Monday 25 Sep 2017

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Tenai and Mbuthumea reign victorious at 48th Arthur Cresswell

Ladysmith - The 48th edition of the Arthur Cresswell Memorial Marathon saw 35 year old Kenyan born Julius Tenai serve up a lesson in road running to his fellow competitors as his relentless pace and perfectly timed attacks saw him power to a near two minute victory after the tightly fought 52km clash.

The slender Phatane Athletics Club athlete took what is considered by many as one of the easier Comrades Marathon qualifiers by storm as he eventually cruised home ahead of Nedbank’s Matapella Mosoewya and Maxed Elite’s Victor Ngubenaga, a cherry on the top for Tenai who just a month ago finished second behind Mosoewya at the Nongoma Marathon.

“I’m very very happy with my race today, especially because I won and because in March, at the Nongoma Marathon, it was Matapella (Mosoewya) who won. He beat me by four hundred meters then so it was nice to be able to get some revenge,” chuckled Tenai.

“We also need the whole standard of running to be high if we all going to do well. We need all the top guys to communicate and run together so that we can all benefit and do better. That is what happened today so I’m very happy.

The first ten kilometers of the tussle saw regular, unsustainably quick surges from a pair of slightly over enthusiastic members of the field, however the testing Child's Hill – around the 12km mark – soon settled things down and with normality restored the real contest then got underway.

Tenai and four others soon formed a powerful group and, having already caught the two early leaders, they set about pushing the pace – destroying any hopes others may have had of reeling them in in the second half of the race.

By the 23km mark Tenai was the only non-Nedbank competitor in the lead group of five however he systematically shuffled things around and tested his competitors, resulting in three of them falling out the backdoor and leaving just himself and Mosoewya to battle it out for the spoils.

Tenai made his decisive move shortly after the pair hit the four kilometer D344 district road stretch and as the lead steadily grew so did the hopes of the star from the small town of Eldoret in Kenya.

“I’ve been here for six months and my focus is on the Comrades Marathon,. But I came here to win today and I’m glad I could do that.

“I’m part of a new, small club that a few guys from countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Lesotho and South Africa have put together and I’m really glad I could do well to hopefully help the club grow.

“I want to thank the organisers and the sponsors who put together today’s race!

The women’s race was another tightly fought affair as Nedbank’s Fikele Mbuthumea went head to head with Forest Hills competitor Pat Dammann, the two running side by side for much of the contest.

Unlike her fellow male victor Mbuthumea was unable to shake her nearest rival along the district road but showed real grit and determination when she finally made her winning move up the last meaningful hill of the course with just over five kilometers to go.

Dammann claimed a deserved second place, finishing one minute and forty seconds behind Mbuthumea, whilst Westville Athletics Club’s Wendy Morgan claimed third.

Morgan’s efforts, together with the rest of her red and white hooped female competitors from Durban, saw the Westville ladies claim the women’s team prize whilst Ngubenaga, men’s third place finisher, lead the charge for the men of the Maxed Elite team who claimed the men’s team prize in the 52km affair.

The day also saw hundreds of runners take the road as they tackled the popular N3 Toll Concession 21km Half Marathon and, with near perfect, moderate and partly cloudy conditions overhead for much of the early morning, it was a great trip out for most.

The men’s shorter race was claimed by Ramolefi Matsielo, who was closely followed home by Siyabonga Nkonde (Boxer) and Sphmandla Nyembe (Klip River Striders), whilst the 21km women’s event was won by Poppy Mlambo (Boxer) with Moleboleng Mafata (Maxed Elite) claiming second place and Megan McKenzie (Varsity Kudus) third.

Saturday’s highly entertaining action was preceded by Friday’s Khanyisile Foundation 5km Fun Run which saw 191 young competitors tackle the short ‘out and back’ route, closely linking Saturday’s main races to the R10 contribution made by the race to the foundation for every entry received, further enhancing South Africa’s oldest marathon’s reputation amongst both those that compete and the local community members.

More info on the 48th 52km Arthur Cresswell Memorial Marathon and the N3TC 21km Half Marathon can be found at www.ladysmithathleticsclub.co.za

SUMMARY OF RESULTS
52km ARHTUR CRESSWELL MEMORIAL MARATHON

Overall
1.Julius Tenai (Phatane Athletics Club) 3:04.07
2.Matapella Mosoewya (Nedbank) 3:05.52
3.Victor Ngubenaga (Maxed Elite) 3:07.26

Women
1.Fikele Mbuthumea (Nedbank) 4:05.02
2.Pat Dammann (Forest Hills) 4:06.41
3.Wendy Morgan (Westville Athletics Club) 4:09.02

Team – Men
1.Maxed Elite

Team – Women
1.Westville Athletics Club

21km N3TC HALF MARATHON
Overall
1.Ramolefi Matsielo 1:05.13
2.Siyabonga Nkonde 1:05.23
3.Sphandla Nyembe (Klip River Striders) 1:08.12

Women
1.Poppy Mlambo 1:20.30
2.Moleboleng Mafata (Boxer) 1:23.58
3.Megan McKenzie (Varsity Kudus) 1:25.21

Team – Men
1.Klip River Striders

Team – Women
1. Klip River Striders

ENDS

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Julius Tenai (Phatane Athletics Club) reigned victorious at Saturday's 48th 52km Arthur Cresswell Memorial Marathon.

Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media

Phatane Athletics Club's Julius Tenai, having shaken off the challenge of Nedank's Matapella Mosoewya (in the background), powered his way home to claim victory in Saturday's 48th 52km Arthur Cresswell Memorial Marathon.

Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media

Julius Tenai (Phatane Athletics Club) and Matapella Mosoewya (Nedbank) went head to head for much of the way before Tenai's decisive break shortly along this district road saw him surge to the front and cross the line first at Saturday's 48th 52km Arthur Cresswell Memorial Marathon.

Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media

Eventual winner Julius Tenai (far right) is surrounded by Nedbank competitors as the group surge past the 30km mark during Saturday's 48th 52km Arthur Cresswell Memorial Marathon.

Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media

Matapella Mosoewya (Nedbank) crosses the finish line in a deserved second place at Saturday's 48th 52km Arthur Cresswell Memorial Marathon.

Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media

Nedbank's Matapella Mosoewya in action on the road during Saturday's 48th 52km Arthur Cresswell Memorial Marathon.

Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media

Despite being a top title hopeful Nedbank's Matapella Mosoewya embraces the local children on the side of the road before stopping his race to shake hands with and thank the local ladies, who braved the early morning cold, for their support of the competitors of Saturday's 48th 52km Arthur Cresswell Memorial Marathon. Mosoewya went on to claim second place overall.

Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media

Victor Ngubenaga and his fellow Maxed Elite competitor make their way along the 52km route of Saturday's Arthur Cresswell Memorial Marathon.

Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media

Fikele Mbuthumea (Nedbank) makes her decisive move up the final climb of the day before taking victory in the women's race of Saturday's 48th 52km Arthur Cresswell Memorial Marathon.

Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media

Forest Hills' Pat Dammann looks cool, calm and collected as she heads for home during Saturday's 48th 52km Arthur Cresswell Memorial Marathon.

Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media

Westville Athletics Club's Wendy Morgan claimed a deserved third place in the woomen's race of Saturday's 48th 52km Arthur Cresswell Memorial Marathon and in the process lead the red and white team's female competitors to victory in the women's team event.

Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media

The Honourable Mayor of Bergville, Councilor DT Sibeko, sends the 52km Arthur Cresswell Memorial Marathon competitors on their way.

Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media

Whilst some may have had the blues they were certainly the minority as road runners from around KZN enjoyed Saturday's 48th 52km Arthur Cresswell Memorial Marathon.

Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media

Hundreds of road running enthusiasts took to the streets of Ladysmith during Saturday's 21km N3TC Half Marathon in the hope of crossing the finish line and getting their hands on one of the newly designed finishers' medals.

Anthony Grote/ Gameplan Media

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