full screen background image
Ric Marini’s new South African age record (Men 60) in the 24-hour race is 164,264 km. He receives his prize from Race Director Colinda Potgieter.

Applause, admiration after feast of ultra-track running

694

Spectators were treated to a feast outside the usual confines of long-distance athletics at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium over the weekend when a field of 39 ultra-distance athletes gathered with high expectations to set new personal bests and even international and national records in the gruelling 100 mile and 24-hour ultra-track disciplines.
The  gathering was presented by Pietersburg Road Runners in collaboration with main sponsor Lamtrack and various other supporting businesses and individuals who pulled all stops in terms of preparation, organisation and presentation ensuring a gathering adhering to the highest and strictest international standards. Both events started at 09:00 on Saturday and ended 24 hours later on Sunday 09:00.
100 mile world age best
The existing world record holder in the 100 mile track event (men open category), Oleg Kharitonov, succeeded in setting a world age best (men, 50 category) in a time of 13 hours, 27 minutes and 27 seconds. His open record in this event was set in London way back in 2002 in a much faster time of 11 hours, 28 minutes and 3 seconds.
Kharitonov will also be remembered as the 2006 winner of the Comrades Marathon. He won the race between Durban and Pietermaritzburg in a time of 5 hours, 35 minutes and 16 seconds.
Astonishing record in the 24-hour event
After two months of preparation and living with the Polokwane host family, Johan and Corine van der Merwe, the ultimate winner in this gruelling event, Spanish athlete Ivan Penalba Lopez (23), improved his own Spanish record with a distance of 1,391 km. The man of small stature, but immense heart set the new record on Sunday at 09:00 with a distance of 249,324 km (averaging 5 minutes and 40 seconds per km) after circling the tartan 625 times for 24 hours planting smiles and winning the hearts of supporters and spectators.
Comment from Race Director
Race Director Colinda Potgieter remarked that the event showed the breadth of the sporting challenges and disciplines that athletics has to offer especially with these ultra-distance athletes confirming the extreme perseverance and abilities of the human body.
Acknowledging of records
The lap recording was done by electronic chip, with manual back up provided by local auditing firm Veritas Inc.

Story: WILLIE ESTERHUYSEN
>>willie.e@mwebbiz.co.za

Photos: ELNA ESTERHUYSEN
>>observer.elna@gmail.com
and
RC Myburgh
>>rc.observer@gmail.com

Oleg Kharitonov set a world age best (Men, 50 category) in the 100 mile event in a time of 13: 27.27. He is also the existing world record holder in the open category of this event with a time of 11:35.3 attained in London.

Ric Marini.

JJ Trytsman of Lamtrack assisted with the logistics to ensure a successful event.

The auditing firm Veritas Inc provided assistance with the manual recording of the laps for all the athletes. Photographed here is partner George Malan (left, back) with his team.

The “Loop soos Stroop” team of Mokopane ended second in the 24-hour team contest with a distance of 161,498 km. Second from left is Colinda Potgieter, race director.

Corine van der Merwe and Amanda Kruger celebrating the new record of Ivan Penalba Lopez (middle).

The brave and friendly Spanish athlete, Ivan Penalba Lopez (23) ended second in the 100 mile in a time of 14:30.35. The highlight of his race was victory in the 24-hour category where he managed to run 249,324 km and set a new Spanish open record.

Johan van der Merwe watching the clock. He withdraw from the 24-hour race after 100,00 km due to injury.

Exhausted and dehydrated… the 24-hour race comes to an end for previous Comrades gold medalist Lucus Nonyana after 134,200 km.

Well-known long distance athlete Lorainne Boshoff’s 168,847 km ensured her overall sixth place in the 24-hour race.

Daleen Cilliers, Female 35, set a new South African age record in the 24-hour race with a distance of 161,600 km.

Johan van der Merwe congratulates Ivan Penaba Lopez shortly after he improved his own Spanish national record in the 24-hour race.

ane Mudau completed the 24-hour race with a distance of 111,406 km.

Martie Boesenberg (Female 60) set a new South African age record with a distance of 128,687 km in the 24-hour race.

A determined Lucky Maahlo underway to third place in the 100 mile race which he finished in a time of 15:20:21

Cornel Metcalfe and Martinique Potgieter circling the track. Metcalfe ended fourth overall in the 24-hour race with a distance of 174,000 km.

British athlete Tim Stones’ (Men 35) distance of 157,089 km in the 24-hour event is a new “Deaf World Best”.

Lize Nel of Talisman supports athletes with refreshments.

An enthusiastic supporter assisting athletes along the track.