Both the medal contenders in Saturday’s Nelson Mandela Bay SA Half-Marathon championships rounded off their preparations with excellent wins in the Home & Equity 10km at the weekend.
The course for the race, organised by the Body Concept Road Warriors running club, covered part of the route for the national championship.
Despite gusting wind, Melikhaya Frans won the men’s category in a very good time of 30:12, ahead of Andile Motwana and Zolani Ngqaqa, both medal contenders on Saturday.
Ntombesinthu Mfunzi won the women’s category in 35:57, easily beating Ndileka Mvakwendlu and Luthando Nxanisa.
Bluewater Bay athlete Mzwanele Maphekula, whose hopes of a gold medal finish in the recent Comrades Marathon were dashed after he was forced to pull out 20km from the finish, won the 40-44 men’s category in 33:29.
At 63, veteran Margie Saunders proved that she can compete (and beat) the youngsters. Her finishing time of 43:56 was better than any of the junior women.
In an unusual touch, organisers awarded cash prizes to the athletes who finished last in both the 10km and 5km races.
And in another first, gold and silver medals were awarded to walkers in both the men’s and women’s categories. The leading results were: Senior men: 1 Melikhaya Frans (EPA) 30:12, 2 Andile Motwana (EPA) 30:27, 3 Zolani Ngqaqa (Tinarha) 30:48. Senior women: 1 Ntombesinthu Mfunzi (EPA) 35:57, 2 Ndileka Mvakwendlu (EPA) 38:46, 3 Luthando Nxanisa (EPA) 41:22. Junior Men: 1 Xabiso Kobe (EPA) 35:36, 2 Luvuyo Nkwinti (Motherwell) 39:32, 3 Elroy Classen (Charlo) 47:43. Junior Women: 1 Anja Webber (St Albans) 47:05, 2 Simone Olckers (SAPS EP) 1:00:08, 3 Amarissa Henning (Temp), 1:03:55.
CLOSE to 800 runners braved the elements to take part in three 5km parkruns in the metro on Saturday.
Luke Willis was first home in the Hobie Beach parkrun in 19:12. Adri Wessels was the first female in 20:19.
In the Lady Slipper parkrun, Reinhardt Foley was first in 26:29 with Megan Wilmans the first female in 32:26.
At Sardina Bay, Elijah London finished first in 23:00. Henneli Smit was the first female in 31:29.