14 JUNE 2020

90KM DOWN RUN

History 2000-2005

RACE RESULTS

2000 Up (75th Race)
 Date Friday, 16 June
 Weather Warm sunny day.

 Temperature – Min/ Max:

 
 PMB 9/24
 DBN 11/23
 Start Venue/Time Durban Post Office, West Street / 5:30
 Finish Venue Scottsville Racecourse
 Time Limit 12 Hours
 Official Distance 87.300 km

 Winner’s Average Speed:

 
 Men 16.088 km/hr (3m 44s /km)
 Women 13.946 km/hr (4m 18s /km)
 Entries 24552
 Starters 23961
 Finishers – Total 20016
 Men 16716
 Women 3300
 Medals – Gold 20
 Silver 695
 Bill Rowan 3281
 Bronze 16020
 % Finishers / Starters 83.5


THE MENS RACE

If bookmakers had their way, there is little doubt that the defending Up Run champion, Dimitri Grishin, would have been installed as the odds-on, pre-race favourite. All the smart money would have been cast his way in view of him having won the previous two Up Runs. Others that would have been highly placed in the betting were Alexei Volgin and Vladimir Kotov. None of the top South African contingent was considered a threat to the East Europeans and, as the massive field left Durban in a trouble-free start, this view prevailed. Once the field crossed the city boundary, the early lead group comprised Volgin, Grishin, Grigoriy Murzin and Kotov and, although they interchanged positions as the race progressed up Cowie’s Hill, through Pinetown and up Field’s Hill, three South Africans, Walter Nkosi, Andrew Kelehe and Butiki Jantjies, had gone out with them.

On the rollercoaster drop from Field’s Hill to Drummond, Murzin broke free and reached the halfway point in 2h 43m 56s.

The chasing quintet, in close order, were clocked through halfway, at Drummond, in 2h 46m. The intimidating Inchanga failed to break any of them but, gradually, the changes commenced on the approach to Cato Ridge where Jantjies withdew. Nkosi fell off the pace shortly thereafter and ultimately out of contention. Going through Camperdown, it was clear that Kelehe was not running as easily as he had been earlier, and Murzin was rapidly being reeled in. Before he reached the highest point, near the water tower at Umlaas Road, he had surrended the lead.

The long descent to the bridge at Mpusheni brought no overall change between the three leaders but, with two big hills, Ashburton and Polly Shortt’s, beckoning, and knowing his ability as a climber, unless something spectacular occurred, it seemed that Grishin was a certain winner.

Then something spectacular, and unexpected, occurred. On the short drop from Ashburton, to the foot of Polly’s, Kotov pounced. Grishin failed to respond and, on the hill itself, Volgin also passed Grishin.

By now, Kotov was truly flying and, while the order over the final six kilometers remained unchanged, he breasted the tape, at the Scotsville Race Course, in a time of 5h 25m 33s; a new Best Time.

RESULT

1st Vladimir Kotov Belarus

5h 25m 33s New Best Time Up

2nd Alexei Volgin Russia 5h 27m 08s
3rd Dmitri Grishin Russia 5h 32m 47s
4th Donovan Wright South Africa 5h 35m 37s
5th Andrew Kalehe South Africa 5h 36m 32s
6th Fusi Nhlapo South Africa 5h 37m 46s
7th Walter Nkosi South Africa 5h 40m 18s
8th Don Wallace Australia 5h 42m 49s
9th Mikhail Kokorev Russia 5h 43m 15s
10th Anatoliy Korepanov Russia 5h 44m 38s

VETERANS (AGE 40 – 49)

1st Vladimir Kotov (42) Belarus

5h 25m 33s New Best Time Up

2nd Anatoliy Korepanov (41) Russia 5h 44m 38s
3rd Peter Camenzind (48) Switzerland 5h 57m 49s


MASTERS (AGE 50 - 59)

1st Hannes Meyer (54) South Africa

6h 56m 29s

2nd Robert Edouard-Betsy 51) South Africa 7h 13m 53s
3rd Sam Damane (50) South Africa 7h 26m 12s

GRANDMASTERS (AGE 60 +)

1st Danny Shongwe (60) South Africa 7h 40m 37s
2nd Calie Beneke (64) South Africa 7h 55m 53s
3rd Erwin Remmele (63) Germany 7h 58m 02s
 

THE WOMENS RACE

Although it was eleven years since her sensational 5h 54m 43s in the 1989 Down Run, Frith van der Merwe was still the darling, and sole South African hope, of the local supporters. Whether she could overcome the new ‘foreign invasion’ was uncertain.

Maria Bak, winner in 1995, and Birgit Lennartz, winner in 1999, were both in the line-up and neither could be discounted as being up there when the race for line-honours began.

First to emerge on the early climb to Toll Gate, was Comrades novice, Natalia Volgina. She retained the lead through Pinetown, up Field’s Hill and through Hillcrest, increasing the distance between herself and her chasers, but the first signs of fatigue were showing. It was clear that, on the climb up Botha’s Hill, they were slowly reeling her in.

Volgina, however, still led through Drummond but Bak, who passed through in 3h 03m 52s, was within striking distance. Following the two front-runners through the halfway point was Elvira Kolpakova (3h 11m 02s), Lennartz (3h 13m 07s), and a tiring van der Merwe (3h 17m 35s). 

By this stage, Volgina’s race was, clearly, over and she retired from the race soon after Bak powered past her, on the climb up Inchanga. Such was the emphatic manner of Bak’s attack, there was little doubt who would be victorious as she drew effortlessly further away from the rest of her rivals.

As van der Merwe slipped out of contention, to eventually finish in eleventh position, Grace De Oliveira made a brave effort to keep the South African hopes alive. It was, however, a lost cause. Despite running down many of those ahead of her, she could not catch Bak and Lennartz, and she alone prevented a clean sweep by the visiting runners and was the only local competitor in the top six positions.

RESULT

1st Maria Bak Germany 6h 15m 35s
2nd Birgit Lennartz Germany 6h 33m 55s
3rd Grace De Oliveira South Africa 6h 38m 45s
4th Elvira Kolpakova Russia 6h 43m 35s
5th Valentina Shatyayeva Russia 6h 46m 54s
6th Marina Bychkova Russia 6h 47m 29s
7th Carol Mercer South Africa 6h 49m 00s
8th Tanja Schaefer Germany 6h 51m 57s
9th René du Plessis South Africa 6h 53m 51s
10th Madeleen Otto South Africa 6h 57m 42s

VETERANS (AGE 40 – 49)

1st Maria Bak (41) Germany

6h 15m 35s

New Best Time Up

2nd Amor van Zyl (43) South Africa 7h 12m 59s
3rd Nancy Will (47) South Africa 7h 17m 07s

MASTERS (AGE 50 - 59)

1st Claudia Preston-Thomas (51) South Africa

8h 19m 37s

2nd Lavinia Petrie (55) New Zealand 8h 25m 48s
3rd Fran Pocock (50) South Africa 8h 31m 12s

GRANDMASTERS (AGE 60 +)

1st Annette Aliphon (60) South Africa

11h 19m 12s

2nd Greta Koerber (63) Germany 11h 30m 42s
3rd Judith Cohen (61) South Africa 11h 43m 20s
2001 Down (76th Race)
2002 Up (77th Race)
2003 Down (78th Race)
2004 Up (79th Race)
2005 Down (80th 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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