tholokele Sigubudu was never challenged for the women’s 15 km title, running alone from gun to tape in 1:07:45. Having turned in second position, Jenny Scott surrendered to Pinetown’s Thandikwe Khati after eight kilometres. As the young PDAC runner attacked the steep climb, Scott’s more conservative pacing reeled the exhausted Khati back in, allowing Scott to regain her second spot.

Another race and another Formula One win was for Jari Mundarabzi, who led the annual Build-It Half-Marathon from Camperdown to Pietermaritzburg from the gun. The lightweight showed little respect for either the competition or the two kilometre climb up Polly Shortts, which he ascended as though on an escalator.

In almost perfect running conditions Mundarabzi completed the route in 1:09:11, a full 500 m ahead of local Boxer athlete Sibonela Duma, who was being chased down by Richard Nene.

Thobile Ngwane’s domination of the women’s race was even more emphatic. The Mr Price athlete was the only woman to finish under the 90 minute barrier, taking only 1:26:28, leaving Iris Ndlovu and Erica Walker to dice for the lower podium places. Ndlovu finished in 1:34:24, with Walker five seconds adrift.

With only four weeks remaining to the Comrades, organisers are still looking for companies and service organisations to take on eight of the 48 water points along the 89 km route from Pietermaritzburg to Durban.

Anyone who feels their club, organisation or company may be able to assist should contact table co-ordinator Alen Hattingh at 083 440 3135.

Verulam 27 km Challenge

Men: 1. Ticha Matende F1 1:29:02, 2. Simon Mpholo F1 1:29:53, 3. Richard Nene Mr Price 1:31:36

Women: 1. Sibongile Mpanza Boxer 1:57:51, 2. Hleziphi Ncayiyane Ned 1:58:42, 3. Fikile Mbuthuma Ned 1:59:06


Men: 1. Gerald Munetsi Glenwood 46:06, 2. Xolani Nkiwane F1 48:03, 3. Arron Mathandabuto Clermont 49:07

Walkers: 1. Oxley Africa Boxer 1:20:21, 2. Mike Brown Stella 1:43:44, 3. Victor Deetleft Highway 1:54:03

Women: 1. Tholokele Sigubudu Boxer 1:07:45, 2. Jenny Scott DCS 1:18:34, 3. Thandiwe Khati PDAC 1:20:59

Walkers: 1. Margaret Botes Eskom 1:40:00, 2. Cecily Fraser Highway 1:41:45, 3. Sylvia Law Stella 1:43:44

Build-it Half-Marathon

Men: 1. Jari Mundarabzi F1 1:09:11, 2. Sibonela Duma Boxer 1:10:53, 3. Richard Nene MrP 1:11:11

Women: 1. Thobile Ngwane MrP 1:26:28, 2. Iris Ndlovu Boxer 1:34:24, 3. Erica Walker Natal Carbs 1:34:29

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