14 JUNE 2020

90KM DOWN RUN

History 1936-1939

RACE RESULTS

1936 Up (16th Race)
 Date Monday, 25 May
 Weather Short shower 5 minutes before start. No more rain. Very cold wind.
 Start Venue/Time Durban City Hall, Smith Street / 6:00
 Finish Venue Alexandra Park Athletic and Cycle Track (The Duck Pond)
 Time Limit 11 Hours
 Approx. Distance 54 M
 Entries Unknown
 Starters 19
 Finishers – Total 13
 Men 13
 Medals – Gold 6
 Silver 7
 % Finishers / Starters 68.4


THE MENS RACE

With Johnny Coleman preparing for the Berlin Olympic Marathon and Bill Cochrane in retirement following his win in 1935, Hardy Ballington was ‘declared’ the winner many weeks before the race started.

Two questions, however, needed to be answered. Would he break Harry Phillips’ Best Time for the Up Run set in 1926, and how much will he beat it by?

Prospects were not too bright when a short shower fell 5 minutes before the start. Rain-damaged roads prevented pacesetter, Harold Ward from arriving in Durban. In his absence, Arthur Reeve assumed the role, setting so fast a pace that onlookers believed he would not last as far as Drummond. Dymock Parr, Ballington and Ray Sandison never permitted him to get too far away. At Westville, Reeve was 3 minutes ahead of Ballington and Sandison, with Liege Boulle another 100 yards back.

Reeve was being chased down and when he reached Pinetown in 1h 30m 53s, Ballington and Sandison were a mere 30 seconds behind. Field’s Hill, which they took in their stride, did not slow the leaders.

Reeve still held the lead at Hillcrest in 2h 30m 30s, followed by Ballington (2h 34m 45s), Sandison (2h 37m 50s) and Boulle (2h 42m 30s). Ahead, now lay the punishing Botha’s Hill. It was on Botha’s, 2 years earlier that Ward’s race floundered, and it was here that Reeve showed the first signs of fatigue.

He still led through Drummond in 3h 23m 15s but Ballington (3h 24m 33s) had him in his sights. Then came Sandison (3h 34m 55s) and Boulle (3h 40m 40s). Inchanga, always a nightmare climb, provided the setting for the last major change. Reeve was afflicted by a painful stitch, allowing Ballington, who climbed the hill with ease, to move into the lead. With Ballington now in the driving seat the race, for all intents and purposes, was over. His only opponents were the stopwatch and Harry Phillips’ Best Time.

It was now Ballington all the way. At Cato Ridge (4h 34m) he led Reeve (4h 43m) by 9 minutes, followed by Sandison (5h 10m) and Boulle (5h 20m). He reached Camperdown in 4h 57m 5s; 25 minutes ahead of the toiling Reeve. By Umlaas Road, the lead increased to 38 minutes with Fred Wallace and Boulle just 10 minutes behind Reeve.

There was no stopping Ballington. With the stopwatch showing 6h 12m, he ran onto the lower slope of Polly Shortt’s. Half an hour later he was threading his way through the traffic along the banks of the Umsunduzi River with the finish line just minutes away.

When he stopped running, the stopwatch answered both questions; 6h 46m 14s… a new Best Time for the Up Run by 11m 32s.

It was another 64 minutes before Reeve arrived. He suffered severely with stitches and blisters over the second half, but hung on gamely to beat Boulle by 15 seconds.


RESULT

1st Hardy Ballington South Africa

6m 46m 14s

New Best Time Up

2nd Arthur Reeve South Africa 7h 50m 53s
3rd Liege Boulle South Africa 7h 51m 08s
4th Fred Wallace South Africa 7h 53m 41s
5th Allen Boyce South Africa 8h 23m 51s
6th W.S. Sherriffs South Africa 8h 30m 07s
7th J.L. Pretorius South Africa 8h 30m 20s
8th D.R. Smith South Africa 8h 44m 35s
9th Ray Sandison South Africa 9h 18m 16s
10th Max Trimborn South Africa 9h 26m 00s
1937 Down (17th Race)
1938 Up (18th Race)
1939 Down (19th Race)

1921 BILL ROWAN

1923 ARTHUR NEWTON

1930 WALLY HAYWARD

1931 PHIL MASTERSTON-SMITH

1933 HARDY BALLINGTON

1933 MAX TRIM-BOURNEN

1952 TREVOR ALLEN

19353 WALLY HAYWARD

19358 JACKIE MECKLER

1975 ELIZABETH CAVANAUGH

1975 VINCENT RAKABAELE

1979 ALAN ROBB

1983 BRUCE FORDYCE

1984 LINDSAY WEIGHT

1989 FRITH VAN DER MERWE

1989 SAMUEL TSHABALALA

2013 ELENA NURGALIVEA

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