The winter Falke Trail Run will be hosted at the historic Muratie wine estate tucked into the exquisite Knorhoek Valley north of Stellenbosch on Saturday, 5 July. More than 300 participants took to the track for the first event of the four-part Falke Trail Run Series at Delvera in May with the spring and summer […]
Frith van der Merwe’s superb record 3:30’36 was never in doubt after quarter of a century – and it may endure many times this number – so interest lay in the contest for first.
This proved no contest at all as another Russian, Nina Podnebesnova, 34, romped in with three and half minutes to spare over the gutsy dimunitive Shitaye Gemechu Debellu, also 34, from Ethiopia.
Nina’s countrywomen, the Nurgalieva twins, 38, excelled again with gold medals and have been marvelous supporters of their sponsors and the event, even as they approach Masters 40 in two years time. Elena made the podium in third and Olesya came 6 th with only one other lady breaking the 4 hour mark for a silver medal.
Unusually young for the 56 km ultra, Chelitu Bogale Asefa, 22, filled that 7 th position and it would be interesting to hear her comments on the experience and whether she now has aspirations of making this her race and targeting winning. She has 17 minutes to find for her first goal and nearly 27 to emulate the incomparable Frith, but this race requires experience as well as natural speed to excel.
Paulina Njeya was a creditable 5 th in 3:50’48, but at 36 cannot be expected to make vast improvement, so a South African winner is unlikely until someone like Rene Kalmer moves up. This is not likely for some time because she has Commonwealth Games and her priority Brazil 2016 Olympics.
The other great lady of South African athletics, Zola Pieterse, after whom township takes were named Zola Budds, ran a cracking 4:07’58 for 3 rd in the 40-49 category even though she only has two years left in it.
There is place for emerging runners to emulate her but it is a poor indictment on our athletic structures and coaching that there are none on the horizon.
Report by Peter Wrensch
The Helderberg Mountain Challenge (HMC), now in its fifth year, is one of the most spectacular but brutal trail runs on the calendar and, with jaw dropping views, unspoilt single track and sublime technical descents, it is not for the faint hearted. The weather played along at this year’s version and, as expected, one record […]
Sea Point resident, Marcelle van Zyl conquered her very first IMPI Challenge at Lievland Wine Estate and Wiesenhof Legacy Park (Stellenbosch) on Saturday, 05 April 2014 in support of the Mdzananda Animal Clinic. The only permanent veterinary council registered animal clinic in Khayelitsha, a township area just outside Cape Town, the Mdzananda Animal Clinic was […]
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This past Sunday saw the Spur Cape Summer Trail Series 2014 come to an end on pristine Oak Valley trails in perfect weather conditions. Oak Valley delights in Series finale As is tradition, race 4 kicked off with the 25.4km XL race, drawing top names such as Spur Silvermine Mountain XL winners Michael Bailey and […]
The action-packed IMPI Challenge returns to Lievland Wine Estate and Wiesenhof Legacy Park (Stellenbosch) on Saturday, 5 April 2014 and Sunday, 06 April 2014. Participants wanting to hone up on skills before then will be pleased to hear that the Synergy Health and Fitness Club in Stellenbosch are offering training camps as a build up to this much loved event. [Read more…]
Stellenbosch based trail running enthusiasts Craig Burns and Danette Smith had the rest of the field running scared on Saturday, 22 February 2014 at the second annual New Balance Trail Run presented by ISUZU in Grabouw. Burns claimed victory in the men’s 11km New Balance Trail Run presented by ISUZU in the fast paced time […]