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11 October 2018
Spar Ladies Johanneburg


There is no mistaking it: this weekend’s SPAR Joburg 10km Challenge belonged to the mighty women of the Nedbank Running Club (NRC).

With no less than 5 positions in the top ten and another 3 podium finishes in the age category positions, it was clear that road running in South Africa is currently dominated by the NRC women.

The most impressive performances of the day belonged to speedster Irvette van Zyl who is currently clearly in the form of her life, and that only fifteen weeks after giving birth to her second son. After winning several big races over the last couple of weeks (the FNB Joburg 10km and the Cape Town 10km) Van Zyl stormed to another impressive run on Sunday by breaking the tape in 34:07. Van Zyl led from start to finish to win the race held at Marks Park in Emmarentia.

Her teammate and long distance runner Gerda Steyn was the surprise 2nd position of the day. What makes Steyn’s position so impressive is that she competed against the country’s top short distance runners, whilst currently in training for the New York City Marathon in November. Steyn, who finished 2nd at this year’s Comrades Marathon, has been invited to this prestigious race as part of the elite women’s field.

How it all unfolded
Van Zyl stormed to the front right from the start and never relinquished her lead. Kesa Moletsane (KPMG) appeared to threaten from time to time, but Van Zyl just kept going. “I have had quite a week. LJ (my husband) has been away for 10 days so I had to look after two little ones on my own, so I have had very little sleep. I was a bit over-eager at the start, and by 6km my legs were feeling very tired. I went out hard at the beginning because I knew the second half was quite tricky. I was running on my own, which is never easy, but I am very happy with the win.”

Steyn, running her first SPAR Challenge race, was in fourth position for most of the race, but she shot past Glenrose Xaba (Boxer) and Moletsane in the final kilometre to snatch second place in 34.57 minutes, two seconds ahead of Moletsane. Steyn said she was using the race as part of her preparation for New York. “I was using it for speed training. I am very excited to have come second – I really didn’t expect that. It was my first SPAR race. I really enjoyed it and I would like to do more of them in future,” said Steyn.

More great performances came from Rudo Moderwa, who clinched 6th position in a time of 36:47 while Rutendo Nyahora finished just behind her in 7th in a time of 36:56. Patience Murowe made it 5 out of 10 for the NRC when she crossed the line in 10th position in 37:38.

More winning performances followed by the age category ladies with Bulelwa Simae taking 1st position in the Veterans category (41:00). Margie Saunders and Frances van Blerk took 1st and 2nd positions respectively in the Grandmasters category. Saunders finished in a speedy 45:43 with Van Blerk following in 54:54.

More than 13 000 runners took part in the Challenge and the 5km Fun Run.


1. Irvette van Zyl (NRC) 34.07
2. Gerda Steyn (NRC) 34.57
3. Kesa Moletsane (KPMG) 34.59
4. Glenrose Xaba (Boxer) 35.05
5. Betha Chikanga (Maxed Elite) 36.10
6. Rudo Monderwa (NRC) 36.47
7. Rutendo Nyahora (NRC) 36.56
8. Maria Shai (Boxer) 37.00
9. Caroline Mhandu 37.10
10. Patience Murowe 37.38 (NRC)

1. Thobile Vilakazi 39.10
2. Casey Bosman 39.21
3. Liza Kellerman 40.04

1. Bulelwa Simae (NRC) 41.00
 2. Marnria Vilikazi 42.06
 3. Ronel Thomas 43.20

1. Grace de Oliveira 44.51
2. Kim Meyer 45.18
3. Disebo Thebapelo 49.19

1. Margie Saunders (NRC) 45.43
2. Frances van Blerk (NRC) 54.54
3. Onica Motsei 57.29

1. Sonja Laxton 52.30
2. Gill Tregenna 1.04.08
3. Debbie van Heerden 1.10.23
Comrades Marathon 2019

Launch of 2019 Comrades Marathon

‘Sizonqoba – Together We Triumph’ is the chosen campaign slogan for the 2019 Comrades Marathon to be hosted in June next year. The unifying campaign theme was unveiled by the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) in Johannesburg today (Thursday, 11 October 2018).
The annual launch of the 94th Comrades Marathon attracted the nation’s top media, road-running dignitaries, sponsors, stakeholders, ultra-runners, sporting personalities and 2018 Comrades Marathon Champs, Bongmusa Mthembu and Ann Ashworth.

CMA Chairperson, Cheryl Winn said, “It is with a great sense of pleasure that we unveil our campaign for next year’s race, ‘Sizonqoba – Together We Triumph’ which sums up the unifying nature of the Comrades Marathon. It is a significant and pertinent campaign slogan that highlights all what the Comrades Marathon epitomizes.”

Winn adds, “We are certain that our athletes will not just embrace our 2019 campaign slogan but resonate with everything that it stands for. Nothing compares to the camaraderie, fellowship, togetherness and solidarity in road-running as that of The Ultimate Human Race.”

The 94th Comrades Marathon will be an Up Run on Sunday, 9 June 2019. The race starts at the Durban City Hall at 05h30 and ends 12 hours later at the Scottsville Race Course, covering a distance of approximately 87km. This will be the 48th Up Run in Comrades history.

Exciting developments for the 2019 race are the introduction of two new medals and increased prize money for the Top 7 finishers. The CMA has confirmed that the women’s equivalent of the Wally Hayward Medal (which is awarded to those runners who finish outside the gold medals, but under 6 hours i.e. Position 11 to sub 6 hours) will now be a part of the race going forward.

This medal will be named the Isavel Roche-Kelly Medal and will be awarded to those Women finishing in Position 11 to sub 7 hours 30 minutes (ie outside the gold medals, but under 7½ hours).

Nick bester, Gerda Steyn and Cheryl Winn (Comrades Chairwoman)

Roche-Kelly won both the 1980 and 1981 editions of The Ultimate Human Race and was the first woman to break the 7½-hour barrier in 1980, finishing her Comrades race in 7 hours and 18 minutes.  She went on to finish in 6 hours and 44 minutes the following year. Sadly she passed away in a cycling accident in her native Northern Ireland at the age of only 24, just 3 years later.

The Robert Mtshali Medal will be the new addition to the Comrades Medal Collection and will be awarded to those runners finishing in 9 hours to sub-10 hours. Mtshali was the first unofficial Black runner in the 1935 Comrades Marathon, finishing his race in 9 hours and 30 minutes. This medal will be made of titanium.

Prize money totaling R4.3 million is up for grabs in the 2019 event with R500-thousand for both the Male and Female Winners, R250-thousand to the runners-up and R180-thousand for Third Position. This is an increase of nearly 13% over the 2018 amounts.

The opening date for entries is Friday, 19 October 2018. The entry period closes on 10 December 2018 or as soon as the entry cap of 25,000 has been reached. Prospective entrants are encouraged to get their entries in early to avoid disappointment, considering that entries sold out in three weeks for the 2018 race.

Entry fees for the 2019 Comrades Marathon are as follows:
•    South African                                                          : R 600.00
•    Foreign Athletes – Africa/ SADC countries     : R1500.00
•    Foreign Athletes – International                        : R3800.00

There will be no ‘early bird’ entry fee going forward. Entry is free to all runners who have completed the Comrades Marathon 25 times or more.

Runners can enter as follows:
•    online via the Comrades Marathon website:;
•    by posting their completed entry form with proof of payment to the CMA Office: P.O. Box 100621, Scottsville, 3209;
•    by handing in their completed entry form together with payment at Comrades House, 18 Connaught Road, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg.  

CMA Race Director, Rowyn James says, ‘We have exciting plans in place for next year’s Up Run. With entries opening on 19 October, we urge our athletes to enter early and claim their spot on the starting line of the world’s most epic ultra-marathon.’

James adds, “Qualifying for the 2019 Comrades Marathon is applicable as of 26 August 2018 till 2 May 2019. The qualifying criteria for next year’s Comrades Marathon will be to complete a standard 42.2km marathon in under 4 hours and 50 minutes, or a 56km ultra-marathon in under 6 hours and 45 minutes.”

The Substitution Process will open on 1 March and close on 15 April 2019, allowing athletes an extra two weeks for potential substitutions.

Six charities will benefit from the Comrades Marathon’s Amabeadibeadi charity drive for 2019. They are Childhood Cancer Foundation SA (CHOC), Community Chest of Pietermaritzburg & Durban, Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust, Hospice South Africa, Wildlands Conservation Trust and World Vision SA.

The Race4Charity fundraising platform requires that runners raise a minimum of R6000 for the Amabeadibeadi charity of their choice, in order to qualify for the charity seeding batch on the start line. 500 entries have been reserved for Race4Charity runners. For more details on the Race4Charity initiative, click through to

Winn has called on all runners to support the charitable fundraising initiatives of the CMA, saying, “We urge all Comrades entrants to select the Official Charity closest to their heart and commit to running for a cause greater than themselves. As the CMA, we have placed great focus on benefitting the communities in which we operate and continuously add value to the sport of athletics.”

Winn also presented 2018 Comrades Women’s Champ, Ann Ashworth, with her coveted Comrades Winners Jacket, a day earlier than planned, due to Ann’s unavailability to receive it at the Old Mutual Spirit of Comrades Awards gala in Durban tomorrow evening, owing to a prior commitment.

CMA Vice Chairperson, Sifiso Nzuza said, ‘We anticipate that the introduction of two new medals, the Isavel Roche-Kelly Medal and the Robert Mtshali Medal will inject an added impetus to the 2019 Comrades Marathon in the form of increased intensity of competition in the women’s race and an added and achievable incentive for bronze medal runners to also pick up their pace and run faster. The 2019 Comrades Marathon Up Run will once again unite ultra-runners from South Africa and the world, come race day. We welcome all of our runners, supporters and stakeholders to share in the camaraderie, joy and exhilaration of Comrades race day on Sunday, 9 June 2019.’

Looking Ahead

All Nedbank Running Club Members please join us at The Nedbank Habitat for Humanity WalkAthon





BY: Angela Leach   /   DATE: April 2018

Roughly 60% of the human body is made up of water, which is a good indication of its importance for all bodily functions and this certainly does not exclude sporting performance. Did you know that just 1% dehydration can lead to a reduction in strength?  Learn the ins and outs of good hydration by reading on.


Many people fail to see the value of good hydration in their sports, until they have experienced the dehydration. Common symptoms of dehydration include fatigue, muscle cramps, dizziness, headaches, mouth dryness and loss of coordination, which can severely impair performance with effects such as:

  • A reduction in physical and mental performance
  • Increase in heart rate and body temperature,
  • increased perception of how difficult the exercise feels
  • Impaired skill level
  • Increase the risk gastro-intestinal problems during and after exercise.



Day to day we need to make sure that we are meeting our fluid requirements. As a guide it is often recommended that we drink 6-8 glasses or 1.5-2l of water per day, but often relying on thirst is the best indicator because individual requirements vary. It is a good idea to fill a water bottle(s) in the mornings and keep it on your desk to drink during the course of the day. Although water should be our primary source of fluid, we can also fulfil some of our requirements with other drinks and foods. Fruit, veg, dairy products such as yoghurt and soups are all good food sources of fluid. Drinks to use with caution include:

  • Sugar sweetened beverages- these contain empty calories, providing little or no nutrition. Certain cold drinks may also have a diuretic effect, worsening dehydration.
  • Alcohol- alcohol in moderation (1-2 servings per day) is alright, however be aware that besides being harmful to the body, alcohol can have a negative effect on your sporting performance, nutritional status and cause dehydration in excess.

Around exercise

No two people are the same, likewise people vary in how easily they dehydrate. Get to understand your hydration levels better by weighing yourself before and after training. The difference in weight will be the result of fluid losses. In order to compensate for these losses, drink 1l-1.5l per kg lost.

BEFORE: Make sure you always start an exercise session session well hydrated, but beware of overhydrating before as this can lead to increased urination and GI upset during exercise

DURING: In events lasting less than 60-90 minutes you can use thirst as indicator, however longer sessions usually require planned fluid intake. Requirements usually vary between 150ml to 350ml of fluid at 15-20 minute intervals. Beverages with carbohydrate concentrations of 4% - 8% can be handy for intense exercise events lasting longer than 1 hour because they provide for both part of the athletes fluid requirements as well as carbohydrate replenishment requirements. Sports drinks are ideal in this situation as they provide the correct carbohydrate concentration, fluids and electrolytes which assist with rehydration and prevent hyponatremia.

  • AFTER: You do not stop losing fluids as soon as you stop exercising. You continue to dehydrate through sweat and urine losses after you finish exercising. Aim to replace 125-150% of all fluid lost in the hours following exercise. To rehydrate effectively drink your fluids along with salty recovery snacks which will provide much needed electrolytes.


Making sure that you are properly hydrated can be instrumental in maximising your sports performance. Following the guidelines above and learning exactly how your body’s fluid regulation works is definitely worth your effort if you want to be the best athlete you can be.


While the whole FUTURELIFE® range has features that can assist with hydration, there are two products that really pop to mind:

FUTURELIFE® Smart Drink™ is a milk based drink, the fluids and electrolytes found naturally in milk provide for effective rehydration. To learn more about FUTURELIFE® Smart Drink™ in sports visit .

FUTURELIFE® High Energy SmartBar provides fast-acting energy and electrolytes for a convenient meal or snack pre-, during- and post-endurance activities that assists with both hydration and fuelling.
Race Results


As the longer distance races start picking up, so it seems the speed and performance of the Nedbank Running Club (NRC) runners are going from strength to strength.

This was proved at the recent PetroSA Marathon in Mossel Bay. The NRC shined with 4 NRC men and 4 NRC women finishing within the top ten. On top of this there were several age category winners as well as podium positions. In fact 29 NRC runners achieved podium positions across the three distances (marathon, half marathon & 10km).

In the shorter distance races the women of the NRC dominated the final race of the Spar Grand Prix Series in Johannesbug with Irvette van Zyl clinching a win (see separate article). Teammate Gerda Steyn, 2nd place finisher at this year’s Comrades, finished just behind Van Zyl. This ensured that 5 NRC ladies finished within the top ten.

The NRC youngsters did their part for the team with Kutlwisiso Sidinile finishing in 4th position at the South African Schools Champs in Bloemfontein. His coach and NRC development officer and manager in Soweto, Siyaya Khoza, has just obtained his ASA Level 3 coaching qualification, which enables him to become a qualified ASA Coach. A true testimony of Siyaya’s commitment to the NRC and the excellence within the ranks of the NRC.

Form more Results Click here