Brought to you by:
6 September 2019
National Personalities and Stories

Nedbank RC Green Dream Team athlete, Gongqa leads home team South Africa to gold

It’s a windy morning in Khayelitsha, but that doesn’t stop the husband and wife duo of Lungile and Ivy Gongqa from heading out for their morning run. Their sole purpose? To do the best they can in running, a sport that has given them so much hope and a chance at life, especially for Lungile.

Back in 2015, it was the dying stages of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon and Kenyan athlete Shadrack Kemboi was flying into the finish. There was nothing new here to see. Yet another East African athlete dominating a marathon. But just behind him, the lone figure of Lungile Gongqa, knees driving high, was sprinting. He eventually ran out of distance, but Gongqa crossed the line that day in 2nd place, in a new personal best time of 2:11:59. Not only had he just earned himself and his family a healthy purse of prize money, but Gongqa had run himself into the Olympic Marathon team that was set for Rio the following year.

The Olympic games is the pinnacle of every athlete’s dreams. And Gongqa, a quiet spoken man ho prefers to let his feet do the talking, found himself on the start line on the 5th of August 2016 amongst the greatest athletes in the World. “It was the best feeling ever, seeing people like Kipchoge (Eliud) and others who I only saw before on tv,” says Gongqa. The race unfortunately didn’t go to plan, with Gongqa having to step off the road in the harsh rainy conditions. He may not have managed to finish the race, but he was an Olympian.

After feeling in a bit of a slump after the DNF, Gongqa decided to attempt the Two Oceans Marathon again. After an attempt in 2012 which saw him finish 29th in his debut ultra, Gongqa set the bar high wanting to win. Standing on the start line as one of the fastest marathon runners in the field based off current times, Gongqa bided his time in the lead pack until they made their way to 50km, where on the long downhill to Kirstenbosch gardens, Gongqa threw in a surge that saw the Nedbank running club athlete storm to victory in a time of 3:09:38. “It was a wonderful moment for us as a family,” said Ivy. “Lungile showed that someone from Khayelitsha could do it and that if you have a dream you can achieve it through hard work.”

“When I was running with the other Lesotho guys towards 50km I could see that I was the one who had the most speed, but they were having great endurance, Gongqa said afterwards. “That is why at 50km I decided to go hard and if they wanted to come with me I was going to make them work the hardest for victory.” It was a tactic that worked well and brought more financial freedom to the family.

A defense of his title in 2018 didn’t go well, with Gongqa finishing 18th, a result that saw him then attempt Comrades. That also didn’t bode well for Gongqa, stepping off the course after halfway. “It felt like a very bad year in 2018 so I refreshed for 2019 also where I was turning 40.”

Two Oceans came around once again and it was a return in the golds for Gongqa who finished in 8th place in a time of 3:18:55. Just as was the case when Gongqa finished 2nd in Cape Town and saw himself in South African colors for the Rio Olympics, it was this performance which saw him selected for South Africa once again for the World 50km championships in Brasov, Romania.

Run in very warm and humid conditions, Gongqa had amends to make after stepping off the road 3 years previously in Rio. In one of the most competitive World Championships to date, the race became a 2 man race over the last 2 laps of the 11-lap course between Gongqa and Spanish athlete Iraitz Arrospide who like Gongqa, was an accomplished marathon runner. Gongqa ended up 2nd, earning a silver medal and in the process, led the rest of the South African men’s team to the team gold medal.

Nick Bester, national Nedbank running club team manager as well as the South African team coach was ecstatic about Lungile’s performance. “He ran with his heart on his sleeve and brought the team home,” said Bester. “The race was extremely competitive and besides it being very warm, all the athletes had their eyes on the South African athletes. When the South Africans picked up the pace, they did to. If we slowed down, they all slowed down.”

The sky’s the limit for 40-year-old Gongqa. “I am not done yet. I still see myself as one of the athletes to win the Two Oceans and the Comrades Marathons.” One thing for sure, every morning in Khayelitsha come rain or shine, the figures of Lungile and Ivy Gongqa will be seen in the streets chasing their dreams. Just as Ivy said, “Anyone can achieve their dreams as long as they work hard. It doesn’t matter where you come from.”

The Nedbank running club are proud of Lungile’s achievements and are with him and Ivy every step of the way.


Nedbank Running Club superstar Mothibi on top of the World

2019 Comrades Marathon winner and Nedbank running club superstar Edward Mothibi surely must rate 2019 as one of his best years ever. The lightweight athlete who goes by the nickname ‘slender’ won the Comrades Marathon in June in only his 2nd attempt at the distance, and this past weekend finished 5th overall and was part of the team gold medal for South Africa in the World 50km championships in Brasov, Romania. An amazing year of accolades which surely meant the season was over, right? Wrong!

Saying goodbye to the rest of the SA team in Romania alongside fellow SA team mate David Gatebe, the two boarded a plane heading for San Francisco. The reason? The annual JP Morgan business challenge Championships. Run over 5.6km, the series is run in 13 Cities in 7 Countries and 5 continents, with the winners of the various series qualifying for the Championship final.

Mothibi, who is employed at the Impala Platinum Mine in Rustenburg, qualified for the final along with fellow work colleagues Gatebe, Joseph Moeketsi and Samuel Matsepe after taking victory in the Johannesburg leg of the series which was held in March this year.

With Mothibi and Gatebe however completing the World 50km championships only 4 days previously and with long travel, the question was how they would be able to match the speed merchants who all came into the final with fresh legs.

It didn’t take long to find out. Mothibi shot into the lead and looked the world apart from the other athletes from around the World. Recording the 2nd fastest time ever in the history of the challenge, Mothibi crossed the line in victory in a time of 15:48, leading his Impala Plat work colleagues to a team gold medal and the 2nd fastest team in history. The entire team of 4 finished in the top 10 overall.

The Nedbank running club congratulates its green dream team athlete alongside his work colleagues for showcasing South Africa’s athletic talent.

Top 10 results
1. Edward Mothibi 15:48     IMPLATS - JOHANNESBURG
2. James Hoad 16:03     BP PLC - LONDON
3. Tom Jervis 16:04    BP PLC - LONDON
4. Moeketsi Joseph Tseiso 16:31     IMPLATS - JOHANNESBURG
6. Michael Lederhouse 16:37 GOOGLE LLC - SAN FRANCISCO
7. Samuel Matsepe 16:41   IMPLATS - JOHANNESBURG
8. David Gatebe 16:42   IMPLATS - JOHANNESBURG
9. Sean Swift 16:43   J.P. MORGAN
10. Jack Green 16:48   ARUP - SYDNEY

Looking Ahead

2020 Comrades Marathon Entry Process

There has been an unprecedented number of enquiries regarding the opening of entries for next year’s Comrades Marathon. The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has therefore advised all aspirant #Comrades2020 entrants to please await the official media launch on 2 October 2019 when all relevant details of the race will be revealed.
CMA Chairperson, Cheryl Winn says, “We understand that our passionate Comrades athletes are anticipating being part of the 95th running of The Ultimate Human Race. It will be a very special edition of the race; and one which we are all looking forward to.”

Winn adds, “We ask that runners bear with us until Wednesday, 2 October when we will announce our race plans, confirm the exact date upon which entries will open towards the end of October for the 2020 Comrades Marathon and all other pertinent information.”

The 2020 Comrades Marathon will be run on Sunday, 14 June 2020, starting at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall at 5h30 and finishing 12 hours later at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. This will be the 95th running of the race and the 47th Down Run.



Nedbank Running Club ladies spearheads the Spar Grand Prix Womans Challenge. Click here for Current Standings

Joburg has been basking in one of the warmest Augusts in recent history, with glorious days and cool nights, which had everyone celebrating an early Spring. Sunday marks the official start of Spring, which means the SPAR Women’s Challenge is just around the corner.

All over Joburg and its surrounding areas, women are taking to the streets to prepare for this year’s race and fun run.  The warm weather has made it easier for them to jump out of bed, lace up their trainers and shake off their winter woes.

Marks Park Sports Club has proved to be a very popular venue for the 10km Challenge and the 5km Fun Run, nestled as it is in the leafy suburbs of Greenside and Emmarentia.

The 10km route is challenging, but not too difficult, and the 5km Fun Run takes in beautiful Emmarentia Dam and the adjoining Botanic Gardens.

Race Day, on Sunday October 6, is very much a family day.  There is a large Kiddies area, where children can be left to have supervised fun while Mom runs her race. There is plenty of secure parking and food outlets galore.

The race is also about giving back to the community, with several initiatives associated with the race.  The designated charity is Reach for Recovery, a support group for women who have to undergo mastectomies, staffed by volunteers who have themselves gone through the process.

Another initiative is the “Drop a pair to show you care”drive, with entrants asked to bring along old trainers, to be passed on to people who have none. It has proved very popular in the past and hundreds of people have benefited from the drive.

Entering and registering for the race is easier than ever.  Entry forms are available at all SPAR, SUPERSPAR and KWIKSPAR stores in the greater Joburg area, but even better, there are 70 stores where you can enter and register at the same time. You will be given your free race t-shirt and race number, which means you don’t have to register at Marks Park Sports Club.  You will receive your goodie bag and medal when you finish the race.

But you can also enter online at  Online entries close on September 24 and store entries close on Friday September 27.  However, late entries will be accepted at Marks Park Sports Club on Thursday October 3, Friday October 4, Saturday October 5 and early on Sunday October 6.

There are 16 000 beautiful official t-shirts waiting to be handed over to people taking part in Joburg’s most beautiful road race, so don’t waste time – enter today.



Click here to read the full article


Nedbank Running Club Dominating races all over

The annual Mandela Day Marathon took part once again over the weekend, albeit this time without live tv coverage, however that didn’t shy away a competitive field that assembled.
With a R50 000 bonus for a new course record up for grabs, Lesotho athlete Teboho Noosi went out hard together with individual Ethiopian athlete Muhajr Sraj. Behind them a big pack formed which consisted of Nedbank RC athletes Thobani Chagwe who was the current course record holder as well as Lebenya Nkoka and Wondwosen Mamo who were biding their time.

As the race made its way past the halfway mark, the trio of Mamo, Chagwe and Nkoka tried to reel in the early leaders but ran out of ground as Sraj held on to take the win in a new course record with Mamo finishing 2nd in 2:27:44. Behind him, Nkoka and Chagwe finished in 5th and 6th respectively with the latter extremely happy with his performance.

“I may not have won today but I am so happy with my run today because since 2014 when I won here and set the course record, I’ve been back every year and failed to finish due to injuries,” said Chagwe after the race. “I have had a very good season this year and aim to continue it. They may have broken my course record, but records are meant to be broken! I will come back next year and try run even faster.”

In the women’s race, Nedbank running club Ethiopia’s Selam Alebachew was going for a 4th win but also found herself falling short finishing 2nd in 2:54:25, still a great effort on the very tough course.

The Petro SA Marathon was also run over the weekend and there were some very fast times run. Nedbank running club Zimbabwe athlete Ngodzinashe Ncube ran his best marathon to date, running a World Champs qualifier of 2:14:15, finishing ahead of teammates Isaac Mpofu (2:15:10) and Tsepo Ramashanpole (2:16:54) giving the Nedbank running club a podium sweep, something of the norm in recent races.

In the women’s marathon, Nobukhosi Tshuma running in her debut marathon took the victory in 2:43:15 finishing just in front of Nedbank running club teammate Ethel Sibanda who ran 2:45:05.

The accompanying half marathon saw very quick times as well with Nedbank running club athletes Misheck Sithole (1:03:28) and Annie Bothma (1:16:58) taking the men’s and women’s titles respectively.

The Nedbank running club wishes the South African team participating in this weekends World 50km championship all the best!

For more results click here