14 JUNE 2020

90KM DOWN RUN

History 1976-1979

RACE RESULTS

1976 Down (51st Race)
 Date Monday, 31 May
 Weather Sunny and hot.

 Temperature – Min/ Max:

 
 PMB 9/26
 DBN 10/25
 Start Venue/Time Pietermaritzburg City Hall / 6:00
 Finish Venue Kingsmead Stadium
 Time Limit 11 Hours
 Official Distance 90.100 km

 Winner’s Average Speed:

 
 Men 15.865 km/hr (3m 47s /km)
 Women 9.918 km/hr (6m 03s /km)
 Entries 1773
 Starters 1575
 Finishers – Total 1408
 Men 1402
 Women 6
 Medals – Gold 10
 Silver 220
 Bronze 1178
 % Finishers / Starters 89.4


THE MENS RACE

With 8 of the 1975 Gold Medallists in the line-up, a thrilling race was anticipated, particularly so with Cavan Woodward, the world 50- and 100-mile record holder, also entered.

Woodward revealed his intent from the gun, going into an immediate lead at a pace that left roadside spectators breathless. When he crested Polly Shortt’s Hill he already held a 5-minute lead over a massive group that included all the big names; Steve Atkins, Alan Robb, Vincent Rakabaela, Zwilitsha Gono, Dave Hensman, Gordon Baker, Dave Rogers, Derek Preiss and many others. On the long climb to Thornybush, Preiss and Hensman broke clear of the main bunch while Rogers dropped behind.

Woodward passed the Camperdown checkpoint in 1h 40m, with Atkins, Hensman, Robb, Rakabaela, Chris Hoogsteden and Rogers joint second in 1h 46m. Over the switchback Hills to Cato Ridge, Woodward maintained his massive lead. At this point, his main challengers were Atkins, Robb, Rakabaela, Hoogsteden, Baker, Preiss, Hensman and Rogers.

Going through Drummond in 2h 46m, Woodward was clearly showing signs of fatigue. Hoogsteden went by in 2h 51m followed by Atkins, Hensman, Preiss, Robb and Rakabaela together in 2h 52m. Baker retired at Drummond with an inflamed Achilles Tendon.

The tough pull out of Drummond began to take its toll on the early leaders with Woodward paying for his early pace and Atkins and Hensman falling away. On the run to Hillcrest, Rogers was moving well and making up valuable time. As Hillcrest drew near, Preiss, Robb and Rakabaela went ahead of their group and set off to catch Woodward and Hoogsteden. The order through the village was Woodward, with Hoogsteden trailing him by 90 metres. Then, moving freely, came the trio of Preiss, Robb and Rakabaela. Hoosteden caught Woodward and held the lead for a short while before falling back. The chasing trio soon overhauled both, and started the long drop down Field’s Hill together.

Then drama struck.

Robb surged as he started down the hill. Preiss went with him and immediately pulled up clutching his right thigh. The hamstring had gone. He hobbled on for some time but, in essence, his challenge for a hat trick of victories was over. Robb cruised through the checkpoint at the foot of the hill in 4h 16m, followed by Rakabaela and Hoogsteden (4h 17m), Preiss (4h 18m). Rogers trailed through a long way back in 4h 27m.

Rakabaela picked up the pace through Pinetown but by the foot of Cowie’s Hill, it was his undoing, allowing Robb to pull away. With Robb increasing his lead all the time, both Woodward and Rogers were moving strongly behind him. At the Tollgate, Robb’s substantial lead was never going to be challenged, and he entered Kingsmead Stadium a clear winner.

RESULT

1st Alan Robb South Africa

5h 40m 43s

2nd Cavin Woodward England 5h 49m 19s
3rd Dave Rogers South Africa 5h 52m 41s
4th Koos Sutherland South Africa 5h 53m 26s
5th Steve Atkins South Africa 5h 54m 39s
6th Chris Hoogsteden South Africa 5h 56m 02s
7th Rob Ashworth South Africa 5h 59m 01s
8th Vincent Rakabaela Lesotho 5h 59m 02s
9th Dave Hensman South Africa 6h 01m 08s
10th Derek van Eeden South Africa 6h 02m 54s

VETERANS (AGE 40 – 49)

1st Derek Kay (43) South Africa 6h 24m 00s
2nd Doug Hamilton (45) South Africa 6h 32m 00s
3rd Caspar Greeff (41) South Africa 6h 42m 00s


MASTERS (AGE 50 - 59)

1st Eddie Pritchard (57) South Africa

7h 16m 00s

2nd Pippin Oosthuizen (53) South Africa 7h 24m 00s
3rd Mercer Davies (51) South Africa 7h 50m 00s
 

THE WOMENS RACE

The small womens’ contingent, it was only the 2nd occasion on which they were competing, was vastly outnumbered by their male counterparts and always ‘lost’ in groups of male runners,

Lettie Kleynhans was timed at Drummond in 4h 25m, with Lettie van Zyl clocking in a minute later. Alet Ten Tusscher and Lynn Oberholzer were prominent among the rest of the field but were a long way off the pace.

Going through Hillcrest, Kleynhans was not running with the ease that was apparent earlier in the day and before she reached Winston Park, both Ten Tusscher and Oberholzer had gone past her. van Zyl, however, was away and never in any danger of being denied victory. She continually increased the distance between herself and the next two runners and crossed the finish line at Kingsmead a full half-hour before Ten Tusscher arrived with Oberholzer another 18 minutes further adrift  

RESULT

1st Lettie van Zyl South Africa

9h 05m 00s

Established Best Time Down

2nd Alet Ten Tusscher South Africa 9h 35m 00s
3rd Lynn Oberholzer South Africa 9h 53m 00s
4th Mavis Hutchinson South Africa 10h 06m 00s
5th Daphne Ledlie South Africa 10h 23m 00s

VETERANS (AGE 40 – 49)

1st Lettie van Zyl (43) South Africa

9h 05m 00s

Established Best Time Down

2nd Alet Ten Tusscher (41) South Africa 9h 35m 00s
3rd Daphne Ledlie (43) South Africa 10h 23m 00s
1977 Up (52nd Race)
1978 Down (53rd Race)
1979 Up (54th 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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