Gamble Pharmacy team defends title, but train pips runners in PE to Uitenhage race
Machine triumphed over human yesterday. The Metrorail train proved too strong for the runners in the Nelson Mandela Bay Train Race between Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage Stations.
The 700-strong passengers on the train had a moment of joy when the train crossed the finish line in a time of one hour 43 minutes, just five minutes ahead of defending champions corporate team Gamble Pharmacy.
Fine conditions welcomed the participants and spectators at Port Elizabeth Station for the start of the race at 9am.
With five runners and one mountain bike cyclist in a team, there was a terrific atmosphere along the route from the station through Swartkops, Redhouse, Perseverance and Despatch, before finishing at the Uitenhage Station.
The Uitenhage station was transformed into a festival area for the finish, with vendors and children’s entertainment.
Gamble Pharmacy, with team members Adriaan Gerwel, Mariano Esau, Brendon Effenaar, Aphlyn Taai, Duwayne Lucas and Andre Ketchem, were the strongest of the 150 teams in the race.
Bruce Gie won the individual category in a time of 2hrs 46min.
SPAR Eastern Cape crossed the line second in the corporate category, with Caltex Toby’s Motors, of Walmer, coming in third.
Pharmacy Runners won the social category ahead of Super Troopers and Red Steam Runners, while Despatch Athletics A team won the club category from Vukani Chiefs and SPAR Athletics Club.
Swartkops Primary trumped the schools category from Uitenhage High School.
Prasa Train Race coordinator Attie Williams said: “Congratulations to all who took part in this year’s train race and particularly to Mike Zoetmulder and his Zsports team for organising another fantastic event in Nelson Mandela Bay.
“We are super excited that the train reclaimed the trophy again this year and we are already looking forward to a bigger event next year.”
Race director Zoetmulder said: “I’d like to thank the 80-strong group of volunteers, members of Eastern Province Triathlon Association, the traffic services, SAPS, Relay Medical, Rotary Club of Port Elizabeth Sunrise and all the logistics teams and sponsors who had made an event of this great nature possible,” Zoetmulder said.
“Everything went off without incident and we were really pleased with the support the race received again this year.”
“We hope that next year, the metro will become more involved to allow us to attract more teams from outside the Nelson Mandela Bay region.”
The full results and pictures of the train race are available on www.trainrace.co.za