Khanyila, Botha win Longest Day Run in unusually hot weather

2013-07-29 00:00

ATHLETES struggled in the unusual heat to compete in the annual “Longest Day Run”at Collegians Club on Saturday.

Entrants had to run around the 400 m track until they had completed 12 solid hours. But as temperatures reached an unseasonable 29° Celsius, many entrants dropped out the race suffering from cramps, dehydration and exhaustion.

Only 43 athletes qualified to enter the endurance event, which tests the reserves of the finest athletes.

One of the race’s stalwart runners, Ray Williams, who has completed the race 18 times in the past, did not finish this year due to a severe hamstring injury.

Andre Booysens of Collegians said: “We started the event with Ray and he soldiered on bravely throughout the day; sadly he was a mere four kilometres from the target when the final gun was fired at 7 pm.”

Another notable performance was that of Jenny Brown from Ixopo, who chose to walk the entire event. After a few failed attempts in the past, Brown was more determined than ever to make it this year.

Completing close to 83 km, Brown finished in 25th position overall and was the seventh woman.

In a nail-biting moment, Trish Bolton of Carbineers wrestled with severe cramping in the closing stages of the race, causing her supporters to resort to screams of desperation, as she limped across the finish line with less than 200 m to spare, thus making her the last finisher.

The triumphant winner, Mzwakhe Khanyile, gave the rest of the field a lesson as he completed a staggering 130 km in the allotted 12 hours, and beat his nearest rival by a massive 23 kilometres.

The winning woman, Lizette Botha, was 10th overall and managed to complete 91 km.

Botha earned her permanent number in her fifth Longest Day event, along with four other runners. Only six runners managed to break the prestigious 100 km barrier this year.


Men: 1. Mzwakhe Khanyile - Verulam 130 km

2. Majesty Mvelase - Eskom 107 km

3. Sibonelo Mashimane - Eskom 105 km

4. Brad Kavanagh - Hillcrest 103 km

5. Henk Moen — Irene 102 km

6. Fred Mckenzie - Westville 101km

Women: 1. Lizette Botha - Walk 4 Life 91 km (10th overall)

2. Molly Parasaraman - Phoenix 89 km (11th overall)

3. Cordelia Kisten - Woodview 88 km (12th overall)

4. Debra Naidoo - Phoenix 87 km (14th overall)

5. Josephine Bentule - uMhlathuze 86 km (18th overall)

6. Sharda Narothum - Eskom 84 km (22nd overall).

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