Local running clubs again made their presence felt at the Comrades Marathon.
From the big running clubs with hundreds of members to the smaller clubs in Joburg, everyone was up for the challenge that was the 93rd Comrades Marathon on 10 June.
In Run Zone Athletics Club’s first-ever participation in the Comrades, the eight-month-old club from Berario fielded a whopping 151 runners at Comrades.
Exactly 140 runners finished within the cut-off time, making the new kid on the block one of the biggest and most competitive.
Thabang Moeketsi was the first to finish in 07:02:00.
Club owner, Graham Block said he was proud of every member who took part in the Comrades.
Pirates Road Running from Greenside saw a club record of 53 finishes and took 16 Bill Rowan medals (finishings between seven and a half hours and nine hours).
The club’s Jomo Mntungwa also beat the previous club record by five minutes to finish the Comrades in 06:21:00.
“The weather was overcast with only a little wind but that helped the average runner beat their previous best,” said club chairperson, David Case, who ran his sixth Comrades.
The Chamber Running Club from Emmarentia, while smaller but no less significant as a club, saw many injuries and drop-outs before the event so that only two of their runners ran the Comrades.
Nchoke Raphela, a seasoned Comrades runner, completed his run in 09:52:00, while Gareth Franklin ran his first Comrades in 08:07:00.
“Just finishing the Comrades is an achievement, so Gareth finishing so quickly on his first try is excellent,” said club chairperson, Tony Nocton-Smith.
“It takes a lot of planning and hard work to do a Comrades, and I am sure next year we will field a larger squad.”
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