Archives for May, 2009

How to enter Comrades Marathon 2010

Posted on May 30, 2009 under Comrades Marathon | 12 Comments

The overwhelming response for entries for the 2009 Comrades Marathon is hopefully a sign of the excellent interest in the Comrades Marathon. The 17% increase in race entries this year must be attributed to the extensive marketing campaign undertaken by the CMA, both locally and abroad.

The 2010 Comrades Marathon also coincides with the 85th anniversary of The Ultimate Human Race. 2010 will see the race run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, a down run. The CMA announced that there will be a commemorative “double-down” medal for  all novice runners that complete this years and next years race. The CMA will enter into an extensive marketing campaign, through various mediums, as well as road shows across South Africa. The CMA has also put in place a comprehensive international marketing campaign, the first step of which has been achieved with the appointment of International Ambassadors across Europe, South and North America, and Australia.

Entry numbers for the 2010 and 85th anniversary of the Comrades Marathon will be cut off at 20,000 runners, and no extensions will be entered into, thus making the 2010 run a special event as the CMA has never had a cut off number in the past. We are confident that this number will be achieved very quickly as in 2000 we received 24,000 entries. Therefore we urge all runners and potential runners that wish to run in 2010 to take careful note of the entry process and the cut off dates. We therefore request that you enter early to avoid disappointment. Entries will be done in 2 phases.

Phase 1:
1 September 2009: Entries open to all previous Comrades Runners and will close 31 October 2009. The total will be capped at 15,000 entrants.

Phase 2:
1 November 2009: Entries open to all Novices and will close on 30 November 2009. Total number of entries will be capped at 20,000. Thus should there only be 12,000 entries from previous runners, there would be 8,000 entries accepted for Novices.

Qualifying period for 2010 will be as follows: 24 May 2009 to 26 April 2010. Runners who finish the 2009 Comrades Marathon can use their finishing time for 2010.

As in 2009, runners will be able to enter before they qualify. This means while all entries will have to meet the entry criteria above, runners will still be allowed to qualify in official qualifying races up until the month of April, with the 26th April as the final cut-off date. Upon qualification, runners simply need to give the time and details of the qualifying race through to the CMA office. Upon receiving the qualifying information the runner’s entry will be confirmed.

Race Day is Sunday 30 May 2010.

Comrades finisher report by Onne de Boer

Posted on May 25, 2009 under Comrades Marathon | 2 Comments

Onne de BoerThis is a race-day report from 2009 Comrades Marathon finisher Onne de Boer whom we met on Twitter where he is one of our loyal followers. We thank you for this piece and ask our readers to submit more wonderful articles like this:

Hi, my name is Onne de Boer.  I live in Canada, in the Maritime province of New Brunswick. I’m 45 years old, have been running most of my life. Not competitively, I have been competing in triathlon. My greatest athletic feat to date is the 25th Anniversary of Ironman Canada. Finishing in 11:56 (Pictured on the right)

Qualifying and Training for Comrades
The event I used for qualifying was called “Not the Honolulu” Marathon in November of last year. This event is a self sufficient event, meaning I have to carry everything for the distance there is no support. A good friend accompanied me on the second half of the marathon, which was the  official half for the day. I finished sub 4 hours for a D grouping at Comrades.

I followed the sub nine hour training program from the Comrades site. Training started in January – a little bit of running prior to that, but nothing formal. Please know that training was very difficult, I was usually in temperatures that ranged from -5 to -20 Celsius. On more then one occasion my water froze next to my body under my layers of cloths. Weather improved by April and there were a few days I could run in shorts and a jacket.

Once in PMB my family hooked me up with Christopher Zondi (15566) 14 time, now 15 time finisher of Comrades. We ran together a few days and the benefit of having someone local is that I didn’t have to pay attention to where I was. Thank you Chris! A true Comrade!

Race day
I had a restful sleep in PMB. I was awake at 3am, rested until 3.30 and then got up for a bowl of oatmeal and some hydration. Read the rest of this entry »

Comrades Marathon 2009 results

Posted on May 24, 2009 under Comrades Marathon | 3 Comments

33 year-old Stephen Muzhingi from Zimbabwe won the 2009 Comrades Marathon in time of 5:23:27. Second place Leonid Shvetsov of Russia in 5:33:10 and third place Charles Tjiane in 5:34:21. Stephen Muzhingi reached 3rd place in last years 2008 Comrades.

Muzhingi said he realised he could tell he was in stronger shape when he passed defending champion and record holder, Leonid Shvetsov, and knew then that he could win.

“Coming into the race, my only aim was to run sub 5:30. When I was about 100 metres behind Leonid, I started to relax but when I caught him, I knew I had the race.”

Muzhingi said he hadn’t thought about the 5:20:41 record, set by Shvetsov in 2007, but about three kilometres from the finish, spectators told him he had a chance to go for it, so he ran faster. However, by then it was too late but his time of 5:23:27 is the second best time ever for a Comrades Marathon!

Olesya Nurgalieva won the 2009 women’s Comrades Marathon in 6:12.12. Her twin sister, Elena Nurgalieva, who finished first in 2008, came second in 6:13.14 followed by another Russian, Tatyana Zhirkova in 6:15:03.

Pos Name RaceNo Country Gender Time
1 Stephen Muzhingi 55925 Zimbabwe Male 05:23:27
2 Leonid Shvetsov 49670 Russia Male 05:33:10
3 Charles Tjiane 56834 South Africa Male 05:34:21
4 Fusi Nhlapo 14084 South Africa Male 05:36:17
5 Lucas Nonyana 52634 South Africa Male 05:39:29
6 Mncedisi Mkhize 27026 South Africa Male 05:41:14
7 Bongmusa Mthembu 31020 South Africa Male 05:41:52
8 Peter Molapo 32757 South Africa Male 05:42:25
9 BethuelNetshifhefhe 28689 South Africa Male 05:43:35
10 Harmans Mokgadi 47411 South Africa Male 05:44:49
Pos Name RaceNo Country Gender Time
1 Olesya Nurgalieva 19988 Russia Female 06:12:12
2 Elena Nurgalieva 19987 Russia Female 06:13:14
3 Tatyana Zhirkova 19986 Russia Female 06:15:03
4 Marina Myshlyanova 56699 Russia Female 06:30:42
5 Farwa Mentoor 25609 South Africa Female 06:45:33
6 Lesley Train 47434 South Africa Female 07:01:07
7 Marina Bychkova 39390 Russia Female 07:03:24
8 Lindsay Van Aswegen 11096 South Africa Female 07:08:55
9 Belinda Waghorn 39498 South Africa Female 07:09:36
10 Kashmira Parbhoo 20171 South Africa Female 07:16:13

Congratulations to all finishers from!

Stephen Muzhingi wins Comrades Marathon 2009 in 5:23:27!

Posted on May 24, 2009 under Comrades Marathon | 3 Comments

Stephen Muzhingi33 year-old Zimbabwean Stephen Muzhingi won this years Comrades Marathon from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, in 5:23:27, the second fastest time in history today.

Second place goes to last years Comrades Winner Leonid Shvetsov of Russia in 5:33:10 and third place Charles Tjiane in 5:34:21.

The team from congratulates Stephen Muzhingi for breaking Russian domination of the men’s race!

More coverage and a 2009 Comrades result overview will follow later today.

Nutrition Tips for race day by Dietician Rowena Curr

Posted on May 23, 2009 under Nutrition | No Comment

Your main nutrition goals for raceday, are to maintain your carbohydrate and fluid stores. This is vital if you would like to optimize your performance, or you just want to avoid “hitting the wall” (i.e. feeling of extreme fatigue, legs of lead, dizziness and confusion – obviously not ideal for any runner hoping to finish).

Dietician Rowena Curr RD (SA) compiled these following helpful tips:

  • The most important thing for raceday, is never to do something for the first time. Make sure that you have your nutrition strategies worked out, and have practiced them as part of your longer training runs or races leading up to Comrades.
  • Unless you have a second that will be providing you with everything you need on the day – practice with the drinks and food that will be available on raceday at the seconding tables.
  • Ideally your pre-race meal should be eaten about 3 hours before the start. However, if this is not possible you can eat a smaller meal 1-2 hours before (this just depends on your usual rate of digestion – make sure you practice, practice, practice!). Whatever you choose to eat must be high in carbohydrate, low in fat, low or moderate in protein, and low in fibre (this is to prevent any discomfort – fat and protein take longer to leave the stomach than carbohydrate). Suitable foods include breakfast cereals or porridge with low-fat milk or yoghurt, toast with jam/syrup/peanut butter, or banana and peanut butter sandwiches.
  • If you struggle to eat solids before a race, it is a good idea to take in something liquid (e.g. liquid meal replacement, fruit smoothie or just an energy drink). Just ensure that you have a substantial meal the night before.
  • Sip on a sports drink in the 2 hours leading up to the start (just allow time to go to the toilet!)
  • Make use of sports drinks during the race – they are very useful to meet both carbohydrate and fluid needs at the same time. Diluted coke also works well.
  • Start drinking early on in the race (within the first 30 minutes). Avoid waiting until later in the race, as you will be more likely to “hit the wall”, and it will be difficult for you to recover.
  • Fluid requirements differ from runner to runner, and are determined by sweat rate, exercise intensity, environmental temperature, humidity, body surface area, gender, and genetics. For this reason, it is important to experiment in training, in order to work out your own fluid requirements, and to prevent both dehydration and overhydration.
  • General hydration advice is to drink little and often. You should aim to drink ad libitum between 400-800ml per hour, with the higher rates for the faster, heavier runners and the lower rates for the slower runners/walkers. If conditions are warm, you will need more fluid as opposed to running in cooler conditions.
  • Aim to take in 30-60g of carbohydrate per hour. Most sports drinks will provide 30-60g in 500-1000ml. Gels contain approximately 30g per gel (make sure you drink 250-350ml water per gel). Most sports or cereal bars contain 20g, 3 baby potatoes contain 15g, 5 jelly babies contain 15g, 1 large banana contains 20g, ½ jam/marmite sandwich contains 15g, and 4 dried apricots contain 15g.

Author Dietician Rowena Curr RD (SA) is a private practicing dietician at the Kings Park Sports Medicine Centre in Durban and at the Victoria road medical centre in Pietermaritzburg. She has a postgraduate degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from UCT as well as an honours degree in Sports Science from the University of Stellenbosch. She has represented South Africa as a junior and elite triathlete and currently competes in various triathlons and multisport events. Rowena Curr can be contacted via 082 4257234 or via e-mail.

How to calculate your Comrades finishing time

Posted on May 12, 2009 under Comrades Marathon | No Comment

No matter how good your training has been, when it comes to Sunday 24 May 2009, you better have a strategy on how you are going to run to reach your goal.

By following the steps below you will be able to:

  • A prediction of your realistic finish time
  • The information you require to determine which Comrades Wrist Bands you require for pacing
  • Instructions on how to use the pacing band
  • Note: Pacing Bands are ONLY available at the Comrades Expo Stand for R30 with the money going towards the Comrades Charities.

What is your Realistic Potential Finish Time?

  • Look back at all your race times of the past 12 months and select the best three performances
  • All three times should be flat out races / time trials
  • Ideally have a 5km or 10km race time from late April or early May
  • Include your best 42km or 56km time in the last 12 months
  • Play with the choice of your third time, which may be a repeat of one of the others or a distance between them, but use the one that gives the best Comrades finish time – This will be your best realistic starting time!

How much have you trained?

  • Find your predicted finish time on table 1.
  • Under the finish time find the marathon time closest to your PB
  • Determine the corresponding required training distance.
  • How does that compare to your total training distance between December and May?
  • If you are over 15% higher or lower ADD (in both cases) 15-20 minutes to your predicted Potential finish time.
    [Note: this confirms that if you do too much you get slower NOT faster finishing times]
  • Now go to this new finishing time and see which pacing band you require. (7 Hour to 12 Hour)
  • Go to the Coach stand at Comrades Expo and buy your pacing band for R20
  • The Pacing points are shown on photographs here and will be marked on race day with yellow tape across the road.

Visualise and Run the Comrades Route by Podcast:
Norrie Williamson will take you over the whole 89.17km Down-Run describing exactly where each of the hills and downhill sections are, and providing advice on where to hold back. This in-depth podcast allows you to be sure of exactly where the different pacing points are and to relax and visualize yourself running the route. Together with the pacing point photos it’s the ideal way for those who have not seen or experienced the route to get a better understanding of what they will face on Sunday 24 May. For previous Comrades Runners it’s a reminder of those tricky hills you have forgotten about – but lie in wait to trip you on Comrades day.
For pod cast of the full route description click here
(Note: The podcasts are quite long so do take time to download and are best heard on ADSL / 3G platforms)

The Pacing Bands

Each pacing band has 14 pacing points with corresponding times that you should run to and through these points.
To see pictures of these points Click HERE Each point has a photo, together with a indication and short description of where they can be found on the route. These points will be marked with distinctive yellow tape on the road on race day.

Average Pace

Although each band has an average pace, it would be impossible to run the Comrades route constantly at that pace. The pacing on the Comrades Wrist band takes into account the grueling and highly diverse nature of the Down Comrades in timing your run through to Durban. This means that in some sections you will be considerably slower than average pace, where these slower times are bought back by running slightly faster over the longer downs.

Run and Walk to success

Any runner with a finish over 7 hours should incorporate a run and walk schedule into the pacing. As a guide 9:00 and under should run 9km with 2-3minute walks, 9:00 to 11:00 should run 6 km with 2-3 min walks, 11-12 hour finishers can work on 3km with 2-3 min walks. Some runners are so sold on the run and walk schedule that they simply mix 9 minutes of running with 1 minute of walking the whole way through, and are then able to blast the last sixth of the race to the finish. The important principle in any run and walk regime is to start this regime right from the gun and continue it throughout the race, DO NOT wait until you are tired: by then it’s too late!

Silver, Bill Rowan, and Bronze Cut offs:

If your predicted time indicates that your potential is such that you would miss this medal by less than 10 minutes, buy the pacing band for the medal category above. (e.g. a 9:05 predicted time buys the 9:00 pacing band). However remember this is a stretch for you and will only happen if everything goes well on the day. You must then add 2/3rds of the difference between your predicted time and the medal cut-off time to the time at the BP Garage in Winston Park. From there gradually close in back onto the scheduled time at 45th cutting. If it’s your day this is your best chance!

Delays at the Start:

Runner’s further back in the field will take a few minutes to cross the start line and generally in Comrades this is a Good Thing as it prevents you from getting caught up in the adrenaline boosted rush of the start – More Comrades are lost in starting too fast than any other failing. However these minutes become more valuable for runners who are borderline to any of the cut-off times (Silver, Bill Rowan, Bronze or the final cut-off).
It is important that you do not try to make up this time in the first few kilometres but rather stretch it over a long period – particularly on the down run as the first 24km are predominately uphill and increasing pace by even 5 seconds on many of these climbs will rocket your effort levels and use up more of your glycogen stores, leaving you without energy for the final section of the race.
There’s only about 10km of down in the first section to Camperdown and then rolling road through to the bottom of Inchanga. If the time taken to cross the line is important to you getting under one of the cut off’s, the advice is to divide half of this time by 30 and increase you pace by that on each kilometre of downhill and the section from Camperdown to half way. The remainder you will easily make up from Hillcrest to the finish. For example if it takes five minutes to cross the line, you would increase your pace by 5 seconds per km on the downhill from the start to Camperdown, and on each kilometre from Camperdown to Half way, (except the climb up Inchanga), and then make up the remaining two and a half minutes between the top of Botha’s Hill down to the finish. In running ultra’s always keep in mind – “slowly slowly catch a monkey’ and you won’t go far wrong.

Distance Jan to June 07:00 07:30 08:00 08:30 09:00 09:30 10:00 10:30 11:00 11:30 12:00
42km PB 02:35 03:00 02:35 03:13 02:48 03:26 03:07 03:39 03:13 03:52 03:33 04:05 03:39 04:18 03:50 04:30 04:15 04:30 04:45 05:00
Min 1200 1000 1000 1100 1000 1100 1000 1000 1000 1000 1100
Max 1950 1900 1800 1700 1600 1550 1450 1300 1200 1200 1200
Average Comrades Pace (Min per Km) 04:42 05:02 05:22 05:42 06:03 06:23 06:43 07:03 07:23 07:43 08:04

Comrades Calculator © by Norrie Williamson

Comrades Marathon on May 24th 2009

Posted on May 08, 2009 under Comrades Marathon | 1 Comment

comrades marathonThe world’s greatest ultra-marathon, 90 kilometres long, the Comrades is a South African institution, internationally recognised for the body-sapping challenge it poses and the camaraderie it fosters among its thousands of participants. This year the world’s greatest ultramarathon and KwaZulu-Natal showpiece will be run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban on Sunday 24 May 2009.”

“Comrades Marathon is an iconic event with a special place in the hearts and minds of South Africans, but they have come to expect it to be run in mid-June. “

This is the first time the race has been staged as early as May since 1995 when it was brought forward to avoid clashing with the Rugby World Cup hosted by South Africa in June 1995. Similarly the 2009 and 2010 Comrades Marathons have been brought forward to avoid clashing with the FIFA Confederations Cup (14 – 29 June 2009) and the FIFA World Cup (11 June – 11 July 2010) respectively.

With the race being staged three weeks earlier than usual, the Closing Date for Entries also had to be brought forward to 31 March 2009, thus falling ahead of several popular and traditional qualifying races. To accommodate this CMA implemented a special dispensation whereby prospective entrants must submit their entries by 31 March, but may still qualify in official qualifying races up until a final cut-off for qualifying on 28 April.

Race Director Renee Jordaan expressed cautious optimism regarding the field of entries for 2009 as there is potentially more at stake than just this year’s race. “Looking ahead to 2010 which coincides with the 85th running of the Comrades Marathon, CMA decided to cap the number of entries at 20,000 for 2010 and made a commitment to reserve the first 15,000 entries for previous Comrades finishers.” She urged runners to avoid possible double disappointment by meeting this year’s entry deadline.

“So far indications from attendance at our Comrades Marathon Worshops, as well as the increased fields participating in shorter races throughout South Africa, are that we should attract a large field this year. However, it’s always a bit of a waiting game with the majority of runners entering during the final few days before closing, after which we have six weeks to process entries and finalise logistical requirements for the race”, said Jordaan.

“In the meantime, groundwork for the staging of a memorable event is proceeding well according to schedule with an experienced and dedicated organising committee working to slightly tighter deadlines than usual,” said Boshoff.

On a historical note, 24 May is a significant date in the annals of Comrades Marathon history in that the first 26 races from 1921 – 1951 were run on what was then a public holiday (Empire Day) on 24 May. No races were run during the war years 1941 – 1945.

Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon 2010

Posted on May 07, 2009 under Two Oceans Marathon | 4 Comments
It’s just been confirmend that the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon will happen in 2010 on Saturday 3 April 2010. We will update this post as soon as we get further information about the 2010 marathon expo, viewing spots and registration dates.

On the Saturday of the Easter Weekend, which this year is 3rd April 2010, it’s time for Cape Town’s biggest marathon – the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon 2010.

The ultra marathon and half marathon registration takes place in Cape Town’s Good Hope Centre at the the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon Expo.

The expo focuses on everything there is to know about running (or road running specifically) from shoes, clothes heart rate monitors, vitamins, nutrients, fitness aids and energy boosters to name but a few.

It is essential for runners to go to the expo to collect their race numbers and goody bags. They must also remember to bring their race acknowledgement card, ID and champion chip (if they have one) to the registration to avoid long lines.

SA’s second ultra-popular ultra-marathon is the 56-kilometre Two Oceans Marathon. Its greatest drawcard is an extremely picturesque route that winds along the coastline surrounding Cape Town. The Two Oceans, like the Comrades, also manages to pull top professionals from overseas.

Zimbabwean men have enjoyed good success in recent years, being the dominant runners in the event since 2001, including a Marco Mambo being crowned champion in 2004, 2005, and 2008.

The women’s race has succeeded in drawing many of the top female athletes preparing for the Comrades Marathon, which takes place just over a month after the Two Oceans, and as a result has produced winners who have gone on to Comrades’ victory. They include Elena Nurgalieva and Tatyana Zhirkova.

For more information on the main marathons, read the event listing for the 2009 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon at our partner site

Tips for Carbo-loading for Marathon runners

Posted on May 06, 2009 under Nutrition, Running | No Comment

When training for endurance runs such as the Comrades Marathon it’s very important to make sure that not only your running strategy is on par, your nutrition is nearly as important and carbohydrate loading, commonly referred to as carbo-loading or carb-loading, is a strategy employed by many endurance athletes to maximize the storage of glycogen in the muscles.

What is carbo-loading?
Since the 1920’s, scientific studies have revealed the performance-enhancing properties of carbohydrate, especially before and during exercise. It has been shown that a relatively high carbohydrate intake delays the onset of fatigue during endurance events. Carbo-loading is a strategy involving changes to training and nutrition that can maximize muscle and liver glycogen (carbohydrate) stores prior to endurance competition. The extra supply of carbohydrate has been demonstrated to improve endurance exercise by allowing athletes to exercise at their optimal pace for a longer time. Anyone exercising for 90 minutes or longer is likely to benefit from carbo-loading.

Carbo-loading guidelines:

  • Plan an exercise taper. Reduce your training load by 50 percent going into the last week before the event, and reduce it by another 50 percent over the last 3 days.
  • Three days before the event, consume 7-10g of carbohydrate per kg body weight. For a 50kg athlete this means consuming 400-500g carbohydrate per day and for a 70kg athlete 560-700g carbohydrate per day (use the list below).
  • Carbohydrate must form the bulk of all meals and snacks.
  • Have smaller servings of protein foods at meals, so that you can leave more room for larger serves of carbohydrate foods.
  • Sugar and sugary foods, including sports drinks, can provide a compact carbohydrate source.
  • Be extra careful with your fat intake – save the calories for carbohydrates. Don’t get tricked with high-fat foods such as chocolate, ice-cream, rich desserts, and takeaways. These foods are a rich source of fat rather than carbohydrate and should be avoided.
  • Be careful of getting carried away and don’t see this as an opportunity to ‘pig-out’.
  • Over the final 24 hours you may wish to reduce your gastric contents so that you race feeling ‘light’. To do this, switch to lower fibre foods and make use of compact sugar foods. You may even like to use a liquid meal supplements or energy drinks to supply some of your carbohydrate needs.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. You will need to be well-hydrated for a long event, especially in hot weather. It is a good idea to carry a water bottle around with you as a reminder.

List of foods containing 50g of carbohydrate:

  • 3 slices of bread
  • 10 crackers or 6 rice cakes
  • 2 cups cereal or cooked porridge
  • 3 weetbix
  • 1 cup cooked rice/pasta/mieliemeal/couscous/samp
  • 3 medium muffins
  • 2-3 cereal bars
  • 1 cup baked beans
  • 3 cups peas/butternut/corn
  • 3 medium potatoes/sweet potato or 1 cup mashed
  • 3 medium pieces of fruit
  • 3 tbsp raisins
  • 500ml fruit juice
  • 1L low-fat or skim milk
  • 375ml low-fat flavoured drinking yoghurt
  • 250ml fruit yoghurt
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 1 handful jelly babies
  • 10 marshmallows
  • 1-2 sports bars
  • 500ml meal replacement drink (e.g Nutren Activ, Ensure)
  • 800-1000ml sports drink
  • 500ml cola or soft drink

Example meal plan for 70kg athlete aiming to carbo-load

  • Breakfast: 3 cups cereal + 250ml low-fat milk
    1 medium banana
    250ml orange juice
  • Snack: 1 medium muffin + jam
    500ml sports drink
  • Lunch: 2 sandwiches (4 slices bread) + filling
    200ml low-fat drinking yoghurt
    340ml can soft drink
  • Snack: banana smoothie (low-fat milk, banana, and honey)
    1 cereal bar
  • Dinner: 2 cups pasta + 1 cup pasta sauce
    3 slices garlic bread
    2 glasses cordial
  • Snack: 1 fruit bun + jam
    500ml sports drink
    (3380kcal, 590g carbohydrate, 125g protein, 60g fat)

Trail runners team up for AfricanX Trailrun 8-10 May 2009

Posted on May 05, 2009 under Running | No Comment

South Africa’s top trail runners will team up in Kleinmond from 8-10 May 2009 to take on the action-packed three-day stage race, the ProNutro AfricanX Trailrun presented by New Balance.

The competition promises to be a tough challenge with some of the country’s top athletes already signed up for the action. Two of the top men’s teams to watch out for are Team Kanu, consisting of brothers Jacques and Mauritz Van Rensburg and Team ProNutro with Warren Peterson and Lieuwe Boonstra teaming up. According to Jacques, the trail running bug bit him four years ago. “I’ve been competing since the age of 13, but have only really taken to trail running in the last four years. My brother and I have a strong bond and work really well together as a team, so it only made sense for us to join forces. I love the idea of a three-day stage race, as I believe it will entice more competitors. I think a five-day stage race can in some instances be just too long for potential participants. It’s going to be great racing against Team ProNutro. Warren has been a top road runner for many years and the fact that Lieuwe recently placed first at the DUESOUTH XTERRA SA Championship speaks for itself. I’m sure they’ll give us tough resistance,” says van Rensburg.

According to Boonstra, he is very excited to take on the ProNutro AfricanX Trailrun. “A three-day stage race is great as it presents an exciting challenge in terms of duration. Warren and I have been training buddies for ages and it’s going to be awesome to be his team mate doing this extraordinary event. He loves the pain and does not like slowing down, so I’m convinced that he’ll be pushing really hard. He also really likes winning, which is perfect. I can’t wait to run with the Van Rensburg brothers. I think it’s going to be great fun, but also very tough and extremely competitive especially as the race progresses and we get closer to the finish line,” says Boonstra.

The ProNutro AfricanX Trailrun will see teams of two (male/female/mixed) battling it out on a route varying in distance between 25-35km each day. For the first time in South Africa, a trail running stage race will follow a clover leaf format, which means that runners will start and finish in Kleinmond on each of the three days. Their accommodation, meals and entertainment will remain in the same place for the duration of the race. The race village in Kleinmond will be a hive of activity with entertainment throughout the day, which makes the event ideally suited as a family breakaway. Family and friends will also be able to support the athletes at various vantage points along the route. Although the distances can be quite a challenge, the route will be laid out on jeep and single tracks that are running-friendly and will include magnificent views of the ocean, mountains and waterfalls. Teamwork will form an essential part of the race, as participants will have to rely on each other’s experience and expertise in order to complete the route.

For more information on the ProNutro AfricanX Trailrun please contact Stillwater Sport & Entertainment on (021) 883 – 2413

Champion Leonid Shvetsov confirms Comrades Marathon 2009

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

Leonid Shvetsov, defending champion and current record holder, of the last two Comrades Marathons, confirmed today that he will be lining up at the start of this year’s Comrades Marathon down run in Pietermaritzburg on 24 May in Nedbank Running Club colours.

Shvetsov will be competing for the Nedbank Running Club with team mate Herman’s Mokgadi, the first South African runner home in 2008. Other elite Athletes that are competing for the Nedbank Running Club include:

White Modisenyane, Gift Kelehe, Joseph Marman, Lucas Nonyana, Frans Kutu to mention a few of the top men and Lindsay Van Aswegan is one of the Nedbank Elite ladies athletes.

“To have a runner of Shvetsov’s pedigree choosing to run in Nedbank colours is an honour and shows how far Nedbank has come in establishing itself as a major sponsor and supporter of South African road running,” says Patrick Baransky, sponsorship portfolio manager, Road Running.

In an email addressed to Nick Bester, the National Manager for the Nedbank Running Club, Shvetsov expressed his desire to win at least one more Comrades Marathon before turning his attention to a career as a medical practitioner.

“In the mail I could sense that he won’t be satisfied with anything less than another Comrades win. I also spoke to his manager, Sergey Krasnochekov, who told me that Leonid is as ready as can be for this year’s race,” says Bester.

National Youth Run

Posted on May 04, 2009 under Comrades Marathon | 2 Comments

The Comrades Marathon Association today confirmed that following on the overwhelming success of last year’s inaugural event, CMA in conjunction with KwaZulu-Natal Athletics, will again be staging the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport & Recreation National Youth Run as a prelude to the 2009 Comrades Marathon.

The event, which is sponsored by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport & Recreation and the Umsobomvu Youth Fund, will be staged on Saturday, 23 May 2009. It consists of a 10km Road Race/Walk and a 5km Fun Run/Walk, aimed primarily at exposing young people to the joys and benefits of running, while also providing them with a tangible opportunity to participate in the “Comrades Marathon experience”.

However, while the main focus of the event is on youth, both the 10km and 5km components are open to participants of all ages and present Comrades Marathon runners, their families, friends and supporters, walkers, joggers and exercise enthusiasts with an ideal opportunity to get into the “Comrades spirit” with a relaxing and festive run the day before the “big race”.

Last year’s inaugural National Youth Run was staged on the Durban beachfront, an enormously popular and successful venue, which attracted 3000 participants. Owing to extensive renovations currently underway in the build-up to 2010, the beachfront area is out of the question this year and the entire event has been moved to Durban North.

The organisers have however managed to secure an extremely pleasant venue with a glorious sea-view at Riverside Sports and have put together an attractive and enjoyable route through Durban North suburbs, which is very gently undulating and takes in occasional glimpses of the sea.

Entry fees for the event are nominal at R10 for the 10km (minimum age 15) and R5 for the 5km (minimum age 9), making it affordable entertainment for the whole family. And thanks to the generosity of sponsors, KZN Deptartment of Sport and Recreation and Umsobomvu Youth Fund, there are prizes to the value of over R80,000 prizes to be won, including over R20,000 worth of fabulous lucky draw prizes which will be awarded at random to participants of both the 5km and 10km.

With the emphasis of the event on youth positional prizes will be awarded for the 10km Race in the 15-19 age category only – from R1000 1st prizes (male & female) down to R100 10th prizes (male & female). Arguably the most fiercely contested prizes however will once again be prizes offered for schools participation, with R15,000, R12,000, R10,000, R8000 and R5000 up for grabs to the Top Five Schools with the Most Finishers.

The 10km Race/Walk starts at 09h00 on Saturday 23 May and the 5km starts at 09h15, with an official cut-off time of 10h30 for both races. In keeping with the traditions of the Comrades Marathon, official finishers of the National Youth Run will be awarded medals as follows:

  • Gold medals to the 1st 10 men and 1st 10 women in the 10km
  • Silver medals to all other finishers of the 10km under 60 minutes
  • Bronze medals to finishers between 60 – 90 minutes in the 10km
  • Copper medals to all finishers of the 5km.

T-shirts will be awarded to the first 3000 finishers of the 10km.

Entries are open now with entry forms available through schools, sports shops and at the offices of KwaZulu-Natal Athletics and Comrades Marathon Association, or download the entry form off our website.

For further information on the National Youth Run phone KZNA (031) 312 9374 or CMA (033)897 8650.

Herman’s Mokgadi in top shape for Comrades 2009

Posted on May 02, 2009 under Comrades Marathon | No Comment

Herman’s Mokgadi, the first South African athlete home in last years Comrades Marathon is in top shape and he is currently doing his final preparations at a Comrades training camp that is managed by experienced Comrades couch, John Hamlet and Comrades champion Andrew Kelehe, as Nick Bester, National Manager of the Nedbank Running Clubs released in a statement.

“We have decided to have our Comrades training camp this year in the south West of Johannesburg because the altitude is high enough, the facilities like gymnasiums and physiotherapists is close on hand as well as the weather is not as bad and cold as when the camp is at higher altitudes like Dullstroom or Lesotho, especially now with the winter approaching.

Herman’s is in a training group with fellow Nedbank athletes like Andrew Kelehe`s younger brother, Gift Kelehe, White Modinsinyane and Peter Molapo.

The fact that Herman’s only raced one road race of 42km. this year when he won the Ottosdal night race in February this year, makes him a main contender for top honors at the 2009 Comrades Marathon. Allthough he is covering mean distances of up to 200km. per week in training at the moment his legs will be rested because of the fact that he is not over raced.”