1996 - 1999

2nd screen

1996 Up (71st Race)
Date Monday, 17 June
Weather Cool at start with thin cloud layer. A few drops of rain shortly after the start. Chilly breeze for most of the morning. Otherwise cool to mild all day.

Temperature – Min/ Max:

PMB 2/20
DBN 9/22
Start Venue/Time Durban Post Office, West Street / 6:00
Finish Venue Jan Smuts Stadium
Time Limit 11 Hours
Official Distance 86.700 km

Winner’s Average Speed:

Men 15.786 km/hr (3m 48s /km)
Women 13.932 km/hr (4m 18s /km)
Entries 13552
Starters 13041
Finishers – Total 11262
Men 10030
Women 1232
Medals – Gold 15
Silver 903
Bronze 10344
% Finishers / Starters 86.4

THE MENS RACE

Entries from a host of foreign-based runners, all ultra distance specialists, indicated that the local stars were going to have to be at the top of their game if they were to fight off the foreign threat.

Russians, Alexei Volgin and Konstantin Santalov were back. The international contingent included another Russian, Mikhail Kokorev, Valmir Nunes, the Brazilian holder of the world 100-kilometre championship, Dmitri Grishin from the Ukraine, Tom Johnson of the USA, Australian Don Wallace, and Chris Parkes from England.

Parkes went off like a startled hare and was joint leader, with Stemmer Lekoto, as they went over the top of Cowie’s Hill and through Pinetown. On the assault of the mighty Field’s Hill, Parkes accelerated as if he were participating in a 1500 metre track race: not a 90-kilometre ultra marathon. He held a big lead and passed the halfway mark in 2h 38m 35s; a time that projected to around 5h 15m for the full distance. The pundits merely shook their heads and waited for his demise.

They were correct.

Following Parkes through Drummond were Lekoto (2h 44m 31s) and Walter Nkosi (2h 45m 23s), but both fell away rapidly soon after. Then followed the group consisting of Volgin, Bester, Mattheus and the novice, Grishin.

Parkes was the first to crest Inchanga, but it was already clear that his race was over. Within 3 kilometres, he was no longer the leader. He had nothing left as the Bester quartet flew past. Grishin appeared to be the most comfortable in this group, looking very strong on the hills and, with Ashburton and Polly Shortt’s looming, it seemed that he might pose severe problems for those around him. On the long downhill to Mpusheni, Volgin fell back and apparently out of contention. Bester and Mattheus, working together, were successful in shaking Grishin off and opened a small gap.

Then Grishin demonstrated his strength as a climber. On Little Polly’s, the pull up to Ashburton, he went past both.

How would he handle the big one; Polly Shortt’s itself? The answer was emphatic; it never bothered him at all and, once over the top, he cruised into the city, breaking the 5h 30m barrier in the process.

It was, nevertheless, a thrilling battle. Bester came back strongly to finish just over a minute behind the winner. With Volgin also putting in a determined surge for the line, less than 3 minutes separated the first three at the finish.

Will there ever be another race comparable to the 1996 Comrades? Thirty-two men dipped below 6 hours… and another 4 clocked in within a further 60 seconds.

RESULT

1st Dmitri Grishin Russia 5h 29m 33s
2nd Nick Bester South Africa 5h 30m 48s
3rd Alexei Volgin Russia 5h 32m 21s
4th Charl Mattheus South Africa 5h 34m 56s
5th Shaun Meiklejohn South Africa 5h 39m 20s
6th Gary Turner South Africa 5h 40m 52s
7th Tom Johnson USA 5h 41m 57s
8th Mikhail Kokorev Russia 5h 42m 10s
9th Moses Lebakeng South Africa 5h 43m 27s
10th Donovan Wright South Africa 5h 45m 55s

VETERANS (AGE 40 – 49)

1st Markus Engeler (41) Switzerland 5h 59m 01s
2nd Boysie van Staden (41) South Africa 6h 03m 02s
3rd Johan Ebersohn (44) South Africa 6h 09m 20s


MASTERS (AGE 50 - 59)

1st Moses Kunene (54) South Africa

7h 00m 12s

2nd Jacinto De Faria (51) South Africa 7h 06m 59s
3rd Arthur Brindley (50) South Africa 7h 16m 54s

GRANDMASTERS (AGE 60 +)

1st Carel van Wyk (60) South Africa

7h 06m 41s New Best Time Up

2nd Benjamin Mamabolo (62) South Africa 7h 57m 33s
3rd Caspar Greeff (61) South Africa 8h 07m 16s
 

THE WOMENS RACE

Ann Trason was back again; this time in perfect health. After her disappointment in 1995, when a stomach bug destroyed her hopes when poised to threaten Frith van der Merwe’s Down Record, she was determined to make amends.

Englishwoman, Caroline Hunter-Rowe, a former world 100-kilometre champion was expected to produce fierce competition, in the closing stages, when the real race began. Home favourite, Frith van der Merwe, led the South African contingent but she was considered a few years past her peak. Nearly all the regular Gold Medallists were at the start in Durban. It promised to be one of the great women’s races.

It wasn’t. From the outset, it was a rout. Trason was a class apart. She led from the start and simply ran further away from her opposition as the race progressed. En route to an emphatic victory, she set a new Best Time for the first half of the race, reaching Drummond in 3h 03m. Passing Drummond in 3h 8m, Maria Bak was a further 5 minutes ahead of 3rd placed Jowaine Parrott.

Over the testing second half of the course, Trason showed no signs of weakness. Spectators reasoned that, never having seen Polly Shortt’s before, the monster would catch her out. They were wrong again. She took it in her stride; never revealing the slightest evidence of faltering.

Racing down to the finish in Jan Smuts Stadium, a new Best Time was a foregone conclusion. She crossed the line in 6h 13m 23s, slashing more that 19-and-a-half minutes off van der Merwe’s record.

The overall standard of the race was such that 2nd placed Bak was also inside the previous mark and, on top of that, seven women went under 7 hours. In all, 23 women beat 7h 30m to earn Silver Medals, yet not too many years before, someone said that a woman will “never run 90 kays in under seven-and-a-half hours”.    

RESULT

1st Ann Trason * USA

6h 13m 23s New Best Time Up

2nd Maria Bak Germany 6h 24m 08s
3rd Valentina Shatyayeva Russia 6h 30m 33s
4th Jowaine Parrott South Africa 6h 55m 19s
5th Berna Daly South Africa 6h 56m 33s
6th Carolyn Hunter-Rowe England 6h 57m 59s
7th Valentina Liakhova Russia 6h 59m 44s
8th Sanet Beukes South Africa 7h 05m 57s
9th Reneé Scott South Africa 7h 07m 26s
10th Nurziya Bagmanova Russia 7h 09m 06s

* First Sub-6:15 Up Run

VETERANS (AGE 40 – 49)

1st Sanet Beukes (40) South Africa 7h 05m 57s
2nd Nancy Will (44) South Africa 7h 12m 34s
3rd Frances van Blerk (41) South Africa 7h 21m 14s

MASTERS (AGE 50 - 59)

1st Debbie Goosen (54) Namibia

8h 17m 42s New Best Time Up

2nd Yvonne Lariviere (50) South Africa 8h 33m 20s
3rd Ros Young (52) England 9h 17m 41s

GRANDMASTERS (AGE 60 +)

1st Hazel Colborne (60) South Africa

10h 23m 38 New Best Time Up

1997 Down (72nd Race)
Date Monday, 16 June
Weather Chilly morning, mild to warm later.

Temperature – Min/ Max:

PMB 4/20
DBN 8/23
Start Venue/Time Pietermaritzburg City Hall / 6:00
Finish Venue Kingsmead Stadium
Time Limit 11 Hours
Official Distance 89.900 km

Winner’s Average Speed:

Men 16.416 km/hr (3m 39s /km)
Women 15.048 km/hr (4m 00s /km)
Entries 13835
Starters 13352
Finishers – Total 11353
Men 9984
Women 1369
Medals – Gold 15
Silver 924
Bronze 10414
% Finishers / Starters 85.0

THE MENS RACE

In 1992, Charl Mattheus crossed the finish line in Pietermaritzburg ahead of the entire field. For a few days, he was the winner of the Comrades Marathon. Then officialdom deprived him of that honour. He learned he had failed a drug test for ingesting an over-the-counter remedy for a sore throat a few days before race-day. It was unsophisticated medication that had no effect on, or would enhance, his performance in the race. In any event, he was disqualified.

His training in the build-up to 1997 was flawless. This was his chance to erase the disappointment of 1992.

With the introduction of prize money, the complexion of the race had changed. With so much now at stake, strategy and tactics were re-aligned to position a runner to strike at the most opportune moment.

As always, a huge bunch of runners, with no realistic chance of achieving anything, led the field for a substantial distance before their catastrophic pace dumped them in mid-field. However, the main contenders no longer permitted those no-hopers to get too far ahead and they formed themselves into a big chase group and played a waiting game with each other.

The first significant move came from Mattheus; attacking on the stiff pull up Inchanga. Nick Bester and Dmitri Grishin went with him and the trio passed through the midpoint at Drummond in 2h 43m 45s with the rest of the recognised performers still in close contact with the leaders. The climb out of the Valley of a Thousand hills saw numerous changes in the top order. On the hilly section to Kearsney College, at the top of Botha’s Hill, Bester surged. Zithulele Sinqe responed immediately and the pair soon overhauled the lead group of Mattheus, Donovan Wright, Grishin and Soccer Ncube.

With the fast, flatish stretch between Hillcrest and Kloof, a piece of road where hard racing was required, the gauntlet was thrown down.

It was now anybody’s race. It would come down to who wanted it the most. Jaroslaw Janicki had been working his way past those in front of him and began to feature among the front runners. Mattheus, feeling strong, set off in pursuit of the leaders and soon found himself alone in 3rd place. Grishin and Ncube were tiring and dropped back. Mattheus’ sustained effort brought him onto the shoulders of Bester and Sinqe.

Onlookers assumed the victor would emerge from the trio. Bester provided the next break, streaking away down Field’s Hill at around 3 minutes per kilometer. Matteus and Sinqe let him go, choosing the flatter section through Pinetown to launch their attack. At Crompton Street in Pinetown, the three were running alongside each other with Cowie’s Hill ahead. With 20 kilometres of hard running remaining, Sinqe capitulated on the hill and drifted out of contention as a serious threat.

It was now down to a shoot-out between Bester and Mattheus. Bester attacked on the climb to 45th Cutting and still held a short advantage as he went over Tollgate. He seemed a sure winner. All the time, Janicki continued to pass runners ahead of him. 

The moment of truth had arrived for Mattheus. His physical strength had evaporated; all that remained was his mental strength… if he had any left in reserve. He kicked.

With 4 kilometres remaining, he went to the front, hung in and… as he strode into Kindsmead Stadium… the pain of 1992 was lifted from his shoulders.

RESULT

1st Charl Mattheus South Africa

5h 28m 37s

2nd Nick Bester South Africa 5h 30m 41s
3rd Jaroslaw Janicki Poland 5h 32m 50s
4th Zithulele Sinqe South Africa 5h 33m 18s
5th Andrew Kalehe South Africa 5h 33m 24s
6th Sarel Ackermann South Africa 5h 33m 27s
7th Shaun Meiklejohn South Africa 5h 34m 04s
8th Mahala Mohloli Lesotho 5h 34m 34s
9th Peter Camenzind Switzerland 5h 34m 47s
10th Konstantin Santalov Russia 5h 37m 36s

VETERANS (AGE 40 – 49)

1st Peter Camenzind (45) Switzerland

5h 34m 47s New Best Time Down

2nd Kaziemierz Bak (40) Germany 5h 58m 44s
3rd Trust Langa (40) South Africa 6h 03m 24s


MASTERS (AGE 50 - 59)

1st Petrus Molefe (50) South Africa 6h 51m 33s
2nd Mokwena Morifi (52) South Africa 6h 55m 29s
3rd Alan Mc Cormack (50) South Africa 6h 57m 11s

GRANDMASTERS (AGE 60 +)

1st Carel van Wyk (61) South Africa

6h 53m 42s New Best Time Down

2nd Benjamin Mamabolo (63) South Africa 7h 39m 21s
3rd Attie Nortje (62) South Africa 8h 29m 59s
 

THE WOMENS RACE

In 1996, Ann Trason demolished Frith van der Merwe’s Up Record by more than 19 minutes. She returned for the 1997 Down Run. Did that mean that van der Merwe’s stunning Down Record of 5h 54m 43s, set in 1989, was regarded as being under threat?

It was a difficult question to answer. Trason’s pedigree was beyond doubt. So was van der Merwe’s. In essence, it was a futile question to debate. It could only be answered on the road.

Maria Bak was also in the line-up. She had a win in 1995 and was runner-up, to Trason, in 1996. Valentina Liakhova and Valentina Shatyayeva were back to prove that they could also feature in the result.

Bak and Trason were in close contact from the gun, never letting each other out of sight. On the pull up to the Water Tower at Umlaas Road, Bak made a break and endeavoured to get as far ahead as possible. At Drummond she held an advantage of 90 seconds over Trason with Liakhova, a distant 3rd.

After Drummond, Bak continued to push hard and at Hillcrest, she had increased the gap to 2 minutes. Bak could not make any further headway and the 2-minute difference remained constant all the way through Kloof, down Field’s Hill and along the Pinetown flats. Going through Pinetown, Bak was limping noticeably; which was later reported to be a bruised heel, which slowed her down appreciably.

Trason, on the other hand, was travelling effortlessly and closing in on the hapless leader as she ran over Cowie’s Hill, through Westville and into Durban. When they passed under the Tollgate Bridge, the difference was down to 10 seconds. With the end so close, Bak was unable to respond as Trason piled on the pace.

It was now Trason against the stopwatch and van der Merwe’s record. She failed by 3m 42s to beat the record but her time of 5h 58m 25s made her the second woman to return a sub-6 hour performance. Bak failed by a mere 28 seconds to beat that barrier.

RESULT

1st Ann Trason USA 5h 58m 25s
2nd Maria Bak Germany 6h 00m 28s
3rd Valentina Liakhova Russia 6h 22m 59s
4th Valentina Shatyayeva Russia 6h 31m 38s
5th Charlotte Noble South Africa 6h 45m 51s
6th René du Plessis South Africa 6h 45m 58s
7th Helene Joubert South Africa 6h 51m 15s
8th Berna Daly South Africa 6h 52m 37s
9th Rae Bisschoff South Africa 7h 05m 04s
10th Sanet Beukes South Africa 7h 07m 51s

VETERANS (AGE 40 – 49)

1st Rae Bisschoff (43) South Africa

7h 05m 04s New Best Time Down

2nd Sanet Beukes (42) South Africa 7h 07m 51s
3rd Cindey Jordaan (40) South Africa 7h 24m 36s


MASTERS (AGE 50 - 59)

1st Caroline Andrew (50) New Zealand

8h 55m 28s

2nd Sue van Heerden (50) South Africa 9h 06m 07s
3rd Joyce Storm (54) South Africa 9h 16m 28s

GRANDMASTERS (AGE 60 +)

1st Isabel Foley (63) New Zealand 9h 47m 11s
2nd Hazel Colborne (61) South Africa 10h 53m 28
1998 Up (73rd Race)
Date Tuesday, 16 June
Weather Clear, with warm sunshine.

Temperature – Min/ Max:

PMB 3/23
DBN 9/23
Start Venue/Time Durban Post Office, West Street / 6:00
Finish Venue Scottsville Racecourse
Time Limit 11 Hours
Official Distance 87.300 km

Winner’s Average Speed:

Men 16.045 km/hr (3m 44s /km)
Women 13.140 km/hr (4m 34s /km)
Entries 13380
Starters 12196
Finishers – Total 10492
Men 9206
Women 1286
Medals – Gold 20
Silver 646
Bronze 9826
% Finishers / Starters 86.0

THE MENS RACE

There was no clear favourite. 1996 and 1997 Victors, Dmitri Grishin and Charl Mattheus were the names most frequently heard during pre-race talk, but the Comrades had a nasty habit of dealing out cruelty to those who harboured thoughts of success.

Mattheus carried the hopes of the host nation, but Nick Bester could never be left out of any predictions.

Two major groups established themselves soon after the start. Up front were Grishin, Mattheus, Jaroslaw Janicki and Alexei Volgin. Mattheus and Grishin were ostensibly keeping a wary eye on each other. Close behind was another group with Bester, Shaun Meikljohn and Sarel Ackermann prominent. Bester and Meiklejohn were crafty campaigners who understood the benefit of leaving the early cut and thrust to others… and then attacking from behind when it counted. The ultimate victor was sure to emerge from these two groups.

Grishin, who seemed to enjoy surging on the big hills, did so on Field’s, but Mattheus was up to the challenge. His short burst opened a gap of 90 seconds between his group and the Bester group.

The lead group went through Drummond in 2h 44m 38s. Grishin, always aggressive on the hills, was attempting to shake off his rivals up Inchanga, but Mattheus answered every effort, while the rest in the group fell away. The Bester contingent was also dropping back.

On the run down the hill after Inchanga, Grishin picked up the pace to an almost suicidal level. Mattheus, as always, responded but Volgin fell away.

Approaching Camperdown, the flying Grishin was not looking so relaxed. He slowed and Mattheus went past; opening a gap of 50 metres. His recovery, from what appeared to be a brief spasm of cramp in his right thigh, was quick and he was soon up with Mattheus, regained the lead, and reached Umlaas Road 20 metres in front. At this stage, Mattheus was showing signs that he was a beaten man. The murderous pace since Drummond had depleted his reserves.

Grishin was, by now, away. With two big hills looming, and being a hill specialist, Grishin was assured of another win. His sole remaining opponent was the stopwatch; the metal heart that never stops beating. Was the Up Record in jeopardy? The answer was about to be revealed.

Neither Ashburton nor Polly Shortt’s created any problems for the flying Russian. He coasted to the finish at Scottsville Racecourse in a new Best Time of 5h 26m 25s.

RESULT

1st Dmitri Grishin Russia

5h 26m 25 New Best Time Up

2nd Charl Mattheus South Africa 5h 31m 32s
3rd Alexei Volgin Russia 5h 33m 57s
4th Igor Tyupin Russia 5h 35m 23s
5th Ravil Kashapov Russia 5h 37m 26s
6th Andrew Kalehe South Africa 5h 39m 40s
7th Sarel Ackermann South Africa 5h 40m 49s
8th Livingstone Jabanga South Africa 5h 41m 07s
9th Shaun Meiklejohn South Africa 5h 41m 59s
10th Anatoli Kruglikov Russia 5h 42m 14s

VETERANS (AGE 40 – 49)

1st Ravil Kashapov (41) Russia

5h 37m 26s New Best Time Up

2nd Anatoli Kruglikov (40) Russia 5h 42m 14s
3rd Johan Burger (40) South Africa 5h 51m 05s


MASTERS (AGE 50 - 59)

1st Hannes Meyer (52) South Africa

6h 54m 59s

2nd Alan Mc Cormack (52) South Africa 7h 02m 11s
3rd Heinz Steiner (54) Austria 7h 02m 49s

GRANDMASTERS (AGE 60 +)

1st Calie Beneke (62) South Africa

7h 58m 14s

2nd Christiaan Vetsch (64) Switzerland 8h 03m 19s
3rd Benjamin Mamabolo (64) South Africa 8h 10m 04s
 

THE WOMENS RACE

With Ann Trason and Maria Bak not among the entrants, there was once more no clear favourite. The two Russians, Valentinas, Shatyayeva and Liakhova, based on past performances, perhaps held a slight upper hand.

Of the local women, Helene Joubert and Rae Bischoff had posted a few satisfactory, though unspectacular, efforts.

From the start, the logic of the main contenders appeared difficult to comprehend. Bischoff went to the front before Westville and stayed there. Not considered as a major threat, Liakhova and Shatyayeva let her go without making any attempt to watch her closely. The pattern remained unchanged. Bischoff, without any extra effort, or attempt, to increase her lead, simply found herself moving further and further ahead.

Midway through the second half of the race, the two Russians suddenly awoke to the fact that they were in trouble. Bischoff’s lead demanded a supreme effort to drag her back and they set about it. Shatyayeva was not up to the task. It was left to Liakhova to redeem their earlier miscalculations. Bischoff, meanwhile, aware that the attack was coming, did not alter her plans. She just maintained her pace, while Liakhova’s frantic chase came closer. Despite desperate urging from roadside spectators, that her lead was being drastically reduced, Bischoff maintained her normal steady pace and crossed the finish line 19 seconds ahead of the runner-up.

RESULT

1st Rae Bischoff South Africa 6h 38m 57s
2nd Valentina Liakhova Russia 6h 39m 16s
3rd Valentina Shatyayeva Russia 6h 44m 13s
4th Sanet Beukes South Africa 6h 57m 15s
5th Karen Bradford South Africa 7h 02m 09s
6th Amor van Zyl South Africa 7h 02m 51s
7th Elizabeth McCaul South Africa 7h 03m 34s
8th Berna Daly South Africa 7h 04m 14s
9th Ina Sanders South Africa 7h 06m 07s
10th Ann Chester South Africa 7h 10m 12s

VETERANS (AGE 40 – 49)

1st Rae Bisschoff (44) South Africa

6h 38m 57s New Best Time Up

2nd Sanet Beukes (42) South Africa 6h 57m 15s
3rd Amor van Zyl (41) South Africa 7h 02m 51s


MASTERS (AGE 50 - 59)

1st Lavinia Petrie (53) Australia

8h 06m 58s New Best Time Up

2nd Janine Faraoni (50) South Africa 9h 05m 24s
3rd Gillie Schepers (51) South Africa 9h 27m 19s

GRANDMASTERS (AGE 60 +)

1st Isabel Foley (64) New Zealand

9h 58m 17s New Best Time Up

2nd Hazel Colborne (62) South Africa 10h 49m 04
1999 Down (74th Race)
Date Wednesday, 16 June
Weather Mild to hot sunny day.

Temperature – Min/ Max:

PMB 9/22
DBN 14/23
Start Venue/Time Pietermaritzburg City Hall / 6:00
Finish Venue Kingsmead Stadium
Time Limit 11 Hours
Official Distance 89.900 km

Winner’s Average Speed:

Men 16.337 km/hr (3m 40s /km)
Women 13.795 km/hr (4m 21s /km)
Entries 14133
Starters 12794
Finishers – Total 11287
Men 9820
Women 1467
Medals – Gold 20
Silver 803
Bronze 10464
% Finishers / Starters 88.2

THE MENS RACE

Is it really possible to predict, with any degree of certainty, a winner in the modern era? With so much talent around, both local and foreign, it is very much a lottery, attempting to do so.

So it was when the huge field stood anxiously outside the Pietermaritzburg City Hall. Dmitri Gishin had earned the moniker of being an Up runner. He was out to prove that he was equally adept at performing over the Down course.

While most of the top brigade accepted that the most successful strategy was to adopt a conservative first half and then strike from behind at the death. Such a plan appeared to have been shelved soon after the start when Grishin commenced pushing the pace on the hills early on. This caused much confusion among the main contenders.

On every hill, Grishin surged to the front and then dropped back on the down sections. For some reason, most of his rivals followed him. Two who didn’t were Nick Bester and Jaroslaw Janicki. They realised he was going much too fast and, wisely, held themselves back.

As always, the huge hulk of Inchanga, wrought changes. Grishin surged to the front but, this time, not as confidently as before. Janicki had, by now, moved onto Grishin’s shoulder as the pace slowed slightly.

Suddenly, there was a breakaway. Anatoliy Korepanov, Michael Peace, Letu Rachaka and Donovan Wright went to the front, but the latter pair faded out of contention quickly thereafter. Grishin did not respond immediately. Once over the top, the quartet, followed by Janicki, sped away. Peace was first through the halfway mark in 2h 45m 50s with Korepanov a few strides behind. Joseph Ikaneng was third in 2h 45m 55s and merely metres behind him was a massive group of 11 with all the major players positioning themselves to strike.

From Drummond, down Botha’s Hill, through Hillcrest to Kloof, the lead changed hands often as the front runners seemed hell-bent on making things as difficult as possible for each other. At Kloof, the lead group consisted of six, from among whom the winner was sure to emerge. Mohala Mohloli, Andrew Kelehe, Lucas Matlala, Janicki, Volgin and Grishin. Field’s Hill reduced the group to five. Grishin had destroyed himself while trying to destroy his rivals early on.

On Cowie’s Hill, Janicki made a decisive break. He had looked good on Inchanga, and was apparently still feeling that way. He looked confident and comfortable and gradually increased his lead through Westville and, as he crested 45th Cutting, seemed a certain winner.

Volgin, however, had others ideas. He readily hauled in the leader and went to the front as he climbed up to Tollgate. As quickly as he gained the lead, he lost it. He had responded to every surge that Grishin made during the first half and now he had to pay for his misjudgment. He collapsed onto the pavement as the elegant Janicki strode past into the lead for the final time. While Volgin lay in agony on the pavement at Tollgate, Kelehe and Matlala both flashed by.

But there was no stopping Janicki. He was away and heading for victory at Kingsmead, failing by 11 seconds to break the 5h 30m barrier.

RESULT

1st Jaroslaw Janicki Poland

5h 30m 11s

2nd Andrew Kelehe South Africa 5h 32m 42s
3rd Lucas Matlala South Africa 5h 33m 30s
4th Alexei Volgin Russia 5h 35m 00s
5th Anatoliy Korepanov Russia 5h 38m 04s
6th Walter Nkosi South Africa 5h 40m 20s
7th Joseph Ikaneng South Africa 5h 41m 08s
8th Konstantin Santalov Russia 5h 41m 36s
9th Shaun Meiklejohn South Africa 5h 44m 07s
10th Grigory Murzin Russia 5h 47m 25s

VETERANS (AGE 40 – 49)

1st Anatoliy Korepanov (40) Russia 5h 38m 04s
2nd Livingstone Jabanga (40) South Africa 5h 58m 30s
3rd Ravil Kashapov (42) Russia 6h 01m 02s


MASTERS (AGE 50 - 59)

1st Rainier Lindermann (50) Germany

6h 13m 14s New Best Time Down

2nd Hannes Meyer (53) South Africa 6h 51m 23s
3rd Alan Mc Cormack (53) South Africa 6h 52m 54s

GRANDMASTERS (AGE 60 +)

1st Carel van Wyk (64) South Africa

7h 13m 36s

2nd Calie Beneke (63) South Africa 8h 17m 22s
3rd Benjamin Mamabolo (65) South Africa 8h 17m 45s
 

THE WOMENS RACE

As in the Men’s race, there was no clear favourite. Helene Joubert carried the hopes of South African supporters. This hope seemed vindicated when she took the lead early on but, at no stage, did she achieve any significant advantage. Birgit Lennartz, Berna Daly and the Brazilian, Maria Venancio remained in close attendance.

There was no injection of pace early on and in a relatively pedestrian race, Lennartz appeared the strongest candidate to succeed; which she did. She hit the front on Botha’s Hill and stayed there.

Novice, Grace De Oliviera, was, meantime, running a sensible race. She never permitted herself to be drawn into pushing too hard in the early stages, preferring to bide her time and allowing the race ahead of her to develop, before taking on any challenge that might arise. She slowly worked away at her own pace, overtaking those ahead in her stride and finished just less than 4 minutes behind Lennartz.

RESULT

1st Birgit Lennartz Germany 6h 31m 03s
2nd Grace De Oliviera South Africa 6h 34m 53s
3rd Marina Bychkova Russia 6h 36m 34s
4th Maria Venancio Brazil 6h 40m 18s
5th Valentina Shatyayeva Russia 6h 45m 07s
6th Madeleen Otto South Africa 6h 47m 06s
7th Berna Daly South Africa 6h 48m 13s
8th Ina Sanders South Africa 6h 56m 20s
9th Ann Chester South Africa 7h 01m 56s
10th Charlotte Noble South Africa 7h 02m 04s

VETERANS (AGE 40 – 49)

1st Ina Sanders (40) South Africa

6h 56m 20s New Best Time Down

2nd Lilac Flay (43) New Zealand 7h 06m 00s
3rd Liz Chelin (42) South Africa 7h 17m 44s


MASTERS (AGE 50 - 59)

1st Claudia Preston-Thomas (50) South Africa

8h 17m 45s

2nd Audrey Steyn (50) South Africa 8h 32m 13s
3rd Lynda Bell (50) South Africa 8h 46m 34s

GRANDMASTERS (AGE 60 +)

1st Ursula Schmitz (67) Germany

9h 35m 57s New Best Time Down