14 JUNE 2020

90KM DOWN RUN

History 1990-1995

RACE RESULTS

1990 Up (65th Race)
 Date Thursday, 31 May
 Weather Cloudless and very hot.

 Temperature – Min/ Max:

 
 PMB 6/24
 DBN 15/25
 Start Venue/Time Old Durban Railway Station, Pine Street / 6:00
 Finish Venue Jan Smuts Stadium
 Time Limit 11 Hours
 Official Distance 87.400 km

 Winner’s Average Speed:

 
 Men 15.404 km/hr (3m 54s /km)
 Women 12.485 km/hr (4m 48s /km)
 Entries 12796
 Starters 11779
 Finishers – Total 10266
 Men 9616
 Women 650
 Medals – Gold 13
 Silver 847
 Bronze 9406
 % Finishers / Starters 87.2


THE MENS RACE

At 34 years of age, Bruce Fordyce acknowledged that his best years were behind him.

He had, however, committed himself to another Comrades, knowing that an attempt at the Up Record was not possible.

Once the massive field had left Durban, the race took on much the same shape as the previous Up Run in 1988. Boysie van Staden and Jetman Msuthu were, again, the first to emerge after the annual TV no-hopers had drifted into oblivion. The pair led through Pinetown, by which stage, Mark Page was running easily in 3rd place.

On the gentle downhill from Botha’s Hill to Drummond, Page caught the two leaders and the trio went past the halfway mark 5 minutes ahead of Fordyce who was experiencing uncomfortable episodes of nausea. He kept going, however, but the discomfort was palpable.

By Camperdown, Page and Msuthu had dopped van Staden and appeared confident, with Fordyce 4 minutes adrift. Meshack Radebe, from nowhere at halfway, had been working his way through those ahead of him, had drawn level with Fordyce. He looked a potential winner. Hoseah Tjale was also making positive moves and was about to enter the fray among the leaders.

Page, more than any of the leaders, was aware of Fordyce’s finishing power over his favourite stretch of road, so he pushed harder on the tantalizing downhill to Mpusheni, increasing his advantage to four-and-a-half minutes. As he commenced the ascent of Little Polly’s, Page was in absolute control and only needed to maintain his pace to win.

If Page had been aware of Fordyce’s bout of nausea, he might have put in a stronger, more decisive, surge. Running in joint 3rd position, with Radebe rubbing shoulders with him, Fordyce realised that his persisting nausea led him to believe that Radebe would out-run him on the hills before Pietermaritzburg.  

On Little Polly’s, for no apparent reason, Msuthu retired and Radebe fell off the pace. Up front, Page was starting to feel the first signs of fatigue, but his lead should still carry him through. Then, on Polly Shortt’s, cramp set in. Page turned and looked back in anguish. Fordyce was coming and there was nothing he could do about it. Try as he may, he was a beaten man. Fordyce surged to the front and ran unchallenged to the finish for a 9th victory.

He was not aware of Tjale’s sustained effort over the final few kilometres. Both Tjale and Radebe went past a devastated Page, in the final dash, to claim the minor places.

RESULT

1st Bruce Fordyce South Africa 5h 40m 25s
2nd Hoseah Tjale South Africa 5h 45m 19s
3rd Meshack Radebe South Africa 5h 45m 40s
4th Mark Page South Africa 5h 46m 42s
5th Jean-Marc Bellocq France 5h 47m 32s
6th Ephraim Sekotlong South Africa 5h 48m 01s
7th Boysie van Staden South Africa 5h 48m 37s
8th Shaun Meiklejohn South Africa 5h 48m 58s
9th Gary Turner South Africa 5h 49m 11s
10th Nick Bester South Africa 5h 52m 43s

VETERANS (AGE 40 – 49)

1st Johnny Halberstadt (40) South Africa 5h 59m 30s
2nd Peter McNamara (41) South Africa 6h 09m 53s
3rd Johan Schoeman (40) South Africa 6h 13m 33s


MASTERS (AGE 50 - 59)

1st John Dixon (50) South Africa

6h 43m 14s New Best Time Up

2nd Caspar Greeff (55) South Africa 6h 56m 19s
3rd Kenne de Kock (55) South Africa 7h 00m 37s

GRANDMASTERS (AGE 60 +)

1st Mike Gierke (60) South Africa

8h 22m 24s

2nd Willie Loedolff (62) South Africa 8h 48m 21s
3rd John Coulthard (60) South Africa 8h 53m 47s
 

THE WOMENS RACE

The best news in the lead-up to race day was that Lindsay Weight had submitted her entry. However, the sad news was that both Helen Lucre and Frith van der Merwe had elected to give the race a miss. This was a great disappointment as there were no other top contenders entered.

Having been away from Comrades for a few years, Weight’s state of fitness, and preparedness, was unknown. Based on her previous performances, however, she was expected to be near the front, when the race for top honours began.

Without any clear indicators to go on, anyone could emerge from the throng. From early on, it became clear that it was certain to develop into a tactical race rather than an attempt at a record, which appeared to be out of reach of any runner in the field.

The strategy looked like developing into a wait-and-see game. The lead changed regularly with Annette Schoeman, Nadine Harrison, Di Terreblanche, Tilda Tearle and Denise Lorenzen all enjoying, albeit brief, spells in the lead.

Going through Drummond, no more than 11 minutes separated the first five at the checkpoint. As the field assembled, in reasonably close order, on the outskirts of Durban, it was Naidene Harrison who led by 4 minutes, passing 45th Cutting. Following in her wake was Terreblanche, Tearle and Schoeman.

Harrison seemed very comfortable and, bearing a catastrophe, was unlikely to be reeled in. The uncertainty was, of the chasers, who had the reserves left to determine the final order. Over the final six kilometers the answer was revealed. Harrison held on, slightly increasing her margin of victory. Schoeman had that little extra, with Terreblanche and Tearle following her home at roughly two-minute intervals.

RESULT

1st Naidene Harrison South Africa

7h 02m 00s

2nd Annette Schoeman South Africa 7h 07m 35s
3rd Diana Terreblanche South Africa 7h 09m 42s
4th Tilda Tearle South Africa 7h 11m 16s
5th Jean Cooper South Africa 7h 17m 37s
6th Denise Lorenzen South Africa 7h 20m 57s
7th Carol Crosley South Africa 7h 27m 12s
8th Lindsay Weight South Africa 7h 27m 26s
9th Hazel Hairs South Africa 7h 29m 02s
10th Shirley Middlemost South Africa 7h 29m 31s

VETERANS (AGE 40 – 49)

1st Hazel Hairs (40) South Africa 7h 29m 02s
2nd Marietta Sassenberg (40) South Africa 7h 37m 52s
3rd Priscilla Carlisle (41) South Africa 7h 54m 43s

MASTERS (AGE 50 - 59)

1st Hazel Colborne (54) South Africa

9h 53m 54s

2nd Thelma Fouche (56) South Africa 10h 24m 45
3rd Judy van Niekerk (50) South Africa 10h 37m 45

GRANDMASTERS (AGE 60 +)

1st Anna Villet (64) South Africa

10h 58m 19

1991 Down (66th Race)
1992 Up (67th Race)
1993 Down (68th Race)
1994 Up (69th Race)
1995 Down (70th 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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