Outstanding performances by KZN’s cross-country runners at the SA championships in Potchefstroom

2013-09-18 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal cross-country team won eight individual and 10 team medals in Saturday’s SA Cross-Country Championships in Potchefstroom, with Bonginkosi Zwane, the leading performance, earning bronze in the men’s 12 km championships.

Elroy Gelant won both the four-kilometre and 12 km championship titles, but the fight for silver and bronze went right down to the wire with both Dericious Makhobalo and Zwane given the same time of 38 minutes 31 seconds.

Makhobalo was given the nod by the line judge over the 23-year-old from Newcastle. This is the first time in recent years that a KZN man has been on the podium in the senior cross-country championship.

One of the most noteworthy KZN performances came from Khumalo Khulelkani, who took silver in the very popular and highly competitive boys’ 16 race over six kilometres.

Lebo Phalula regained the SA title in the women’s race, with defending champion Nolene Conrade second in the eight-kilometre event, while Thembi Baloyi, had more than 40 seconds in hand when she took the four-kilometre title.

Zola Pieterse was first past the post in the women’s age category races, outrunning the competition by over 16 seconds.

• Internationally, it was Kenenisa Bekele who won the much-anticipated match with Mo Farah in the Great North Run.

Bekele opened a useful lead over Farah mid race, but the Olympic 5 000 metres and 10 000 metres champion hunted him down to finish only one second adrift at the line, with Haile Gebrselassie third in 60:41, to also be the first 40-year-old to finish.

Priscah Jeptoo won the women’s race.

• Zimbabwean Jonathan Chinyoka won both the Umgubho 25 km on Saturday and the SAPS Striders Heritage Challenge Half Marathon on Sunday. Chinyoka was not the only runner to have successful back-to-back outings with Peter Sehloho also winning the 50-59 category in both races.

Olympian Tanith Maxwell won the women’s race over 600 metres clear from Poppy Mlambo, who is currently training in Durban for the Soweto Marathon in November.

• All ultra eyes will be on Pietermaritzburg on Friday, where the Capital Classic 100-miler will commence from the Natal Carbineers hall at 7 pm.

Johan van der Merwe, who currently has the best time of 13 hours 33 minutes and 16 seconds for 100 miles (160,9 km) in the world this year, will be having another crack at the South African 24-hour record.

There are several options on offer for runners in the Capital Classic.

The 100 miles commences at 7 pm on Friday, with those who meet this target prior to 4 pm on Saturday able to carry on to try to reach 175 kilometres, which celebrates Pietermaritzburg’s 175th anniversary as a city.

At 7 am on Saturday morning, another group of runners will join the circuit with a 50-mile (80,4 km) target in a 10-hour period.

At noon on Saturday, there is an option for runners to cover 32 km. With other local races this weekend, this is an ideal opportunity for runners to combine their long weekend run with a chance to experience and watch some of the country’s top runners in the longer event. Entries will be taken for the 50-miler and the 32 km up to two hours prior to the start.

John Hall has all the details of entries and times at 082 491 7679.

• Colour running comes to KZN for the first time on Friday night when the Chicks Rock six-kilometre beach and promenade run will be held from Marine Life Saving next to Ushaka at 6 pm. Runners should wear clothing (preferably white that can then be coloured) that will will be fluorescent under lighting at the end of the race.

There will be entertainment at the finish at Ushaka and every finisher will receive a medal. Entries will be taken at Marine Life Saving from 9 am to the race start on Friday. Inquiries: 082 564 5345 or www.tri-rockdurban.com


SAPS Heritage Half marathon

Men: 1. Jonathan Chinyoka ZIM/Durban Runner AC 67:09

2. Trymore Kanzara ZIM/Phatane AC 67:12

3. Wiseman Fadane Lusikisiki AC 67:28

Women: 1. Tanith Maxwell Boxer AC 80:36

2. Poppy Mlambo Boxer 82:36

3. Wendy Morgan West 90:30

10 km Men: 1. Julius Tenai KEN/Phatane 30:52

2. Professor Mollen ZIM/Maxed Elite 31:14

3. Apheleve Fanekho Nedbank AC 31:26

Women: 1. Fikile Mbuthuma Nedbank 37:46

2. Grace de Oliveira Boxer 41:20

3. Nothando Xaba Inanda Q 43:13

Mpati Mountain Race 21 km:

Men: 1. Bongani Sabelo Biggarsberg 1:09:08

2. Lindani Sangweni Biggarsberg 1:09:56

3. Menzi Mswane Ladysmith 1:10:56.

Women: 1. Mpumelelo Mnyandi Klipriver Striders 1:19:47

2. Mbali Mtshali Muden 1:21:31

3. Zanele Mbongwa Klipriver Striders 1:22:24

Umgubho 25 km challenge

Men: 1. Jonathan Chinyoka (Durban Runners) 1:26:17

2. Elmore Sibanda (Maxed Elite) 1:29:37

3. Michael Ngaseke (Nedbank) 1:30:17,

Women: 1. Ntebaleng Letesela (Phantane) 1:56:04

2. Sithusile Zhou (Phantane) 1:57:30

3. Monica Kativhu (Maxed Elite) 2:00:01

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