With 3 top finishes in the men’s race and another 3 in the women’s field the Green Dream Team was clearly shining at the historical 2018 Down Run, which this year was measured at 90.184km compared to 89.208km. On top of some great individual performances the NRC also made their mark in the team prizes.
Two Oceans Marathon champion Gerda Steyn proved that a Comrades win is on the cards in the near future when she placed 2nd in this year’s race. She crossed the line in 6:15:34, behind the winner from Team Massmart - Ann Ashworth - who took the win in 6:10:04. Steyn said she ran her heart out and left everything she had on the road. She gave her best and vowed to be back until she wins the Comrades Marathon, which she describes as one of the best races ever. “I would like to thank everyone for your amazing support. Thank you for believing in me. I am delighted with my time of 6:15 and could not have asked for a more incredible year so far. It was seriously tough out there today but I can assure you that I left everything I had on that road today! I will be back each and every year for as long as these legs can run. Well done everyone.”
Teammate Charné Bosman finshed 5th overall and led for almost the whole first two hours, before Russian Nina Zarina broke away. At 2:52 Steyn caught Bosman and the two exchanged smiles and a few words. Bosman, who has been second, first and third in her last three Comrades runs, was struggling slightly, and eventually finished in a time of 6:33:08, earing her 10th Comrades medal and the title of second Veteran lady. After the race she said: “Comrades 2018 was not easy! The thing that kept me going was that 5th gold so that I could get my Comrades Green Number. I will be back in 2019 for the greatest race in the world.”
Another good performance came from the NRC’s International team with Sarah Bard from the USA placing 8th in a time of 6:49, securing three out of the Top Ten women’s positions for the NRC.
In the men’s race an outstanding performance was produced by Steven Way (GBR) from the NRC International Section. He clocked a 5:35:27, finishing 3rd, trailing only 18 seconds behind the 2nd placed Joseph Mphuthi. Way’s brilliant performance was followed by teammates Edward Mothibi and Marko Mambo who took 4th and 5th place respectively, scoring three out of the 5 top positions in the men’s field for the NRC. Mothibi finished in 5:36:32 and Mambo in 5:37:49.
Comparatively speaking, the men's race was not as fast as the women's, but exciting nonetheless. Way, who said that he trained on a treadmill to get hill training in, since there are no hills near his home, charged over the last 5 km but he failed to catch 2nd place finisher Mphuthi by 18 seconds as they took the first two veteran places in 5:35:09 and 5:35:27 respectively.
All in all a great day out for the athletes from the NRC, with 23 positions in the top 100 men and another 10 in the top 100 women.
COMRADES MARATHON (93rd)?PIETERMARITZBURG TO DURBAN, 10 JUNE?(DISTANCE: 90.184 KM.)
3. Steven Way (NRC INTL/GBR) 5:35:27
4. Edward Mothibi (NRC) 5:36:32
5. Marko Mambo (NRC/ZIM) 5:37:49
12. Geoff Burns (NRC INTL/GBR) 5:49:04
15. Fritjof Fagerlund (NRC INTL/SWE) 5:53:39
17. Professa Mthethwa (NRC) 5:57:11
19. Mike Fokoroni (NRC/ZIM) 5:59:14
2. Steven Way (NRC INTL/GBR) 5:35:27
3. Marko Mambo (NRC/ZIM) 5:37:49
2. Gerda Steyn (NRC) 6:15:34
5. Charné Bosman ?(NRC) 6:33:08
8. Sarah Bard (NRC INTL/USA) 6:49:05
12. Fikile Mbuthuma (NRC) 6:54:36
13. Frida Södermark (NRC INTL/SWE) 7:03:56
15. Deanné Horn (NRC) 7:06:54
2. Charné Bosman (NRC) 6:33:08
First KZN Women
Fikile Mbuthuma (NRC) 06:54:36
MEN: First Novice
1. Edward Mothibi (NRC) 5:36:32
Women Senior Team Prize
3rd – Nedbank Running Club KZN
Men Senior Team Prize (Gunga Din team trophy)
1st - Nedbank Running Club KZN
2nd - Nedbank Running Club AGN (Arthur Newton team trophy)
Men 40+ Team Prize
3rd - Nedbank Running Club KZN