With baited breath the Assegaai Marathon Club’s committee members kept an eye on the weather this past week – with tropical cyclone Dineo threatening to wreak havoc along the eastern parts of the country.
There was a real possibility of having a very wet, very windy race day. But it turned out to be the best weather we could ask for on Saturday morning. While most people were still sleeping, the Piet Retief Rugby Club was a hive of activity already at 04:00 in the morning, and we were looking forward to hosting the athletes who came to take part in our 30th marathon.
Once again there was a record number of entries with a total of 508 athletes signing up for either our Fun Run, 10 km, 21.1 km or 42.2 km distances; the 10 km was definitely the favourite distance on the day with a total of 160 athletes taking part in that category.
This bodes well for the club and race, but also running in general as most people start with a 10 km before moving on to the longer distances. The weather was absolutely perfect for running, starting out with clear skies, before turning slightly overcast and misty for the better part of three hours after which the clouds cleared, making that home stretch for the marathon runners just somewhat sunnier and hotter.
The total prize money of R30 000 certainly drew a selection of very strong athletes, and it set the bar high for everyone competing for the top spots. The official results in each category were as follows:
42.2 km (male): 1. Collin Kohza: 02:29:36 2. Graham Malinga: 02:31:17 3. Basil Mazibuko: 02:41:36 42.2 km (female): 1. Eunice Nhlapo: 03:11:33 2. Winile Mnisi: 03:18:47 2. Helena Joubert: 03:26:09 21.1 km (male):
1. Ayanda Nkube: 01:08:26 2. Michale Mazibuko: 01:10:45 3. Bhekani Sithole: 01:11:19 21.1 km (female):
1. Samkelisiwe Tfloala: 01:31:32 2. Linah Mhlongo: 01:33:55 3. Xoli Madida: 01:38:12 10 km (male):
1. Siyabonga Nkonde: 00:32:16 2. S i b u s i s o Khubheka: 00:33:37 3. Sifiso Sibande: 00:33:42 10 km (female):
1. Wendy Msezane: 00:44:16 2. Zanele Mavimbela: 00:44:41 3. Ntombi – zoda Ncongwane: 00:48:13
As per usual, our water points were excellent and certainly ensured that the athletes were well hydrated and motivated along the gruelling route. With a total of eleven water points, the Assegaai Marathon is definitely one of the best in this regard, and the club extends a big thank you to all of our local businesses who volunteered their time & effort to assist the club.
The competition for the top three water points was strong this year, but it seems as if Charka is still a force to be reckoned with. Official winners for the water points were awarded as follows: 1. Charka (12 km mark) 2. TWK (10 km mark and turning point for 21.1 km) 3.
Andrie van der Walt Attorneys (2km mark and turning point for Fun Run) The Assegaai Marathon Club would like to thank our main sponsor, TWK, for their assistance not only on the day, but with the sponsor of the race packs, pre-entry Tshirts, medals and overall commitment to making this race one of the best we’ve hosted so far!
A heartfelt thanks also to all our volunteers who helped with entries, race prep and emergency trips to sort out last minute glitches. Also to Vince Aslett for our official photographs taken on the day, our race referees and Race Time who handled our timekeeping.
We, as a club, are convinced that with the support we received from everyone involved as well as the number of athletes who entered that we can grow this event to become one of the best in the area. Laat waai Assegaai!