Leonid Shvetsov retires from running

Posted on Oct 19, 2009 under Comrades Marathon | No Comment

Current Comrades Marathon record holder for the “Up” and “Down” runs, Leonid Shvetsov, confirmed in a statement to the Comrades Marathon Association that he has decided to retire from all competitive running with immediate effect.

“I made a considerate decision to stop my competitive running career. This is because when I resumed serious training a month after this year’s Comrades Marathon I again started to feel painful ‘clicking’ in my knee. I had same thing during the race this year, which forced me to slow down on the downhills and in the end resulted in severe (near) cramping and weakness in my quads in the last 18-20km during the race. What was worse – I couldn’t get rid of the feeling that my knee may ‘lock’ at any moment, and the race would have been over for me. I was lucky to come home 2nd on the day, and I don’t want to get in the situation when I devote half a year of my life preparing to 2010 run and end up stopping or slowing down like it happened to me in 2002. I think I was lucky enough to break both Comrades records.”

Leonid also stated that through running the Comrades Marathon that he has been privileged to meet many great South Africans, and that he has forged excellent relationships with South Africans. Leonid intends to continue running in order to maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle, as well as continue with coaching runners.

“This was not and easy decision as running took the biggest part of my life for over 30 years. In fact, September 23rd this year was 30 years. I have completed 44 marathons (and 5 Comrades), ran in 2 Olympic Games and held the Russian National Marathon record for over 10 years, (broken by a runner that I trained 2 years ago). I think I left my small ‘footstep’ in the history of running” “I am a family man and now a business man to, and recently expanded my business, which is keeping me very busy.”

The Comrades Marathon Association wished Leonid all the best for his future, and he will be missed come 30 May 2010, as he is a fierce competitor, and has definitely left his mark on the Comrades Marathon. After all he is the current record holder for the “Up” and “Down” runs respectfully.

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 runner.co.za!

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 Runner.co.za congratulates Stephen Muzhingi for breaking Russian domination of the men’s race!

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

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.

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.”

2008 Comrades Marathon results

Posted on Jun 15, 2008 under Comrades Marathon | No Comment

Leonid Shvetsov raced into the Comrades Marathon record books this morning after a second successive victory in the world’s most important ultramarathon road race. The tall Russian smashed Vladimir Kotov’s eight-year-old ”up” run record by 47 seconds, coming home in 5:24:46 and beating second-placed Jaroslav Janicki by an incredible 13:41, one of the largest victory margins in recent Comrades history. This means that Shvetsov becomes the first man since Bruce Fordyce to win in both directions and to own both records.

Top 10 Men

Pos Name RaceNo Country Time
1 Leonid Shvetsov 49670 Russian 05:24:47
2 Jaroslaw Janicki 4889 Poland 05:38:29
3 Stephen Muzhingi 55925 Zimbabwe 05:39:40
4 Oleg Kharitonov 49673 Russian 05:42:03
5 Grigory Murzin 39356 Russian 05:43:07
6 Harmans Mokgadi 47411 South Africa 05:47:10
7 Mncedisi Mkhize 27026 South Africa 05:48:18
8 Vladimir Kotov 39358 South Africa 05:48:42
9 Johan Oosthuizen 37904 South Africa 05:50:52
10 Willie Mtolo 1119 South Africa 05:53:36

After the race, Shvetsov said that his race plan had gone perfectly, but that the record had never been certain. ”Last year I knew from a long way out that the record was in the bag, but this time it was touch and go.” He takes home R220 000 for the win and R250 000 for the new record.

Janicki continued with his fine Comrades record after his second place finish. The quiet Pole now has 5 gold medals in his cupboard, including a single win, back in 1999.

Zimbabwean Stephen Muzhuingi was third, with the prize for the first South African going to Harmans Mokgadi of Nedbank, winner of the Forever Resorts Loskop Marathon earlier this year. Mokgadi was 6th. Two sentimental favourites scored gold medals as well. 50-year-old Vladimir Kotov, who saw his course record evaporate while he was still out on the road, received some consolation with his 8th place, while Willie Mtolo, who finished 2nd way back in 1989, grabbed the final gold medal, much to the delight of the local Comrades fans.

Top 10 Women

Pos Name RaceNo Country Time
1 Elena Nurgalieva 19987 Russian 06:14:37
2 Olesya Nurgalieva 19988 Russian 06:15:52
3 Tatyana Zhirkova 19986 Russian 06:17:45
4 Marina Myshlyanova 56699 Russian 06:30:49
5 Marina Bychkova 39390 Russian 06:38:01
6 Riana Van Niekerk 50678 South Africa 06:43:31
7 Maria Bak 4104 Germany 06:53:32
8 Farwa Mentoor 25609 South Africa 06:59:40
9 Lesley Train 47434 South Africa 07:02:08
10 Carol Mercer 34204 South Africa 07:09:37

The Russian juggernaul continued in the women’s race. Once again the Nurgalieva twins dominated, with Elena collecting her third straight ”up” run victory. But this time it was not a record, with the finishing time of 6:14:36 being some 5 minutes outside the mark she herself set up two years ago. Twin sister Olesya came home 1:15 behind, while Tatyana Zhirkova grabbed 3rd spot in 6:17:44.

Marina Myshlyanova (6:30:48) and Marina Bychkova (6:38:00) compled the Russian domination of the women’s competition. This was Bychkova’s 8th gold medal in the race.

Top South African home was Pretoria’s Riana van Niekerk (6:43:30), who ended Farwa Mentoor’s long domination of this category. Mentoor was 8th in 6:59:39, while the ageless Maria Bak once again collected gold in 6:53:31 (7th).

11,192: total number of entries; 8,613: total number of finishers