1930 - 1935

2nd screen

1930 Up (10th Race)
Date Saturday, 24 May
Weather Mild with fresh breeze.
Start Venue/Time Durban City Hall / 6:00
Finish Venue Alexandra Park Athletic and Cycle Track (The Duck Pond)
Time Limit 11 Hours
Approx. Distance 54 M
Entries Unknown
Starters 55
Finishers – Total 29
Men 29
Medals-Silver 29
% Finishers / Starters 52.7


The runners were sent away at 6 a.m. in bright moonlight. Frank Hayes led the charge up Berea Road and headed the field over Tollgate. Close on his heels was the Johannesburg novice, Wally Hayward, who was, in turn, followed by Frank Munnery. These three had drawn well away from the rest, but Hayward went into the lead shortly thereafter. He kept pushing hard and reaching Pinetown in 1h 27m, had a lead of over 5 minutes from Munnery. Next through was Albert Marie (1h 35m 55s) and the Savage brothers, Jack and Bill in 1h 37m 30s. Hayes had already retired.

Weather conditions were favourable, with a pleasant chill in the air, which Hayward took full advantage of, increasing the distance between himself and the following pack all the time. He passed through Hillcrest in 2h 27m; 11 minutes ahead of Munnery and 17 minutes ahead of Jack Savage.

Botha’s Hill held no fears for Hayward and he dropped easily down to Drummond, arriving at the midpoint in 3h 20m. In second place, with half the journey behind them, was Munnery (3h 36m 05s). Then followed the Savage brothers, Jack (3h 42m 20s) and Bill (3h 47m 25s), Bill Cochrane (3h 48m 30s) with Fred Wallace and Phil Masterton-Smith running together (3h 51m 5s).

Hayward climbed Inchanga without any trouble, but the big hill wrought changes behind him. Once all the leading contenders had negotiated the hill, Hayward held a lead of two miles over Munnery, while Masterton-Smith had moved ahead of Wallace.

Hayward was still leading at Harrison but the first telltale signs were beginning to show. He struggled bravely until Cato Ridge where cramp forced him to stop for a massage. Although he was forced to walk on all the hills, he hung on doggedly while Masterton-Smith was picking up places as he passed those ahead of him. Hayward still led at Camperdown in 5h 13m 25s, followed by Munnery (5h 24m), Jack Savage (5h 27m) and Masterton-Smith (5h 30m).

By Umlaas Road, Savage had moved into second place, 14 minutes behind Hayward, with the flying Masterton-Smith another minute adrift. On the long downhill section, with Munnery and Savage tiring, Masterton-Smith moved into second position. With Hayward walking on the hills, the distance back to the chaser dwindled rapidly as Masterton-Smith took the hills with ease.

It developed into an enthralling battle as the end approached. The gap, however, was just too great. Hayward crossed the finish line a mere 37 seconds ahead of the gallant Masterton-Smith.   


1st Wally Hayward South Africa

7h 27m 26s

2nd Phil Masterton-Smith South Africa 7h 28m 03s
3rd Frank Munnery South Africa 7h 39m 30s

Jack Savage

South Africa 7h 44m 31s
5th Fred Wallace South Africa 7h 55m 24s
6th Piet van Rooyen South Africa 8h 15m 02s
7th Bill Cochrane South Africa 8h 20m 21s
8th Albert Marie South Africa 8h 20m 50s
9th Rubin Shapiro South Africa 8h 27m 14s
10th Bill Savage South Africa 8h 29m 42s
1931 Down (11th Race)
Date Monday, 25 May
Weather Cool early morning. Warm sunny afternoon.
Start Venue/Time Pietermaritzburg City Hall / 6:00
Finish Venue Track Ground
Time Limit 11 Hours
Approx. Distance 56 M
Entries Unknown
Starters 65
Finishers – Total 30
Men 30
Medals – Gold 6
Silver 24
% Finishers / Starters 46.2


There was a strange miscellany of ‘competitors’ alongside the 65 official entrants outside the Pietermaritzburg City Hall. There was a skater, who took a bad fall en route and retired, three walkers and Durban schoolteacher, Geraldine Watson.

The days of dust and stones were, thankfully, over. Prior to race-day the tarring of the main road, all the way to Durban, was completed.

Although there was no previous winner among the starters, there were many consistent campaigners, any of whom who were capable of taking line honours later in the day. The early pace was made by George Steere and veteran, Albert Marie, who reached Umlaas Road together in 1h 26m. Not too far from the leaders were Fred Wallace, Archie Cary-Smith and Noel Burree.

The leaders maintained their position as they raced through Cato Ridge. The 1931 runner-up, Phil Masterton-Smith, seemed unworried about his position. He was lying in 22nd place with a third of the journey completed. Bill Savage had moved into 3rd place.

Marie fell away soon after Cato Ridge and Steere began to feel the adverse effects of his early fast pace. He was still in the lead at Drummond (3h 12m) with Savage a mere 30 seconds behind him. Marie was next in 3h 15m and Wessel Strydom in 3h 16m 20s.

Changes came rapidly after the halfway mark. By Botha’s Hill, Strydom had assumed the lead with a 2-minute advantage over Savage. Piet van Rooyen, Masterton-Smith and Burree were running together a short distance back. On the climb up to Hilcrest, van Rooyen was leading. He was running so easily, it appeared that he could maintain his shuffling gait all the way to Durban; but it was not to be.

Masterton-Smith was making a determined effort and moved into 3rd place near Kloof. Burree was in trouble and looked as if he would not reach the finish. Masterton-Smith finally took the lead on the long descent of Field’s Hill. At the Pinetown crossroads, van Rooyen was still second, Strydom third and, limping slightly in 4th place, was Burree; some 10 minutes off the lead. At this stage, Masterton-Smith looked a certain winner.

However, Burree despite the limp, was not finished. Before he commenced the climb up Cowie’s Hill, he had overtaken both van Rooyen and Strydom and, by Westville, he had made 3 minutes on the leader.

As Masterton-Smith crested Tollgate, a huge crowd greeted him but… barely 40 yards behind was Burree; having gained 10 minutes in the 10 miles from Pinetown. Excitement was at fever pitch as the pair played out a desperate battle to the finish. Burree took the lead on the Alice Street bridge, 700 yards from the finish, and seemed a sure winner. Masterton-Smith was back in front – by just 10 yards – as they turned into the Track Ground for the final lap. Burree cut the distance to 3 yards as they entered the home straight. In a desperate sprint to the line, Masterton-Smith held on to win by 2 yards.

Geraldine Watson became the first woman to complete the Up Run, albeit unofficially, in just over 11 hours.


1st Phil Masterton-Smith * South Africa

7h 16m 30s

2nd Noel Burree South Africa 7h 16m 32s
3rd Wessel Strydom South Africa 7h 32m 20s

Piet van Rooyen

South Africa 8h 01m 50s
5th Fred Wallace South Africa 8h 04m 10s
6th A.E. Taylor South Africa 8h 23m 02s
7th Ted Pieterse South Africa 8h 31m 40s
8th E.F. Schutze South Africa 8h 37m 47s
9th Nigel Walker South Africa 8h 48m 38s
10th Keith Dubber South Africa 8h 52m 05s

* Killed by a mortar bomb explosion, on 5 June 1942, while serving with the Natal Carbineers, in the Western Desert Campaign, during World War II.

1932 Up (12th Race)
Date Tuesday, 24 May
Weather Mild at start. Very hot later.
Start Venue/Time Durban City Hall / 6:00
Finish Venue Alexandra Park Athletic and Cycle Track (The Duck Pond)
Time Limit 11 Hours
Approx. Distance 54 M
Entries Unknown
Starters 65
Finishers – Total 24
Men 24
Silver 18
% Finishers / Starters 36.9


“Anyone can win it.”

Without a clear-cut favourite, that was the general consensus. There were, however, a number of seasoned campaigners who could be relied upon to test each other to the limit. The defending champion, Phil Masterton-Smith was in the field. So was Bill Cochrane, Jack, Percy and Bill Savage, Fred Wallace, Noel Burree, Wessel Strydom and Albert Marie. Also on the start line, were a few newcomers; Hardy Ballington, Allen Boyce and Lionel Knight.

The field began to string out immediately after the start. Jimmy Scoulelis and Harold Ward led the charge up Berea Road but, once over Tollgate, Ward drew away and was well clear by the time he reached Westville. In a large group following him were Scoulelis, Marie, the three Savage brothers, Ballington, Strydom, Wallace and Boyce. At Pinetown, Ward was 3 minutes ahead of the chasers who passed through at regular intervals over the next 14 minutes. Masterton-Smith was nowhere to be seen.

As expected, Field’s Hill further spread the field. Although he led over the top, Ward had lost his smooth, easy action. He was followed by Wren and Sandison.

Ward slowed to a walk up Botha’s Hill. Jack Savage was moving through the field and caught both Marie and Ward near the Botha’s Hill railway station. Ballington had worked his way into 5th position.

The leading six through Drummond were Jack Savage (3h 34m), Bill Savage (3h 41m 40s), Ballington (3h 43m 30s), Knight (3h 48m 15s), Masterton-Smith (3h 49m 15s) and Cochrane (3h 49m 15s).

Once again, Inchanga, proved a major catalyst in rearranging the top positions. Bill Savage dropped back; seemingly out of contention and Masterton-Smith slipped past Knight. Going over the crest, Masterton-Smith and Cochrane appeared to be in the best trim and looked likely to fight it out for line honours.

At Camperdown the leading positions were Jack Savage (5h 21m), Masterton-Smith (5h 28m), Ballington (5h 29m), Knight (5h 36m), Cochrane (5h 37m) and Bill Savage (5h 38m). After exiting the village, Jack Savage showed signs of fatigue and Masterton-Smith went to the front and looked a sure winner. Soon after, however, it became apparent that he had misjudged his race and pushed too hard, too far out. With Jack Savage now walking on all the hills, it seemed that Ballington would go on to win.

At this stage, Bill Savage was making a fine recovery and was cutting through the field. He passed Ballington, Cochrane and Knight before drawing level with Masterton-Smith at the foot of Polly Shortt’s. Bill Savage powered his way up the big hill. Masterton-Smith could not respond and was also overtaken by Knight, Cochrane and Ballington.

Followed by a procession of cars and motorcycles, Bill Savage strode victoriously into Alexandra Park, beating the novice, Lionel Knight, by 9 minutes.

Once again, Geraldine Watson finished, in 11h 56m, to become the first woman to complete back-to-back Down and Up Runs.


1st Bill Savage South Africa

7h 41m 58s

2nd Lionel Knight South Africa 7h 50m 54s
3rd Bill Cochrane South Africa 7h 57m 46s

Hardy Ballington

South Africa 8h 01m 14s
5th Jack Savage South Africa 8h 12m 45s
6th Phil Masterton-Smith South Africa 8h 35m 09s
7th D. Terblanche South Africa 8h 50m 43s

Albert Marie  *

South Africa 8h 51m 10s
8th Fred Wallace * South Africa 8h 51m 10s
10th Ivor Luke South Africa 8h 56m 21s

* Finished together

1933 Down (13th Race)
Date Wednesday, 24 May
Weather Rain from 7:30 to 10 a.m. with very cold north-west wind. At halfway, cold drizzle became torrential storm.
Start Venue/Time Pietermaritzburg City Hall / 6:00
Finish Venue Track Ground
Time Limit 11 Hours
Approx. Distance 56 M
Entries Unknown
Starters 85
Finishers – Total 57
Men 57
Medals – Gold 6
Silver 51
% Finishers / Starters 67.1


Unpleasant weather threatened when the field of 85 set off from the Pietermaritzburg City Hall. Rain clouds were gathering ominously over the northern horizon.

Harold Ward was, once again, the early pacemaker, reaching Umlaas Road in 1h 26m, with a lead of 8 minutes over Piet Strydom.

Rain started falling at 7:30 a.m. and was accompanied by a bitterly cold wind coming from the north-west. Ward went through Cato Ridge in 2h 5m with a lead of 2 miles over the following group. On the relatively easy stretch to the foot of Inchanga, Jimmy Sandison broke away from the group, moving into 2nd position behind Ward.

At Drummond, the cold, sleet and drizzle gave way to a torrential storm that drenched the runners. The position at the halfway mark was Ward (3h 13m), Sandison (3h 18m 50s), Bill Cochrane and Hardy Ballington (3h 22m 30s), Charlie Strassburg (3h 23m), Lionel Knight (3h 23m 10s) and defending champion, Bill Savage (3h 24m 30s).

Ward stopped for 5 minutes at Drummond and Sandison passed him when he resumed running. From this point, Ward dropped out of the picture. Cochrane went ahead of Ballington at Drummond, only to be caught, and re-passed, at the Botha’s Hill Tea Room. Ballington then set off in pursuit of Sandison, passing him at the Botha’s Hill railway station.

The rain let up around 10 a.m. as the field reached Hillcrest.

With Sandison fading, Ballington had established a lead of 7 minutes by Hillcrest. The 20-year-old leader was on the outskirts of Pinetown in under 5 hours. The timekeepers calculated that if he maintained his pace, he would beat the 7-hour barrier and become the first man to do so since Arthur Newton in 1927. Revelling in the cold, overcast conditions, Ballington led through Pinetown in 5h 12m. Then followed Cochrane (5h 24m), Knight (5h 28m) and, a suffering, Sandison (5h 31m). 

Passing through Westville, Cochrane made a desperate, but unsuccessful, effort to catch Ballington. A huge crowd greeted Ballington as he went over the top of Tollgate and set off down Old Dutch Road en route to the Track Ground where he stopped the clock in 6h 50m 37s.


1st Hardy Ballington South Africa

6h 50m 37s

2nd Bill Cochrane South Africa 7h 11m 21s
3rd Lionel Knight South Africa 7h 16m 00s

Bunny Quigley

Rhodesia 7h 32m 30s
5th Jimmy Sandison South Africa 7h 36m 28s
6th Fred Wallace South Africa 7h 43m 38s
7th Ivor Luke South Africa 7h 51m 18s
8th Albert Marie South Africa 7h 54m 34s
9th Bill Savage South Africa 7h 54m 54s
10th Phil Masterton-Smith South Africa 8h 00m 10s
1934 Up (14th Race)
Date Thursday, 24 May
Weather Very cold. Intermittent showers all day.
Start Venue/Time Durban City Hall / 6:00
Finish Venue Alexandra Park Athletic and Cycle Track (The Duck Pond)
Time Limit 11 Hours
Approx. Distance 54 M
Entries Unknown
Starters 40
Finishers – Total 24
Men 24
Medals – Gold 6
Silver 18
% Finishers / Starters 60.0


As in 1933, rain was again threatening when the field of 40 threaded its way out of Durban. Perennial pacemaker, Harold Ward, assumed the early lead and reached Westville in 52 minutes; 8 minutes faster than when he led the race to that point in 1932. He was already 5 minutes ahead of Lionel Knight and Jimmy Sandison. A cold wind blew up at this time and short, sharp showers, which were to be troublesome for the rest of the day, were the cause of cramp for many runners.

As Ward made his way to Pinetown, positions were changing behind him. When he was clocked at the Compton Street intersection in 1h 32m, Ward was followed by Ivor Luke, Jimmy Scoulelis, Knight and Sandison. The fancied pairing of Hardy Ballington and Bill Cochrane was a fair way back.

Luke caught Ward at Gillitts. The pair reached Hillcrest together in 2h 39m. Sandison trailed them by another 5 minutes. Ballington, Cochrane and Noel Burree were clocked at 2h 51m. Always the catalyst, Botha’s Hill brought dramatic changes among the leaders. Ward slackened and both Luke and Sandison went ahead of him. Knight struggled with cramp but hung in. Sandison inherited the lead when Luke stopped for a massage at the top of the hill. Ballington and Cochrane, still running together, were steadily working their way through the top runners.

Sandison reached Drummond in 3h 36m 20s followed by Luke (3h 39m), Bill Rufus (3h 42m 30s) and Cochrane and Ballington (3h 42m 35s).

Ballington struck trouble while climbing Inchanga, leaving Cochrane to go after the leaders. At Cato Ridge, Cochrane had cut Sandison’s lead to just 2 minutes. A short distance beyond Cato Ridge, Sandison slumped down for another massage and, as he resumed running, Cochrane charged past; looking every bit a winner.

Meanwhile, Ballington had come through his bad patch and was relentlessly cutting the distance between himself and Cochrane. He finally caught Cochrane, who was feeling a few twinges of cramp, at Umlaas Road. Ballington, now moving with a free, untroubled gait, sailed up Polly Shortt’s, putting paid to Cochrane’s chances.

Victory was never in doubt as Ballington strode into the city and was awarded a rousing welcome as he breasted the tape in Alexandra Park to record a second successive victory, missing Arthur Newton’s Best Time for the Up Run by 12 minutes.  


1st Hardy Ballington South Africa

7h 09m 03s

2nd Bill Cochrane South Africa 7h 24m 41s
3rd Ivor Luke South Africa 7h 44m 39s

Fred Wallace

South Africa 7h 57m 13s
5th Jimmy Sandison South Africa 7h 59m 57s
6th O.S. Matterson South Africa 8h 26m 50s
7th Lionel Knight South Africa 8h 29m 51s
8th Liege Boulle South Africa 8h 32m 47s
9th Noel Burree South Africa 8h 46m 20s
10th Vernon Jones South Africa 8h 49m 53s
1935 Down (15th Race)
Date Friday, 24 May
Weather Cold at start. Mild to warm later.
Start Venue/Time Pietermaritzburg City Hall / 6:00
Finish Venue Track Ground
Time Limit 11 Hours
Approx. Distance 56 M
Entries Unknown
Starters 48
Finishers – Total 34
Men 34
Medals – Gold 6
Silver 28
% Finishers / Starters 70.8


The big question in everybody’s mind was “would Hardy Ballington record the first hat-trick since Arthur Newton in 1924?”

An unknown factor was the entry of Johnny Coleman of Durban who was expected to perform well in the up-coming Olympic Marathon, in Berlin, the following year. With three outstanding talents, Ballington, Bill Cochrane and Coleman, pushing each other, Newton’s Best Time, for the Down Run, of 6h 24m 45s was deemed to be in jeopardy. It was going to be a thriller… and it was.

Harold Ward, as usual, went into an immediate lead, setting a cracking pace which blew away many of the inexperienced runners. The experienced runners normally let him go, but not on this occasion. There was too much at stake.

With a quarter of the journey completed, Ward led at Umlaas Road in 1h 28m. Less than 2 minutes adrift, followed a group which contained all the big names; Jimmy Sandison, Ballington, Sarel Pretorius, Ivor Luke, Coleman and Cochrane.

When Ward was timed at Cato Ridge at 2h 7m, the field was very congested behind him. Luke went by in 2nd position, less that a minute behind. He was followed by Ballington, Cochrane and Pretorius (2h 8m 15s), Coleman (2h 8m 20s) and Sandison (2h 8m 30s). Just 15 minutes separated the first 21 runners through Cato Ridge.

Three miles further on, a group consisting of Ballington, Cochrane, Pretorius and Coleman swept past both Ward and Luke to take a shared lead. At this point, taking advantage of a good spell, Cochrane sprang a surprise, and went to the front, and entered Drummond in 3h 4m 15s. Two minutes later came Ballington and Coleman running side by side.

Cochrane’s pace never slackened as he raced on towards Durban and led the field through Hillcrest in 3h 52m 15s. Coleman was next through in 3h 58m, followed by Ballington in 3h 59m. Cochrane pushed on untroubled and went through Kloof in 4h 32m. Coleman (4h 38m) and Ballington (4h 39m) followed him.

Cochrane dropped effortlessly down Field’s Hill and passed through Pinetown with an advantage of 13 minutes over Coleman and Ballington. A hot wind greeted the runners as they took on Cowie’s Hill. Cochrane appeared to have an unassailable lead but was he to pay for his earlier fast pace? The observant spectator would notice that his easy action was floundering as he headed for Westville. In the closing miles, it was Ballington who provided all the excitement as he cut, remorsefully, into Cochrane’s lead, closing to just 800 yards behind the leader. But had he also taken too much out of himself in his dash to catch Cochrane?

At Mayville, he began to wilt and must have given up hope of a third successive win as Cochrane drew away again. Down Old Dutch Road, Cochrane headed a flotilla of cars and cycles, but with Ballington still less than 2 minutes adrift, the result was not assured. He held on and achieved his ambition. At the end of a thrilling duel, Ballington arrived just 1m 51s later. 


1st Bill Cochrane South Africa

6h 30m 05s

2nd Hardy Ballington South Africa 6h 31m 56s
3rd Johnny Coleman South Africa 6h 55m 20s

Arthur Reeve

South Africa 7h 36m 20s
5th Sarel Pretorius South Africa 7h 39m 27s
6th Ivor Luke South Africa 7h 46m 19s
7th Liege Boulle South Africa 7h 49m 29s
8th Jimmy Sandison South Africa 8h 11m 55s
9th Allen Boyce South Africa 8h 13m 15s
10th Max Trimborn South Africa 8h 21m 13s