The Nedbank running club had a successful weekend out at the SA Run 4 cancer event which hosted a 48km ultra marathon, 32km, half marathon and 10km, with athletes in the famous green colors winning both the men’s and ladies’ races in both the 48km and 32km events.
In the headline 48km event, Nedbank running club green dream team athlete Onalenna Khonkobe was in a class f his own, taking the victory in 2:37:57. The youngster who is coached by Nedbank running club development coach Pio Mpolokeng has had a splendid year so far, also finishing in 2nd place at the Nedbank Runified Breaking Barriers 50km.
“I am very happy with how the race went and to close off my season well,” said Khonkobe. “We all ran together in a bunch, and I tested the guys near 38km and when nobody came with me, I just decided to keep pushing all the way to the finish.”
Khonkobe picked up R100 000 for his victory. In 3rd teammate Dennis Kipkosgei from Kenya picked up R25 000 to round off the podium. In the women’s race, it was a Nedbank running club 1-2-3 as the team dominated the event upfront. Margaret Jepchumba ran a very fast race to remain unchallenged to the finish, crossing the line in a quick 3:03:31 ahead of teammate Shelmith Muriuki who finished 2nd just under 6 minutes adrift. In 3rd, Nedbank running clubs Slindile Chili who trains under the watchful eyes of coach Dave Adams rounded off the podium in 3:26:01.
The 32km event was a very fast one with Nedbank running club Zimbabwe’s Moses Tarakinyu taking victory in a very quick 1:39:34. Tarakinyu has had great success in South Africa including victory in last year’s Two Oceans Half Marathon. His teammate Annie Chrissa was victorious in the women’s race, crossing the line victorious in 2:11:41.
Nedbank running club national team manager Nick Bester was happy with the teams’ performances. “The athletes really had a great day out as evident with all the podium finishes,” said bester. “Onalenna is proving himself to be one of the rising top South African ultra-distance stars after coming through our development program under coach Pio and we can wait to see what he goes on to achieve.”