Athletics South Africa has selected a strong men's team for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, to be held on 26 March in Kampala, Uganda.
The Nedbank Running Clubs coaches certainly did a good job as no less than five of their athletes are representing South Africa. The athletes who will be competing are David Manja, Joel Mmone, Thabang Mosiako, Precious Mashele and Louisa Leballo.
As has become the norm, the Nedbank Running Club athletes across the country were racing from the front over the weekend. It is needless to say that their positive attitude paid dividends. They managed to win seven races.
One of the highlights was certainly the duel between Lungile Gonqa and Siviwe Nkombi during the ABAX Investments Milkwood Half Marathon at Kommetjie. In the end it became a race of perseverance with Gonqa just managing to outlast Nkombi on the hilly course. Gonqa's winning time was 1:12:04 with Nkombi finishing a mere 17 seconds later.
The day turned out to be a near family affair as Ivy Gongqa finished third in the women's half-marathon running a time of 1:35:07.
Siyabulela Mpongwana raced to a second place finish in the 10 km race. His time was 33:27.
Muziwenkosi Elvis Mjaja won the Peace in Africa Half Marathon in Durban running a time of 1:09:00. Cherie Barnard finished third in the women's 10 km race. Her time was 44:57.
Siyabonga Dingile won the Sarens Edenvale Marathon in a time 2:31:51, while Phillimon Mathiba was victorious in the 10 km – running a time of 32:23.
Syvion Madikane finished second in the Umgeni Water Marathon with a time 2:46:48. Sifundo Sithole was third (2:05:54) in the 32 km race.
Another week, another race but nearly the same results is the best way to summarise what happened during the Tortoise Tuff 30 km and 21 km Goukamma Trail Run at Sedgefield over the weekend.
The Nedbank Running Club men's athletes again managed a clean sweep by finishing first, second and third in the 21 km trail run. The in-form John April won running a time of 1:26:16. Ross Welsch was second in 1:30:45 and Julius Korkee third in 1:35:44.
The women's race was won by Melissa van Rensburg in a time of 1:46:01. Her teammate, Annatjie Botes, was second in 1:52:58 with Elize Kloppers (temp) finishing third in a time of 2:01:01.
The trail run presented a challenging course that included sections along the beach and through the Goukamma Nature Reserve, and some serious dune work. Cape Nature's cooperation made it possible for runners to enjoy stunning views and almost untouched trails.
Ettienne Plaatjies won the 30 km race in a time of 1:48:43. Lindile Tokota was second in 1:53:36. Lisl Grobler (Knysna RC) won the women's race in 2:27:06. Cecilia Nel (Nedbank) was second in 2:29:15 and Allison Nell (Nedbank) third in 2:35:43.
The race covered some of Sedgefield's most spectacular climbs, drops and flats on both gravel and tar. It was an ideal training run for the Two Oceans Marathon.