Local sport

Phalaborwa clubs are well represented at comrades marathon

Phalaborwa was well represented at the 97th Comrades Marathon uprun from Durban to Pietermaritzburg on Sunday.

Three local running clubs, Foskor Athletics Club, PMC Athletics Club, and Phalaborwa Road Runners were among the clubs that participated in the race. The fastest runner in Phalaborwa, judging from the results, was Hitekani Shikwambana from PMC Athletics Club, who took home a silver medal in a time of 06:54:49.

Neill Kelder of Solidariteit Running Club. Photo supplied.

The second fastest runner from PMC was Thabang Malatji, also with a silver medal after completing his race with the time of 07:20:47, and third was Andries Mabunda with a time of 07:51:53, securing a Bill Rowan medal. A Bill Rowan medal is obtained by runners that complete the race in under nine hours and with a pace of 6:16 minutes per kilometre.

The fastest woman from the club was Vutomi Munyai with a time of 10:52:04 taking home a bronze medal. Runners at Foskor also shined with Doctor Malepe as the fastest runner from the team. He was the only Foskor runner to take home a silver medal after completing the race in a time of 07:11:46, a big improvement from last year when he finished in 08:00:22. Second from Foskor was Alex Mohale with a time of 07:34:13, followed by Masilo Nonyana in a time of 08:54:35.

Also read: Gallopers prepare for the Comrades Marathon

No women from the club participated. Phalaborwa Road Runners only had two runners who took on the Comrades, Grant Murphy and Lucious Shabangu. It was Murphy’s 18th Comrades, although not his fastest, in a time of 09:16:43. It was Shabungu’s first Comrades finishing with a time of 11:34:45. “The race was tough, but all that matters to me is that I managed to finish,” Shabangu said.

Neill Kelder from the Solidarideit Running Club also managed to finish his race in 11:57:51. This was his 23rd Comrades; he has been participating since 2000. The Comrades Marathon men’s race was won by Piet Wiersma from the Netherlands, who finished in 05:25:00, he was followed by Dan Moselekwa with a time of 05:25:46, and third was Degefa Lefeba of Ethiopia with a time of 05:27:48.

Also read: Tzaneen runners dominate at the Mall of the North Marathon

In the women’s race, Gerda Steyn defended her title in a time of 05:49:46. She bettered her own race record. The winners took home R825 000 each, second-place winners won R412 500 each, third places got R297 000, R148 00 for fourth, and R115 00 for fifth position.

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