Ngubane, Zunckel win Sani Pass Marathon

2010-11-30 00:00

ERIC Ngubane and Tracy Zunckel earned the King and Queen of Sani Pass titles on Saturday when they took the honours at the annual Sani Pass Mountain Marathon.

Ngubane took three hours 20 minutes 30 seconds to complete the gruelling ascent and descent of the 3 000-metre pass from the Sani Hotel to the Lesotho border post and back.

The Mr Price athlete had a tough tussle with Boxer’s Sibonela Duma, who, although first over the line by a few metres, was disqualified by the referee for receiving seconding assistance on the route from personal supporters.

“Seconding is not permitted in most races in KwaZulu-Natal, particularly when runners are in contention for prize money,” said chief referee Brian Jarmey-Swan.

“This is an even bigger potential problem in a race like Sani Pass where additional vehicles and people on the route increase the dangers significantly.”

A second Boxer Club athlete was disqualified for similar offences among the top 10 finishers.

Petros Sosibo was a distant second, putting a two-stride lead over club-mate and Comrades gold medallist Bongmusa Mthembu, which gave the men in red and white a clean sweep of the podium.

Tracy Zunckel had it in the bag for much of the second half of the race, which she won in 4:9,43. Visitor Ering du Toit made her journey from Lichtenberg worthwhile by securing second spot over six minutes later and leaving Thobile Ngwane a distant third in 4:33,37.

It was a Visser affair for the one-directional half-marathon tumble from the top of the pass to the hotel golf course. David Visser totally dominated the helter-skelter drop, crossing the line in 1:23,27, almost three kilometres ahead of Vaal visitor Warren Jee. Chico Subramnian from Richards Bay was third in 1:35,32.

Yolandie Visser had over one kilometre in hand in the women’s race in 1:42,37, with Cathryn Bode the chase athlete and Kim Jackson of Durban High Old Boys club completing the podium in 1:49,13.

The growing popularity of the scenic struggle up and down Sani appeared to have attracted a greater number of out-of-province runners and a faster demand for the limited positions available. Many of the traditionally faster runners seem to have missed the rush for entries.

Jenna Challenor provided one of the performances of the day in Sunday’s Stella Tribute 15 km run in Durban, tearing the women’s field apart with a low-flying two-lap tour of the course, which saw her take the tape in 59:49, in 33rd position overall.

Daniella Adlum was a full kilometre adrift but well clear of Pinetown and Districts’ Janine Engels.

Richard Nene (50:39) won the men’s race, opening a 15-metre gap over student Menzi Ncgobo.

The Zimbabwean had already shown his intent when completing the first of two laps around the suburb of Glenwood and stamped his authority on the race in the latter kilometres, particularly up the taxing Moore Road. Ncgobo just failed to break the 51- minute barrier.



Men: 42,2 km: 1 Eric Ngubane Mr P. 3:20,30; 2 Petros Sosibo Mr P. 3:26,11; 3 Bongmusa Mthembu Mr P. 3:26,14

Women: 42,2 km: 1 Tracy Zunckel Estcourt 4:09,43; 2 Erina du Toit Lichtenberg 4:15,56; 3 Thobile Ngwane Mr P 4:33,37.


Men: 1 David Visser Mr P 1:23,27, 2 Warren Jee Vaal Triangle 1:34,12, 3 Chico Subramnian CRBAC 1:35,32

Women: 1 Yolande Visser Mr P 1:42,37, 2 Cathryn Bode IND 1:46,55, 3 Kim Jackson DHSOB 1:49,13.


Men: Richard Nene Mr Price 50:39; 2 Menzi Ncgobo KZNU 51:01; 3 Sifuninkosi Ngqoyingile Correctional Services 51:07

Women: 1 Jenna Challennor Boxer 59:49; 2 Daniella Adlam Boxer 1:04,10; 3 Janine Engels PDAC 1:07,59.

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