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16 February 2018
Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon

Defending OMTOM women’s champ withdraws

Defending Two Oceans Marathon women’s champion Maryna Damantsevich will unfortunately not be lining up at the start of this year’s OMTOM on 31 March.
The Belarusian, running in the colours of Nedbank Running Club International, last year finished the race with a 10-minute lead, despite a mishap at the start convincing her that she had fallen behind. After she fell, she set a blistering pace to catch up, thinking there are other women ahead of her. She eventually crossed the finish line first in a time of 3:37:13.

Damantsevich’s coach, Anatoliy Bychkov, said his athlete unfortunately had to withdraw from this year’s event, as she needs to prepare for the European Marathon Champs as part of the national team.

There is a very good chance that the team from Belarus will be crowned European champions. As this is very important for the country, Damantsevich’s has no other choice but to take part in the marathon champs. “The head coach said she will not be able to perform well at the European Championships after a 56km event,” said Bychkov.

Top class performance ahead
Though Damantsevich’s withdrawal is a disappointment, many other NRC female runners are expected to deliver top class performances in both the Ultra and Half Marathon fields. Comrades champion Charné Bosman, who chose to miss Oceans last year and focus solely on the Comrades Marathon, will be back on the starting line. Bosman boasts a 3:48:41 at the 2016 OMTOM where she finished 4th female. She clocked a 3:54:32 in 2015, crossing the line in 5th position.

Gerda Steyn, 4th place finisher at the 2017 Comrades Marathon will be lining up alongside Bosman. Steyn finished 14th in a time of 4:15:44 in 2016 but has since gone from strength to strength. She recently clocked a 34:29 PB over the 10km distance and a 2:37:19 marathon PB.

The evergreen Ntombesintu Mfunzi, who placed 5th at last year’s OMTOM, will be back stronger this year, and hoping for a better position. She boasts a 3:52 PB set in 2012.

Lastly but certainly not least is Irvette van Zyl, who will probably be around 6-7 months pregnant when she tackles the OMTOM Half Marathon. Van Zyl is no stranger to this race, having won the race in 2016 and 2017. She clocked 01:13:13 in 2016 and 01:13:51 in 2017 while boasting a PB of 01:12:55 on this course. Van Zyl has lately set some superb running times whilst winning some races, despite being pregnant.

One thing is sure; come 31 March, there will be no shortage of superb running at the OMTOM.
National Personalities and Stories


How significant role does age play in competitive elite sport?

If the former Comrades-winner, Charné Bosman (Nedbank Running Club), is to be believed the answer to the question is none. At 42 years she is not planning on slowing down at all. In fact, it would seem as if she is getting faster.

So it won’t be a surprise if she should win the inaugural Bestmed Tuks Marathon on Saturday. Bosman has already once this season shown her younger rivals a clean pair of heels when she won the Johnson Crane Hire Marathon in Benoni in a time of 2:54:59. At the time she ran it, it was the fastest time by a female runner in a local marathon this year.

She also clocked an impressive time of 1 hour 20 minute in a half-marathon and ran 36:50 over 10 kilometres proving that there is still a lot of speed left in her legs.

Bosman views age just as numbers that have no relevance to the quality of one's life.

“I might be 42, but it feels like I am 30. Age is not a handicap. I believe I still can achieve anything I have set my mind to.”

If nothing unforeseen happens, she hopes to finish the Bestmed Tuks Marathon in a time of 2 hours and 52 minutes. Maybe a little bit faster or slower. Bosman is quick to point out that in any marathon there is always that X-factor which no athlete can control.

“Sometimes you run a faster time than you expected. But the opposite is also true. I have run races where I expected to run a fast time, but it turned into a battle of survival.”

The reality is that should Bosman finish in a time of roundabout 2 hours 52 minutes there is real chance that she will win the Bestmed Tuks Marathon.

There is a good reason why Bosman chose to run the Bestmed Tuks Marathon. She views the Tuks Sports Grounds and the High Performance Centre (HPC) as her stomping ground. “I do a lot of my training at the HPC and Tuks, so it is like a home away from home for me.”

According to Bosman, she is not planning on explicitly tapering down for the marathon. She considers her participation as proper hard training in the built-up to Comrades, but as it is a more relaxed week she hopes to start the race with relatively fresh legs.

Bosman attributes her new zest for running to her new training partners. It is a group of male athletes known as the “Angry Kenyans”.

“In the past, I used to do most of my training on my own which at times gets to be difficult. The good thing about training with the “Angry Kenyans” is that they create a sort of check and balances for me. On a day when I need to be fast, they will make sure that I do exactly that, even if it means they have to gang up on me. The same goes for when I need to recover.”


David Manja from the Nedbank Running Club (NRC) have been included in the ASA Team to the 2018 CAA African Cross Country Champs on 17 March in Algeria.

David, who recently won the Dis-Chem Half Marathon in Bedfordview will be travelling to Chlef, Algeria, to compete at the CAA African Cross Country Champs.

He is an experienced cross-country runner and have been training with the Nedbank Development Running Club since his teens. Train under the watchful eye of former running great and Northwest training Manager Pio Mpolokeng.

Working very hard since December and focusing on specific races and finishing times. Manja recently blitzed to a 1:08:44 victory at the Dis-Chem Half Marathon. This follows his victory late last year at the Soweto Half Marathon.

Manja competed in the World Cross Country Champs in Uganda in March 2017 as part of the South African national team. Manja was the first South African man home, taking 34th place.
Looking Ahead

2018 Comrades Substitution Process opens next month (26 March – 25 April 2018)

The official 2018 Comrades Marathon Substitution Process opens at the end of March. This means that runners who were unable to enter the 2018 Comrades Marathon during the official entry period (1 September – 30 November 2017) now have an opportunity to still be part of the world’s most famous ultra-marathon on Sunday, 10 June 2018 via the Substitution process.

The process runs for a full month, opening on Monday, 26 March 2018 and closing on Wednesday, 25 April 2018.

The Substitution Process allows for a runner who has not entered to substitute an entrant who has withdrawn, or intends to withdraw from the 2018 Comrades Marathon.

The Substitution rule applies to all entrants including South African, Rest of Africa and International on a like for like basis i.e.

•    An International entrant can only substitute with an International entrant
•    For the first time, athletes from Rest of Africa (ROA) will be able to substitute with SA runners or other Rest of Africa entrants
•    A South African entrant can substitute with a South African entrant or Rest of Africa entrant

Prospective substitutes are encouraged to do their applications online. Alternatively, they may send their completed applications via email to or hand deliver them to Comrades House in Pietermaritzburg. Please do not post forms.

The completed application forms as specified in the Substitution Rule must reach the CMA office by 25 April 2018. There will be no extension of this deadline and no postal applications will be accepted.

The cost of the Substitution application is R200,00. The Substitution application forms will only be available for download at midnight on 25 March 2018.

Athletes intending to submit Substitution application forms are advised to visit the official Comrades Marathon website at for the comprehensive list of rules and regulations which govern the Substitution process.

Race Director Rowyn James has cautioned runners about being charged exorbitant amounts for a substitute entry, saying, ‘We would like to advise prospective substitutes to not pay excessive amounts to the withdrawing athlete for their entry. The 2018 Comrades entry fee was R460 and this should be a guide. We look forward to seeing many more athletes taking to the start line on Sunday, 10 June 2018.’


February may be known as the month of love, but it is also Substitution Entry and Entry Update month. Please don't forget the following important information as we count down to Race Day.

  • The Entry Changes & Updates deadline is at 5pm on 28 February 2018, and you WILL forfeit your entry if you haven't updated your online entry profile with the necessary information, including:
    • Qualifying race results (Ultra Marathon entrants)
    • 2018 Club license updates (all Ultra Marathon entrants, as well as Half Marathon entrants who received an entry in the Club Ballot)
    • Personal information changes.
  • Entry Vouchers must be redeemed by 5pm on 28 February 2018. If you received a voucher for a Substitution, Charity or International entry, OR if you received a voucher number for any other reason, you are required to finalise your entry on the OMTOM online entry system by the deadline (5pm on 28 February 2018). Failure to do so will result in you forfeiting your entry. 
The Club Verification window will be open between 1 and 6 March 2018. Please ensure that you have updated your online entry profile with your 2018 Club License information, and encourage your Club Secretary to perform the necessary verifications.
Been there, run that


Athletes from the Nedbank Running Club (NRC) blitzed to victory and podium positions at various races countrywide, with some brilliant performances at especially two of the country’s biggest races this past weekend.

The ladies from the NRC Gerda Steyn and Charné Bosman showed that they are well on track with their training towards the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon as well as the Comrades Marathon. Steyn won the Bronkhortspruit 32km in a time of 2:09:38 with teammate Bosman finishing third (and 1st Vet) in a time of 2:19:35. Their performances follow shortly after both placed well at the Bidvest McCarthy Toyota Half Marathon a week earlier. Steyn finished second there with Bosman just behind her in third position.

Bosman, a huge crowd favourite, proved why she is so popular amongst the running community when - the day after the Bronkhorstspruit 32km - she jogged the Pick n Pay Half Marathon, whilst helping a group of slower runners achieve their finishing times.

Another NRC lady who excelled this past weekend is Deanne Horn, who won the Klerksdorp Marathon in a time of 3:02:08.

The senior men from the NRC did their club proud when all three podium positions at the Pick n Pay Marathon were taken by Rofhiwa Mathidi (2:28:55), Jonas Makhele (2:30:49) and Kgathatso Checha (2:31:16). Indeed a show of green at prize giving!

At some of the smaller races over the weekend Nedbank Running Club’s brilliant and ever consistent Junior Anele Voorman finished 5th in the Open category and 1st Junior at the Love 2 Run Metlife Mall Valentine’s 10km. He blitzed to a 34:56 finish. His teammates and seniors George Ntshiliza (32:46) and Sandile Ngunuza (33:25) finished in 1st and 2nd position respectively. Another great performance came from Great Grandmaster Tamsanqa Jusayi, who at the age of 75 ran a 46:11 at the same race. Many runners half his age would not be able to run that time!

The NRC flag was held high in as far as Zimbabwe with Mike Fokoroni clinching a 2:21:37 victory at the Old Mutual Harare Marathon and team mate Samukeliso Moyo winning the women’s race in a time of 2:47:11.

Upwards and onwards indeed!

For more Results click here



It is clear that as the year 2018 is progressing, athletes from the Nedbank Running Club (NRC) are getting stronger and fitter, painting podiums green at numerous races countrywide.

In one of the most well known races of the weekend - the Bidvest McCarthy Toyota Half Marathon & 10km in Pretoria - the Green Dream Team made a clean sweep of most podium positions. It was great to see three of the country’s top female runners – and team mates - share the very same podium. Pregnant Irvette van Zyl blitzed across the finish line to clinch victory in the half marathon event in a time of 1:19:20. Fourth place finisher at the 2017 Comrades Marathon Gerda Steyn was hot on her heels to finish in second position in a time of 1:20:20. She was followed by Comrades Champion Charné Bosman, who crossed the line in 1:20:42.

This was Van Zyl’s third victory in recent weeks. She won the Dis-Chem Half Marathon in Bedfordview on 14 January in a time of 1:18:44 and followed that up with a 34 minute 10km at the George Claassen Road Race in Pretoria. Teammate Steyn, who recently returned from Abu Dhabi where she ran a 10km PB of 34:29, showed she is in top form with her second place finish. Veteran runner and Comrades Champ Bosman also delivered an excellent performance, especially in the light of her winning the recent Johnson Crane Marathon in a time of 2:54:59. Fantastic work by these three NRC ladies!

Peter Medupe flew the flag high for the Veteran men from the NRC when he crossed the line at the same race in first position in a time of 1:12:08. Teammate Eric Skosana followed him in third position in a time of 1:19:29.

NRC athletes also delivered sterling performances at the Amobia Bay Ultra over 50km in Port Elizabeth. Melikhaya Kepe and George Ntshiliza finished 2nd and 3rd respectively. Kepe crossed the line second in a time of 3:01:34 while Ntshiliza finished third in a time 3:09:42. Kepe was also the first Veteran man home. Their teammates Sandile Ngunuza and Anele Maliza followed in 4th (3:10:18) and 5th position (2:13:55) respectively. The NRC lady who never seizes to amaze, Ntombesintu Mfunzi, claimed victory in the women’s race when she crossed the line in 3:55:36.

Last but not least, another great performance came from Bulelwa Simae who finished second lady overall and first Veteran at the Spartan Harriers Firgrove Half Marathon when she crossed the line in 1:25:27.

For more Results Click here