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10 October 2019
Spar Ladies Grand Prix 2019

Nedbank running club’s Johannes ends season on a high

Helalia Johannes from the Nedbank running club green dream team will not forget 2019.

In a year that has seen her set new Namibian records from 10km to the marathon, the well-known International star has had her best success yet.

With her win in last weekends Spar Ladies 10km in Johannesburg, only a week after finishing 3rd in the World Marathon championships, Johannes sealed victory in the Spar Grand Prix series in dominating fashion. With maximum points from all 6 legs, no runner has ever been this dominant in the series.

“I am happy to win today and also get the series win but it wasn’t easy today because its been a week since the marathon and I was doing my best to recover,” said Johannes after. Her 33:16 may have been her slowest of the series but was still good enough to dominate as 2nd placed athlete and fellow team mate Gerda Steyn finished 2nd in 34:28, 12 seconds ahead of Irvette Van Zyl (34:40) and Tadu Nare giving Nedbank running club the first 4 places across the line, a domination.

1 Open Helalia Johannes Nedbank RC International 180
2 Open Tadu Teshame Naru Nedbank RC Ethiopia 151
3 Open Kesa Molotsane Murray + Roberts  122
4 Open Irvette van Zyl Nedbank RC CGA 120
5 Open Caroline Mhandu Maxed Elite  101
6 Open Glenrose Xaba Boxer GN 98
7= Open Jenet Mbhele Umzimkulu Striders 90
7= Open Fortunate Chidzivo Retail Capital Langa AC 90
9= Open Betha Chikanga Maxed Elite  68
9= Open Rutendo Nyahora Nedbank RC Zimbabwe 68
1 Juniors Tadu Teshame Naru Nedbank RC Ethiopia 40
1 60+ Olga Howard  Nedbank RC WPA 42
2 60+ Margie Saunders Nedbank RC EPA 15
1   Nedbank Running Club 762  
2   Murray + Roberts 279  
3   Boxer 271  

Focus now shifts to this weekends FNB Durban 10km where some fast performances are expected on the quick and flat Durban beachfront route. This event will be streamed live through the Durban 10km YouTube channel. Be sure to catch the Nedbank running club green dream team athletes in action

For more Results Click here

National Personalities and Stories

Nedbank Running Club pays Tributes to Don Oliver

Don Oliver (Comrades Race No.3128)

Former Comrades Marathon runner, supporter, motivator, mentor and friend to The Ultimate Human Race, Don Oliver has passed away. He was 85 years old.
Don successfully completed the Comrades Marathon 19 times, earning himself 2 Silver and 17 Bronze medals.

He was the first officially appointed Comrades Coach and inspired many runners and non-runners to get into the sport and ultimately, to take on the Comrades Marathon.

His efforts at promoting the Comrades Marathon and making it an achievable challenge for otherwise ordinary runners earned him the coveted Spirit of Comrades Award in 1999.

CMA Chairperson, Cheryl Winn says, “Don Oliver was one of the bravest, kindest, most generous human beings I have known. His passion for Comrades was boundless and contagious, as was his overwhelming compulsion to share his enthusiasm, wisdom and experience”.

Winn adds, “His training programmes were based on good common sense and an old-fashioned, tried and tested formula that worked to ensure generations of Comrades Marathon novices achieved their medal. He delivered his advice with equal measures of reverence for the magnitude of the task and good humour, and he took a genuine and sincere interest, satisfaction and joy in every single individual who followed his programme and succeeded.  He faced his own adversities with courage and selflessness. He was a fellow runner, administrator, mentor, friend, hero and true inspiration to me.”

CMA Board Member, Isaac Ngwenya says, “Don was amongst the pioneers of the Comrades Coaches. He devised pacing charts and did a lot for the Comrades Charities. He made it possible for many to follow training programs he meticulously crafted for each medal category. I will forever cherish his advice and friendship with the 19 medals I have. May his soul rest in peace.”

CMA Race Director, Rowyn James says, “Don “where are we now” Oliver was a true friend and legend, from getting me through my first Comrades Marathon at the tender age of 18 right up until this year’s race where he was always available to offer support or advice on the race and its runners when I called upon him to do so. Don, you will be dearly missed and I will continue with the “quartz tradition” that you and I shared each year.”

9-time Comrades Champ, Bruce Fordyce says, “When Don spoke at his Comrades training sessions he always started off by saying: “And where are we now?”
“We are all the poorer for your passing Don, that’s where we are now.”

Comrades Coach, Lindsey Parry says, “Don Oliver, the original "Comrades Coach" who made training programmes accessible to the average runner for 3 decades, has left a lasting impression on the Comrades community and me personally. He still attended our annual road shows right to the end, loved the Comrades Marathon and shared his passion for running right to the end. Don Oliver, you will be sorely missed.”

Nedbank Running Club’s Nick Bester says, “Don Oliver will be sadly missed by all Comrades runners involved in the race the past 35 years. I will always remember him for his brilliant pre-Comrades talks to thousands of runners of which I was part of the panel on several occasions. His famous words were: “WHERE ARE WE NOW”.

CMA Board Member, Linda Hlongwa says, “My deepest condolences to the Oliver family. May the peace of God that surpasses the whole human understanding of a man, be their portion at this most trying time.”

Former CMA Chairperson, Jeff Minnaar says, “Don was a man with other peoples’ welfare in mind. He started roadshows in South Africa in the mid-80’s to assist especially those runners partaking in the Comrades Marathon and was able to mentor thousands of runners throughout his life. A friend in need and a friend indeed. My condolences to his family. I will miss my annual get together with him at the Comrades finish every year. R.I.P. Don.”

Former CMA Chairperson, Barry Varty says, ““Where Are We Now?”, was a question always asked by Don Oliver during his most revered Running Panel and Club Talks encompassing a timespan of over 30 years and during which time, I was indeed privileged to have been included to represent CMA in many of his presentations. An inspiration to novice and seasoned Comrades Marathon runners, his analytical guidance has assisted so many to achieve their respective Comrades Marathon goals during this time-span.”
Varty continues, “That, late in life, he endured debilitating amputations of both legs did not deter Don. He continued promoting his cause and participated in wheelchair races, notably the New York Marathon, such was his tenacious perseverance. Rest In Perpetuity Don,“We Know Where You Are Now”.”

Community Chest’s Angie Narayanan says, “Community Chest extends their deepest and sincere condolences to the family of Mr Don Oliver.  As we bid farewell to the loss of our Comrade Marathon Hero, we hope that many other runners will continue to take on his light and show the world how ordinary people can be extraordinary!”

Looking Ahead

Launch of 2020 Comrades Marathon

Comrades Marathon runners have been given a license to dream.

With the just unveiled #Comrades2020 campaign slogan, ‘Iphupho Lami – Dare to Dream’, the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has dared all aspirant participants in next year’s Ultimate Human Race to dream.

The inspiring campaign theme of the 95th Comrades Marathon was unveiled at a launch in Johannesburg today (Wednesday, 2 October 2019) attended by the nation’s top media, road-running dignitaries, CMA sponsors, stakeholders, elite athletes, sporting personalities and 2019 Comrades Marathon Champs, Edward Mothibi and Gerda Steyn.

CMA Chairperson, Cheryl Winn said, “The origin of the Comrades Marathon dates back to 1918 when its founder Vic Clapham had the dream of staging a living memorial to all those who suffered so greatly in the First World War. 1921 saw his vision and dream eventually turned into reality with the inaugural Comrades Marathon hosted on 24 May 1921. It would have been beyond his wildest dreams for it to have endured to attain the iconic status it has reached today.”

Winn adds, “Another great visionary, President Nelson Mandela made a surprise visit to the Comrades Marathon in 1997 and said: ‘One of the greatest challenges in life is to turn our dreams and ideas into reality.’ These words greatly inspired the CMA to base its 2020 Comrades Marathon slogan on this. It is therefore with a great sense of pride and pleasure that we unveil our campaign for next year’s race and give all athletes the greenlight to dream.”

The 95th Comrades Marathon will be a Down Run on Sunday, 14 June 2020. The race starts at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall at 05h30 and ends 12 hours later at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, covering a 90,2km distance. This will be the 47th Down Run in Comrades history.

The entry cap has been increased from 25,000 to 27,500 entries, making the Comrades Marathon the largest single distance road race in South Africa. Of this 27,500 entry allocation, 7,000 entries are reserved exclusively for novice entrants and 2,500 entries are reserved exclusively for international entrants.

A special commemorative medal denoting the 95th edition of the Comrades Marathon will be struck for next year’s race. A new trophy will also be introduced to the 20–39 years Women's 2nd place team prize.

Comrades enthusiasts can look forward to a revamp of the official Comrades Marathon website with a whole new look and feel, and which goes “live” in tandem with this race launch.

Prize money totaling R4.44 million is up for grabs in the 2020 event with R525-thousand for both the male and female Winners, R260-thousand to the runners-up and R190-thousand for Third Position.

Should the Winners, both male and female, of the 2020 Comrades Marathon break the Best Time previously recorded for the Down Run, they will each receive an additional cash payment of R525,000.

David Gatebe holds the Men’s Best Time of 5:18:19 set in 2016.
Frith Van Der Merwe holds the Women’s Best Time of 5:54:43 set in 1989.

The opening date for entries is Monday, 28 October 2019. The entry period closes on 30 November 2019 or as soon as the entry cap of 27,500 entries has been reached. Prospective entrants are encouraged to get their entries in early to avoid disappointment, considering that entries sold out in just six days for the 2019 race.

Entry fees for the 2020 Comrades Marathon are as follows:
•    South African                                                          : R 600.00
•    Foreign Athletes – Africa/ SADC countries      : R1500.00
•    Foreign Athletes – International                        : R3800.00

Entry is free to all runners who have completed the Comrades Marathon 25 times or more.

Runners can enter as follows:
•    online via the Comrades Marathon website: or the Comrades App;
•    by posting their completed entry form with proof of payment to the CMA Office: P.O. Box 100621, Scottsville, 3209;
•    by handing in their completed entry form together with payment at Comrades House, 18 Connaught Road, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg.  

CMA Race Director, Rowyn James says, ‘In line with the CMA’s Driving Philosophy of being ‘people-focused and putting runners first’, we have left the entry fee of this year unchanged, for next year’s race. While the fee remains flat at R600 per South African entrant, the contracted service provider’s transaction fee which was previously absorbed by the CMA will now be paid directly by the entrant, as per other major races that apply this model.”  

James adds, “We have exciting plans in place for next year’s Down Run which will finish at Durban’s acclaimed Moses Mabhida Stadium for the second time. Qualifying for the 2020 Comrades Marathon is applicable as of 24 August 2019 till 4 May 2020. The qualifying criteria for next year’s Comrades Marathon will be to complete a standard 42.2km marathon in under 4 hours and 50 minutes, or a 56km ultra-marathon in under 6 hours and 45 minutes.”

The Substitution Process will open on 16 March and close on 16 April 2020 at a cost of R200 over and above the normal applicable entry fee. James has advised that going forward all substitution transactions will be handled exclusively through the CMA Office.  An administration fee of 15% of the entry fee will be deducted by CMA from withdrawing athletes and CMA will then refund the balance of the entry fee to all withdrawing athletes. He says, “There will be no direct money or voucher exchange between athletes.”

More than R40-million has been raised off the CMA’s charity platforms over the past decade. Six charities will once again benefit from the Amabeadibeadi Official Charity drive for 2020.

They are Childhood Cancer Foundation SA (CHOC), Community Chests of Pietermaritzburg & Durban, Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust, Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa, Wildlands Conservation Trust and World Vision SA.

The Race4Charity fundraising platform requires that runners raise a minimum of R6000 for the Amabeadibeadi charity of their choice, in order to qualify for the charity seeding batch on the start line. 500 entries have been reserved for Race4Charity runners. For more details on the Race4Charity initiative, click through to

Winn has called on all runners to support the charitable fundraising initiatives of the CMA, saying, “We urge all Comrades entrants to select the Official Charity closest to their heart and commit to running for a cause greater than themselves. As the CMA, we have placed great focus on benefitting the communities in which we operate and continuously adding value to the sport of athletics.”

Winn also presented 2019 Comrades Champs, Edward Mothibi and Gerda Steyn, with their coveted Comrades Winner’s Jackets.

CMA Marketing Manager, Thami Vilakazi thanked Comrades athletes for their contributions to the 2020 campaign slogan, saying, “Over the years we have engaged with our runners via social media and other platforms to get their take on the following year’s campaign. I am pleased to say that Iphupho Lami – Dare to Dream was reached via a consultative process; and is one of those campaign slogans that encapsulates what the Comrades dream means to so many of us, as runners, supporters and stakeholders of this great brand.”

CMA General Manager, Keletso Totlhanyo says, “The Comrades Marathon is an extra-special event that never fails to get the entire nation rallying behind it. We look forward to collaborating with our sponsors and partners in the build-up to #Comrades2020 and striving towards ensuring that the 95th edition is our best one yet.”

CMA Vice Chairperson, Sifiso Nzuza said, ‘We are well aware that all Comrades enthusiasts are anticipating the 2020 Comrades Marathon. We welcome all of our runners, supporters and stakeholders to share in the camaraderie and excitement of Comrades race day on Sunday, 14 June 2020, as we welcome the world at large to the magical province of KwaZulu-Natal.’



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Race Results

Welcome return to form for Nedbank running club’s Juan Van Deventer

Former Olympic 1500m finalist now turned road runner Juan Van Deventer from the Nedbank running green dream team so a welcome return back to the roads after a lengthy injury that saw him miss out on his debut Comrades Marathon earlier this year.

The strong athlete finished 2nd in the undulating Irene Spring Half Marathon in a time of 1:08:37. The Nedbank running club look forward to his progress and makes the start line of next years Comrades Marathon.

Over in Cape Town, Tanith Maxwell continues to find great form again after an injury plagued 2019. The multiple national representative athlete won the Goodwood Harriers 10km in 36:58.

The Nedbank green dream team now look forward to this weekends Spar Ladies race in Johannesburg which marks the final of the Grand prix series. With 2 Nedbank running club athletes occupying 1st and 2nd in the series (Helalia Johannes & Tadu Nare), the team looks forward to a humdinger final with Irvette Van Zyl also on the comeback who is currently 4th on the log.

For more Results Click here