Melikhaya Frans and Ntombesintu Mfunzi once again dominated an EP Athletics road-running event when they won the Panamor Gel Half Marathon in Southdene on Saturday.
Frans, who finished third last year, was crowned the new EPA champion, while Mfunzi successfully defended the crown in the race organised by the Aspen Athletic Club.
“Melikhaya had no intention of challenging for the provincial title but entered the race as a training run for the SA half marathon championship next month,” Frans’s coach, Michael Mbambani, said.
“We planned for an easy 68-minute training run but around the 13kmmark we found that the race leaders were just ahead of us.
“I told Melikhaya he could go for it [winning the race] if he wanted to.”
Frans did just that and beat Andile Motwana to the tape by 10 seconds, with Mariano Eesou third.
His time was 11 seconds faster than last year when he finished third.
Defending champion Zolani Nyongo entered the race but opted to second his girlfriend.
In the women’s category, Mfunzi was an easy winner over Ndileka Mvakwendlu with Talia Slatem just a second behind.
Mfunzi’s time was more than five minutes better than her winning time last year.
In the women’s 10km race, 16-year old Vicky Oelofse ran an excellent race to finish behind Annalise Scholtz with Liwani third.
Tandisile Xoshomba was the overall winner in 32:52.
Race organiser and chairman of Aspen AC Wendy Denston said she was thrilled at the turnout.
“Despite the rain runners came out in their numbers,” she said.
“While the half marathon and 10km did not show a marked increase [in numbers], more than 600 turned out for the 5km run/walk which we introduced for the first time.
“It was very encouraging and we plan to grow all three races next year.”
Half marathon: Senior men: Melikhaya Frans (Ikhamva) 1:06:57, Andie Motwani (Tinarha) 1:07:07, Mariano Eesou (Nedbank) 1:08:21 Senior women: Ntombesintu Mfunzi (Nedbank) 1:19:51, Ndileka Mvakwendlu (Tinarha) 1:21:37, Talia Slatem (Achilles) 1:21:38 Junior men: Xabiso Kobe (Tinarha) 1:21:11, Hanno Egelbrecht (Run 4 Christ)) 1:40:00: 16, Elroy Claasen (Charlo) 1:52:20 Junior women: Nomakhosi Ntliziyo (Madibaz) 1:43:12 10km : Senior men: Tandisile Xoshomba (Tinarha) 32:52, Matthew Brugstahler (Madibaz) 34:40, Thando Ncipa (Saps EP) 34:56 Senior women: Annalise Scholtz (Madibaz) 39:42, Vicky Oelofse (St Albans) 41:26, Siphokazi Liwani (Motherwell) 43:21 Junior men: Anele Voorman (Nedbank) 35:03, Siphosethu Schout (Saps EP), Rhyno Goudveld (MS) 46:21 Junior women: Vicky Oelofse (St Albans) 41:26, Anja Webber (EPA Schools) 44:09, Lauren Alcock (Madibaz) 46:25