14 JUNE 2020

90KM DOWN RUN

History 1980-1985

RACE RESULTS

1980 Down (55th Race)
 Date Saturday, 31 May
 Weather Cold at start, warming to mild late morning with clouds mid afternoon.

 Temperature – Min/ Max:

 
 PMB 4/20
 DBN 14/20
 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 15.937 km/hr (3m 46s /km)
 Women 12.316 km/hr (4m 53s /km)
 Entries 4710
 Starters 4208
 Finishers – Total 3977
 Men 3942
 Women 35
 Medals – Gold 10
 Silver 617
 Bronze 3350
 % Finishers / Starters 94.5


THE MENS RACE

‘Johnny Halberstadt is the one to beat.’

The entire press world was all on the same bandwagon. Every newspaper in the country was echoing each other… and why shouldn’t they? In the past year, he had broken the All-Africa standard marathon record with a 2h 12m 19s on the Durban beachfront and seven weeks before Comrades he won the 56-kilometre Pieter Korkie ultra.

1979 Winner, Piet Vorster, had done nothing since, and Alan Robb had a disappointing run of results that year.   

On a cold, bracing morning, leading the avalanche of runners down Polly Shortt’s, was Aaron Gumbi, Elliot Dlamini, Chris Mkhize and Gordon Kruger. On the long 6-kilometre climb to the water tower at Umlaas Road, the only change in the lead positions was that Lawrence Hlope had moved into 3rd place. The ‘big names’ were nowhere to be seen.    

Going through Camperdown, Hlope had gone to the front. The lead times were Hlope (1h 33m 10s), Gumbi and Dlamini (1h 33m 35s) and Mkhize (1h 34m 20). Some 700 metres off the pace, Robb, Halberstadt, Geoff Bacon and Vorster went past together in 1h 35m 52s.

Hlope still led from Gumbi and Dlamini at Cato Ridge. Running strongly, 800 metres behind the leader, but with only metres between them, were Robb, Halberstadt, Malcolm Ball and Bacon. Behind them, Deon Holzhauzen was moving into the picture.

The big change came at Harrison Flats. Hlope was tiring and the Robb group had caught the fading Gumbi and Dlamini duo. Hlope climbed Inchanga well enough but Holzhauzen, now in 2nd place was catching him.

He went to the front on the run down to the halfway mark at Drummond where the order was Holzhauzen (2h 45m 16s), Hlope (2h 45m 45s), Bacon (2h 46m 00s), Hoseah Tjale (2h 46m 25s), Robb (2h 46m 27s), Ball and Halberstadt (2h 46m 50s) and Vorster (2h 47m 5s). Bruce Fordyce went through in 19th position in 2h 53m.

Going past Kearsney College, Bacon held a narrow lead over Tjale and Holzhauzen with Robb, Halberstadt and Vorster not too far back. With the pace quickening, Holzhauzen was weakening and Robb went past him in the saddle between Botha’s Hill and Hillcrest. Approaching the centre of the village, Tjale went ahead of Bacon. Robb was a minute behind, and Halberstadt a further 30 seconds adrift. Fordyce had climbed up to 5th place at this stage and looked threatening.

The race was now wide open with 30 bone-jarring, downhill kilometres to the finish. Tjale blazed the trail through Gillitts, leading from Bacon, Halberstadt and Robb. Tjale had built a substantial lead by the time he went through Kloof where he was 1m 14s ahead of Bacon. Robb was next, 3 minutes behind the leader, with Ball in 4th place.

Thriving on the long downhill, Tjale was greeted by a massive crowd in Pinetown where the order was Tjale (4h 13m 20s), Robb (4h 15m 50s), Ball (4h 16m 2s), Joe Claase (4h 18m 17s) and Fordyce (4h 18m 41s). Cowie’s Hill was the downfall of Tjale. He laboured up the hill and at the top, his lead over Robb was down to 1m 52s. Tjale held on gamely but at the exit to Westville, Robb was just 20 metres away. Moments later, Tjale stopped, clutching his cramping thighs allowing Robb to hit the front.

Entering Durban, first Ball and then Fordyce went past the struggling Tjale. At 45th Cutting, the order was Robb (5h 5m 49s), Ball (5h 7m 14s) and Fordyce (5h 8m 16s). Robb never slackened on his way down Berea Road, even though Fordyce opened the throttle and overhauled Ball metres before the entrance to Kindsmead Stadium.

But it was Robb’s day and he earned a deserved 4th victory. Fordyce out-sprinted Ball to take second place.

RESULT

1st Alan Robb South Africa 5h 38m 25s
2nd Bruce Foryce South Africa 5h 40m 31s
3rd Malcolm Ball South Africa 5h 40m 45s
4th Tim Briscoe South Africa 5h 46m 20s
5th Tony Abbott South Africa 5h 47m 27s
6th Hoseah Tjale South Africa 5h 50m 12s
7th Dave Ryan South Africa 5h 52m 46s
8th Joe Claase South Africa 5h 53m 33s
9th Tammy Bilibana South Africa 5h 56m 49s
10th Ian Emery South Africa 5h 57m 42s

VETERANS (AGE 40 – 49)

1st Dave Ryan (41) South Africa 5h 52m 46s
2nd Calie Beneke (43) South Africa 6h 04m 00s
3rd Henry Spires (40) South Africa 6h 19m 00s


MASTERS (AGE 50 - 59)

1st Jarrie van Jaarsveld (54) South Africa

7h 06m 00s

2nd Charlie Chase (52) South Africa 7h 07m 00s
3rd Roy Wise (51) South Africa 7h 08m 00s

GRANDMASTERS (AGE 60 +)

1st Doug Horton (65) South Africa

8h 26m 50s

New Best Time Down

2nd Eddie Pritchard (61) South Africa 8h 30m 00s
3rd Allen Boyce (66) South Africa 8h 50m 00s
 

THE WOMENS RACE

The Old Guard was gone… it was as if they had evaporated… and a new generation descended on the Comrades scene.

A record field of 48 lined up outside the City Hall. Among them was 1979 winner, Jan Mallen. There was also Gail Ingram who broke the Two Oceans record over Easter, and the speedy Cape Town student Isavel Roche-Kelly. One who, also, could not be overlooked was three-time winner, Lettie van Zyl.

The early leader, as the field left the city, was Cheryl Jorgensen. Two novices, Isavel Roche-Kelly and Ralie Smit, were tucked in close behind. Roche-Kelly moved ahead of Smit on the arduous climb up to the highest point at Umlaas Road.  Over the hills through to Drummond, Jorgensen gradually built a slender lead, but Roche-Kelly was never more than a few minutes behind. The two front runners steadily increased the distance between themselves and Smit. Jorgensen led through Hillcrest, Kloof and Pinetown, but on the climb up Cowie’s Hill, Roche-Kelly, slowly, began making inroads into the distance separating her from the leader.

Passing through Westville, Roche-Kelly caught sight of Jorgensen and 2 kilometres further on, 10 kilometres from the finish, she wrested the lead. At that point, it was race over. Jorgensen hung on gamely but the honours went to Roche-Kelly who entered the finish stadium to become the first women earn a Silver Medal with a stunning new Down Record on 7h 18m. Jorgensen followed 4 minutes later, also going under the Silver barrier of 7h 30m.

RESULT

1st Isavel Roche-Kelly * South Africa

7h 18m 00s New Best Time Down

2nd Cheryl Jorgensen South Africa 7h 22m 00s
3rd Ralie Smit South Africa 7h 50m 00s
4th Gail Ingram South Africa 7h 52m 00s
5th Joan Clark South Africa 8h 04m 00s
6th Clara Faure South Africa 8h 10m 00s
7th Marie-Jean Duyvejonck South Africa 8h 39m 00s
8th Yvonne Sumner South Africa 8h 43m 00s
9th Paddy Williams South Africa 8h 48m 00s
10th Laura Hofer South Africa 8h 49m 50s

* First Sub-8:00 and Sub-7:30 Down Run. Isavel Roche-Kelly was killed in a cycling accident in Northern Ireland during July 1984.

VETERANS (AGE 40 – 49)

1st Yvonne Sumner (45) South Africa 8h 43m 00s
2nd Alet Ten Tusscher (45) South Africa 8h 55m 00s
3rd Lettie van Zyl (47) South Africa 9h 20m 00s

MASTERS (AGE 50 - 59)

1st Anna Villet (53) South Africa

9h 58m 00s New Best Time Down

1981 Up (56th Race)
1982 Down (57th Race)
1983 Up (58th Race)
1984 Down (59th Race)
1985 Up (60th Race) Diamond Jubilee Year

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

© 2019 Comrades. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Hostitworld