Archives for April, 2009

Amabeadibeadi charity campaign to raise R2 million in 2009

Posted on Apr 30, 2009 under Comrades Marathon | No Comment

Brief History
In 1999 the CMA decided to increase its “reach out” and giving back to local communities that were impoverished and in dire need of assistance. The CMA joined forces with the woman of a local KZN community and launched a Charity initiative in the form of “Beads for Charity.” The woman would manufacture beaded necklaces and these were then purchased by the CMA and sold to sponsors and runners. It was decided to do it in this way as this would alleviate the woman from distribution costs of their products, thus maximizing their profits, and allowing the CMA to sell the beaded necklaces with a slight mark up, and this percentage mark up is the finances that are raised and distributed to the 4 Charities.

It was decided in 2000 to give the Charity drive a more South African feel and name, hence Amabeadibeadi was created and continues to grow from strength to strength each year. A couple of years ago it was decided to try out alternative products and there was a major outcry form the Comrades runners and Comrades supporters that there were no beads. Thus the CMA brought back the Beads. This is the 10th anniversary of the Amabeadibeadi charity campaign, which has seen in excess of R10 Million rand raised for the various charities that have been supported during the years.

One must acknowledge that since the introduction of a top quality vehicle as a prize for the charity drive competition has seen a massive increase in revenue distributed to the Charities. The first year saw an increase of over R700 000 raised from previous years. To this we have to thank General Motors for their generous sponsorship of the Captiva, and their continued unwavering support of the Comrades Marathon.

Peter Proctor, CMA Vice Chairman “The 2008, Amabeadibeadi Charity drive raised over R1 million, through the sale of the Amabeadibeadi products and the Chevrolet win-a-car SMS competition. This year we hope to surpass the R2 million mark, and this will only be possible with the support from our generous sponsors, the public, and our Comrades Runners.”

“The best way to try and reach this mark is by having a top of the range prize on offer and link the Amabeadibeadi campaign to a sms competition. Chevrolet has come to the party once again and sponsored a Chevrolet Captiva, which will be awarded to the winner of the SMS competition at the end of Race Day on the 24 May.”

SMS the words “CAPTIVA” to 38275 and stand a chance of winning a Chevrolet Captiva.

The Charities that benefit from the Amabeadibeadi campaign are:

Runkeeper for iPhone

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 under Running | 1 Comment

Runkeeper is a great App for your GPS enabled iPhone that allows you to track all your running, cycling and walking activities.

Here you can see a screenshot from my latest run, up on beautiful table mountain (ca. 1 km behind the Cableway ground station:

randolf RunKeeper run up table mountain, cape town, south africa

South African Ernst van Dyk wins Boston Marathon in his wheelchair

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 under Running | No Comment

South African wheelchair athlete Ernst van Dyk won the Boston Marathon last Monday, 20 April, to continue a remarkable record of success in the prestigious race. It was his eighth win in nine years.

The Boston Herald, in its report on the race, appropriately headlined its story “Van Dyk an eighth wonder”. He won his first Boston Marathon in 2001 and since then has taken victory every year except for 2007, when he finished in third place.

His time of one hour, 33 minutes and 29 seconds was his slowest winning time yet – a long way off his amazing world record time of one hour, 18 minutes and 27 seconds in 2004 – but a strong headwind put paid to any thoughts of a fast race.

Equalled record

Van Dyk’s victory, nonetheless, pulled him level with Irishwoman Jean Driscoll’s record of eight victories in the Boston Marathon. Driscoll won the race from 1990 to 1996 and again in 2000.

He moved clear of his challengers after about five kilometres, but the ever increasing strength of the wind concerned the South African star, whose preparations for the race had been hampered by injuries, as well as by the birth of a daughter.

Van Dyk remained strong, however, and went on to claim victory by over three minutes over 2007 champion, Masazumi Soejima of Japan, who finished in one hour, 36 minutes and 57 seconds.

The Japanese star said after the race that he had been troubled by the wind, and vowed to put on weight so that he could challenge the heavier Van Dyk.

Schabort fourth

Spain’s Roger Paigbo Verdaguer finished 50 seconds later in 1:37:47, while former South African Krige Schabort, now an American citizen, was the top local racer, ending in fourth place in 1:38:06.

The 36-year-old Van Dyk, who won gold in the road race at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, says he will contest the Boston Marathon at least one more time; he wants to be the sole owner of the most victories in the history of the event.

Colleen De Reuck

Colleen de Reuck, who competed in three Olympic Games for South Africa, including the marathon in 1992 and 2000, before becoming an American citizen, excelled in the Masters division of the women’s marathon.

Now 45 years of age, De Reuck led the race until eight kilometres from the end. She eventually settled for eighth place in a time of 2:35:37, a minute and 13 seconds ahead of the second Masters’ finisher Alina Ivanova of Russia, who finished in tenth place.

Victory in the women’s race went to Kenya’s Salina Kosgei in 2:32:16. Ethiopia’s Dire Tune finished just a second behind her, while third place went to the USA’s Kara Goucher a further eight seconds back.

Deriba Merga of Ethiopia, fourth in the Beijing Olympics, captured the men’s title in 2:08:42. Kenya’s Daniel Rono finished in second place 50 seconds later, while Ryan Hall of the USA took third place eight seconds later.

Race history

The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon, having first been held in 1897, and it is also one of the world’s most famous races. It regularly attracts fields of about 20 000 competitors, but the record is almost double that at 38 000 in the centenary year of the race.

Wheelchair competition in the Boston Marathon began in 1975, when one entrant entered and completed the race.

12890 Entries for Comrades Marathon 2009

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 under Comrades Marathon | 1 Comment

The CMA is proud to announce that the final number for this years race is 12890. We are ecstatic at the fact that there has been a significant increase in the final number this year as from the previous 4 years. A 17% increase in entrants this year is testament that Road Running, Marathon Running and in particular, the Comrades Marathon is in a healthy position.

Of the 12890 entrants, there are:

130: International Runners – Woman
460: International Runners – Men
2120: South Africa Runners – Woman
10180: South Africa Runners – Men

From the 12890 entries 2404 runners are Novices, (first time Comrades Marathon runners).

Two Oceans Marathon 2009 results

Posted on Apr 14, 2009 under Two Oceans Marathon | No Comment

Foreigners once again dominated the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town on Saturday, with John Wachira of Kenya and Elena Nurgalieva of Russia claiming the men’s and women’s wins respectively in the 56-kilometre ultra-marathon.

Zimbabwe’s Marco Mambo, after wins in 2004, 2005, and 2008, was the man to watch, with his previous record of success. His win in 2008 was the fourth in five years for Zimbabweans; Moses Njodzi won in 2006, while Bethuel Netshifhefhe won for South Africa in 2007.

Like a wise veteran

Wachira, meanwhile, was contesting the Two Oceans Marathon for the first time, but the man from the famed Rift Valley, ran the race like a wise veteran, timing his run perfectly to catch Mambo near the end and pass him with the finish in sight.

He crossed the finishing line in three hours, 10 minutes and six seconds, with Mambo in second place 46 seconds behind him. Third place went to Mpesela Ntlotsoeu. Butiki Jantjies, in sixth, led the South African challenge.

The Nurgalieva twins were the hot favourites to win the women’s race. Elena had previously won it twice, in 2004 and 2005, while Olesya’s win in 2008 was in the second fastest time ever recorded in the race, 3:34:53, trailing only the record set by Frith van der Merwe in 1989 of 3:30:36.

Comfortable and enjoyable

Running together, the sisters ran what they described as their most comfortable and enjoyable Two Oceans ever.

They finished in 3:40:43, their slowest time yet in the event, but enough for a huge margin of 18 minutes over third placed Samukeliso Moyo of Zimbabwe.

Maybe they were saving something for the Comrades Marathon, which has been moved forward this year so as not to clash with the Fifa Confederations Cup. It takes place on 24 May.

While the Nurgalieva twins opted to contest the Two Oceans Marathons, a number of other leading runners chose to skip it because of the limited five-week break between the country’s two leading ultra-marathons.

SA’s best

South Africa’s best performer was Farwa Mentoor, who claimed fourth place in 15 seconds less than four hours, while Adinda Kruger ended fifth in 4:03:36.

Mentoor has been South Africa’s most consistent ultra-marathon performer for many years now. Before Riana van Niekerk finished sixth in the 2008 Comrades Marathon, two places ahead of her, Mentoor had been South Africa’s leading runner for six consecutive years.

Stephen Mokoka was the sole South African to be crowned champion. He captured line honours in the men’s half-marathon, finishing eight seconds ahead of runner-up Wirimai Juwawo in 63:42. Lusapho April was third in 63:55.

Namibia’s Helaria Johannes won the women’s half-marathon in 73:34. Over two minutes behind her, Mamarolla Tjoka claimed second place, with Tabitha Tsatsa in third. Annerien van Schalkwyk, in fourth, was the leading South African.



1. John Wachira 3:10:06, 2. Marco Mambo 3:10:52, 3. Mpesela Ntlotsoeu 3:11:56, 4. Stephen Muzhingi 3:12:05, 5. Henry Moyo 3:12:23, 6. Butiki Jantjies 3:13:53, 7. Modibe Mamabolo 3:14:43, 8. Lephetesang Adora 3:15:48, 9. Melikhaya Sithuba 3:16:40, 10. Sipho Ncube 3:17:11


1. Elena Nurgalieva 3:40:43, 2. Olesya Nurgalieva 3:40:43, 3. Samukeliso Moyo 3:58:47, 4. Farwa Mentoor 3:59:45, 5. Adinda Kruger 4:03:36, 6. Suzette Botha 4:05:28, 7. Joanna Thomas 4:08:41, 8. Jane Madau 4:10:06, 9. Ursula Frans 4:10:35, 10. Maya Lawrie 4:13:12


1. Stephen Mokoka 63:42, 2. Wirimai Juwawo 63:50, 3. Lusapho April 63:55, 4. Enos Matalane 64:14, 5. Elmore Sibanda 65:02, 6. Tshamano Setone 65:08, 7. Lindikhaya Mthangayi 65:15, 8. Boy Soke 65:18, 9. Samuel Pazanga 65:24, 10. Zolani Ntongana 65:27


1. Helaria Johannes 73:34, 2. Mamarolla Tjoka 75:43, 3. Tabitha Tsatsa 77:10, 4. Annerien van Schalkwyk 77:23, 5. Kim Laxton 78:43, 6. Jenna Chellenor 79:22, 7. Ronel Thomas 80:08, 8. Ntombesintu Ntshiliza 80:24, 9. Alae Brand 80:24, 10. Janene Carey 80:41

CMA vindicated in Shvetsov case

Posted on Apr 07, 2009 under Comrades Marathon | 1 Comment

After the 2007 Comrades Marathon, Leonid Shvetsov, the reigning Comrades Marathon Champion and holder of both the Up and Down run records respectively for the race, instituted a legal claim against the CMA for allegedly reneging on the incentive offered for setting a new record.

During 2008 the athlete alleged through his legal representatives that the CMA failed to hand over the 50 ounce gold statue that was on offer, (sponsored by Harmony Gold) should a runner break the Comrades Marathon course record in 2007.
At the time the CMA stated that the organisation had received written confirmation from Harmony Gold (PTY) Ltd, a personal sponsor of Leonid Shvetsov, as well as a CMA commercial sponsor in 2007, and sponsor of the Harmony Gold Running Club to which he was contracted at the time, that they (Harmony Gold (Pty) Ltd) had paid Shvetsov an agreed cash equivalent amount in lieu of the gold statue, thereby fulfilling the incentive offered by the CMA for breaking the record, and Harmony Gold (Pty) Ltd fulfilling its commercial agreement with the CMA and the athlete that set a new record.
In the light of this the CMA has consistently maintained that the dispute was not between the CMA and Shetsov but between the Athlete and his Club, Harmony Gold Running Club. According to Shvetsov Harmony Gold Running Club allegedly promised him a cash incentive, over and above any incentives offered by the CMA, if he set a new Comrades Marathon course record; a cash incentive which he alleges was never paid to him by Harmony Gold Running Club. The CMA cannot comment on this agreement between the Athlete and his personal contracted running club.
Consequently, after lengthy discussions between the legal representatives of the various parties (CMA, Shvetsov and Harmony Gold), the matter was settled out of court when Harmony Gold (PTY) Ltd agreed to pay Leonid Shvetsov an undisclosed cash settlement amount on behalf of the then Harmony Gold Running Club for the incentive that was in agreement between the running club and Shvetsov.
Dave Dixon, (Comrades Marathon Association Chairman) wishes to state categorically that the organisation has never and will never willingly renege on any of its obligations towards its runners and other stakeholders, and that the organisation will continue to uphold the values of quality service delivery, excellence, transparency and integrity that they are world renowned for.
Gary Boshoff (CMA General Manager) said that “the CMA has absolutely nothing to do with any, and all negotiations or discussions that take place between professional athletes and the various running clubs that contract the athletes to run on their behalf each year.
“The CMA responsibilities are vested with preparing and staging a world class ultra marathon each year, and that the CMA has its own commercial programme that has to be managed to ensure that the commercial rights afforded to these partners are upheld and delivered. Furthermore that should a CMA commercial partner offer any incentive / s that are achieved by an individual running the Comrades Marathon, that the CMA will manage the process of the transaction between the commercial partner and the athlete and make sure that the incentive is given to the athlete concerned. This is exactly what happened in the Shvetsov case.”

20 Facts about the Comrades Marathon you might not know

Posted on Apr 04, 2009 under Comrades Marathon | No Comment

There are some important and not-so-important facts about the Comrades Marathon that you should know:

  1. Gold medals are awarded to the first 10 men and women finishers.
  2. Silver medals are awarded to athletes who finish from position 11 to those finishing in under 7 hours 30 minutes.
  3. The Bill Rowan medal of silver and bronze is awarded to thoses athletes who complete the race between 7 hours 30 minutes and 9 hours.
  4. Bronze medals are awarded to athletes who finish the race in a time of between 9 hours and 11 hours.
  5. Copper medals – known as the Vic Clapham medal – go to those athletes who finish the race between 11 and 12 hours.
  6. Entrants who have completed 25 Comrades Marathons run for free.
  7. To prevent cheating, runners must use a digital technology called Championchips, which they lace into their running shoes. The Championchips have a unique code that is recorded at reading mats placed regularly along the route.
  8. The minimum age requirement is that competitors must turn 20 in the year of the race.
  9. All runners must pre-qualify for the Comrades by running in an officially recognised race.
  10. Entry forms for the Comrades Marathon are sent to every runner who competed in the most recent event. They are also available in sports stores and at running clubs in South Africa, while online entries can be obtained from the Comrades website.
  11. South African competitors must be licensed members of clubs affiliated to Athletics South Africa.
  12. The men’s “down run” record was set by Leonid Shvetsov in 2007 in a time of 5:20.49.
  13. The women’s “down run” record was set by Frith van der Merwe in 1989 in a time of 5:54.07.
  14. The men’s “up run” record also belongs to Leonid Shvetsov with a time of 5:24.48, run in 2008.
  15. The women’s “up run” record belongs to Elena Nurgalieva with a time of 6:09.23, run in 2006.
  16. A figurine of Hermes weighing 100 ounces of gold is on offer to the athlete who manages to better the record.
  17. The first South African man and woman to finish each receive a gold statue of Hermes weighing 25 ounces.
  18. In 2008, Dave Rogers completed his 43rd Comrades Marathon. He was met at the finish line by Clive Crawley, with whom he had shared the previous record for the most completed Comrades Marathons.
  19. The Comrades website allows people to check the history of any runner in the race simply by entering that person’s surname.
  20. Comrades Marathon House at 18 Connaught Street, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg, houses the Comrades Marathon Museum that includes photographs of former winners and an accurate scale model of the Comrades Marathon route.