Two Oceans 2010

Siyabonga Ndumbini, far left, completes the Old Mutual Two Ocenas 56km.

Grocott's Mail – 9 April 2010

Good running weather welcomed over 20 000 athletes to the start of the Two Oceans ultra and half-marathon on Saturday. While the ultra started in a refreshing shower of rain, conditions stayed cool for most of the morning before warming up.

Unlike the Argus cyclists a few weeks earlier in Cape Town, the Two Oceans race was wind free.

Three Grahamstown clubs, Albany Road Runners, Rhodes University Athletics Club and Run/Walk For Life Athletics Club well represented.

At the age of 62, Eric Mapara ran his 20th Two Oceans, finishing in a respectful time of 5 hours 36 minutes 31 seconds. Mapara has been running the Two Oceans since 1985 and ran the Two Oceans half marathon in 1998. His fastest time over the course is his 3:59:50 run in 1989 which earned him his only silver medal. For finishing his 20th run on Saturday, Mapara was awarded his double laurel, which was handed to him by Comrades women's record holder, Frith van der Merwe.

The first local runner home in Saturday's ultra was Simphiwe Tana, running for Port Elizabeth based Nedbank Running Club. Tana finished in 3:52:05, some 25 minutes off his best time set in 2008 while still running for a Grahamstown based club, when he finished 25th overall. Tana earned himself a silver for his effort, as did his club mates Thembinkosi Mdyogolo and Melikhaya Jacobs who also broke the four hour mark. Just missing silver was Desmond Witbooi (Nedbank) who finished 45 minutes after the silver cut-off. First local womens finisher was Terri-Lynn Penney of Run/Walk For Life Athletics Club who finished in 4:49:07, earning a Sainsbury medal which is awarded to athletes finishing between four hours and five hours.

Overall ultra race winner was Mabhutile Lebopo of Lesotho in 3:06:18. The women's winner was Olesya Nurgalieva in 3:41:53, her second win at the Two Oceans. The women's winner was way off the race record, set up by Frith van der Merwe, who now teaches in grahamstown. Van der Merwe's 21 year old record is 3:30:36, set in 1989. Van der Merwe was at the two Oceans this year, as she was invited by the race organisers to hand out the permanent blue numbers to runners finishing their 10th Two Cceans.

In the 21km Natalie Ross of Rhodes University Athletics Club was first local in 1:44:16, followed closely by Joubert Retief (Run/Walk For Life) in 1:44:31. The half-marathon was won by Lusapho April from the Western Province in 1:03:54. Women's winner was Rene Kalmer (Nedbank) in 1:12:39.

Run/Walk For Life Athletics Club, EP results from the Two Oceans 56km-

Terri-Lynn Penney (Run/Walk For Life Athletics Club) 4:49:07

Kevin Rafferty (Run/Walk For Life) 4:49:39

Stephen Penney (Run/Walk For Life) 5:05:24

Richard Hall (Run/Walk For Life) 5:21:34

Siyabonga Ndumbini (Run/Walk For Life) 5:52:10

Run/Walk For Life Athletics Club, EP results from the Two Oceans 21km-

Joubert Retief (Run/Walk For Life) 1:44:31
Richard Alexander (Run/Walk For Life) 1:46:19
Zelda van Onselen (Run/Walk For Life) 2:29:12
John van Onselen (Run/Walk For Life) 2:29:12.

 

The start of the 2010 Two Oceans Marathon. 

Frith van der Merwe seen at the finish area of the Two Oceans. Frith was invited by the race organisers to hand out the permanent blue numbers to those athletes finishing their 10th ultra.

Terri-Lynn, Frith and Stephen at the Two Oceans finish area.