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#Comrades2023: Runners join BNAC’s Comrades silver medals club during down-run

The club achieved 10 silver medals.

On a day when records tumbled with both Tete Dijana and Gerda Steyn smashing the men’s and women’s Comrades Marathon down-run records, the Benoni Northerns Athletic Club (BNAC) celebrated no less than 10 silver medals during the ultimate human race on June 11.

Dijana decked David Gatebe’s 2016 record, setting a new milestone of 05:13:58. His win wasn’t easy though, as Piet Wiersma raced him to the finish with the Dutchman in second place while Edward Mothibi rounded off the podium.

Steyn led early in the race, stretching the lead as she worked her way from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, arriving at the finish unscathed and unchallenged to obliterate Frith van Der Merwe’s 34-year-old record by almost 10 minutes. She finished in 05:44:54.

Adele Brookryk and Carla Molinaro finished second and third, respectively.

Shane McGregor (middle) finished the Comrades Marathon in 06:13:27.

An hour later after the celebrations accompanying Dijana and Steyn had ended, Durban witnessed the BNAC’s Shane McGregor make his way to the finish for his second successive silver medal.

Dressed proudly in the cheese and tomato colours of the BNAC while wearing his Comrades cap backwards, McGregor set a new personal milestone after crossing the line in an impressive 06:13:27, slicing 43 minutes off his PB, finishing 93rd overall and 63 in his category.

McGregor opened the gates for the likes of Nico Pretorius, Nkanyiso Mthembu and Marc Daniel as well as club captain Mark Dingle to set another milestone of silver medalists for the club.

While this achievement is worth celebrating, another equally impressive milestone was achieved by club president Jan Jordaan, who ran his 30th Comrades to earn himself a triple green number, becoming the first person to achieve this feat having run only for the BNAC.

Jordaan finished impressively in 11:45:59 to earn himself a 10th Vic Clapham medal, adding to his 20 bronze medals since his Comrades debut in 1991.

A total of 148 BNAC runners were among the finishers inside Kingsmead Cricket Stadium, an improvement from last year’s 119.

Besides the 10 silvers, the club achieved 17 Bill Rowan, 43 Robert Mtshali, 40 bronze and 38 Vic Clapham medals.

Daveyton Hearts

The club’s top runner, Clement Modisha, fulfilled his promise when he crossed the line in 07:27:59 to bring home a silver medal.

Modisha finished alongside his mentor, Johnny Mokgoko, who earned his 11th silver medal, to make it two silvers for the club.

Of the 14 runners who lined up at the Pietermaritzburg Town Hall, 13 finished and in addition to the two silvers, the club achieved two Bill Rowan, five Robert Mtshali and three bronze medals with a single Vic Clapham.

Benoni Harriers

The club’s Comrades story was completed by its female representatives who drew their inspiration from Frances Hayward, the first woman to run the race in 1923, albeit unofficially.

Shane McGregor earned his second successive silver medal during the 96th Comrades Marathon.

Riamari Schoombee, Amelda Holt, Dareen Eigelaar and Caroline Collings (It was Collings’ ninth Comrades), were among the Harriers’ 14 finishers.

“It was fitting as it is the centenary year of women in the Comrades. We are very proud of our club,” said Schoombee, who earned herself a Vic Clapham medal after finishing the race in 11:06:08.

Armstrong Khoza was the club’s only Bill Rowan medal recipient while Jay Zitha grabbed himself a Robert Mtshali medal.

The club achieved six bronze and six Vic Clapham medals, in addition to Khoza and Zitha’s medals.

Benoni High Athletic Club

The club’s only two runners completed the 87.7km race.

Desmond Phillips crossed the line in 08:48:38 for a Bill Rowan medal while Mark Spigolon finished in 11:33:51 to earn a Vic Clapham medal.

Also Read: Athletes set for green numbers during Comrades Marathon 

Also Read: Comrades Marathon legend Bernard Gomersall dies


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