The ultramarathon legend from Bloemfontein, Antony Nyabanyaba (SAND), and his daughter, Mokudubete Likotse (Mangaung AC), both won their respective age group categories at the Swasap 52-km road race, which was presented by Bloemfontein Achilles in the City of Roses on Saturday.
After running the entire race and crossing the finish line together, the 65-year-old Nyabanyaba won gold in the 60 years plus age group in an excellent time of 4:28:29. It was evident that Nyabanyaba used his more than 30 years of ultra-marathon running experience to guide Likotse (4:28:29) throughout the race.
What is even more impressive is that they completed the race in overall fourth and fifth places respectively. Nyabanyaba, who was jubilant after their performance, won the Two Oceans ultra-marathon (56 km) in 2015 in the 60 years plus category in an excellent time of 4:22:15.
Likotse had a tough time to clinch her win in the open category for women and had to rely heavily on her dad’s experience.
Manneheng Ramputhing (Pamoja AC, 4:30:58) was not far off the pace for her silver medal and in the process forced the Kovsies athlete, Nelmarie Laubser into third spot (4:49:14).
Mpudane Skhosana (Vodacom Striders) clinched a comfortable victory in the open category for men when he stopped the clock at 4:00:38. He was followed more than five minutes later by Diradingoe Loke (Eskom, 4:05,41) who led the race most of the way. Third place went to Somora Mashhamaite (SAA) who finished in 4:15:10.
A proverbial mini-war was fought out in the half-marathon (21,1 km), which was staged at the meeting as well. The three Eskom athletes, Godfrey Ramokone, Zwene Moreng and Anastacius Ontong were in a one-for-you-one-for-me affair for the lead up until the 17-km mark.
This is where the experienced former international long-distance athlete, Ramokone, made a clean break to win in a decent inland time of 1:08:43. Moreng (1:09:09) hung onto second place with Ontong (1:09:41) also clocking a sub-70-minutes finish time.
The half-marathon for women was won by Lizanne Vermaak (individual entry) in 1:40:50. Vermaak was a crackerjack provincial middle distance runner during her school days.
The 10-km road race for men was comfortably won by Simon Sibelo (individual entry, 30:44) and the Kovsie, Welmarie Volschenk (46:36), won the same race in the women’s section. – RUFUS BOTHA