Polokwane has reason to celebrate the performance of a number of local athletes such as Rufus Photo (Pietersburg Road Runners), Jane Mudau (Pietersburg Road Runners) and Melanie Melville (Polo-kwane Athletics Club) at the 90th Comrades Marathon on Sunday.
Competeing against 16 584 athletes from across the globe the three kept Polokwane’s name high with Photo finishing 14th overall in a time of 06:02.52, Mudau second in the masters category (08:33.19) and Melville claiming 37th position in the women’s category (08:02.01).
Johan Janse van Vuuren from Polokwane Athletic Club (PAC) said the club’s Pelly Lamola (07:05.58), Andries Malete (07:06.18) and Pieter Pretorius (07:28.40) performed very well. “Sixteen other PAC athletes earned Bill Rowan medals,” he said.
Pietersburg Road Runners’ (PRR) Johan de Beer and Calvin Malatji collected silver medals while Matime Mashabela and Phuti Mohale brought home Bill Rowan medals.
Two of the club’s three novices, Gawie de Wet and Stefan Brown completed the race in just over 11 hours.
PRR club member Colinda Potgieter, still making her way back from KwaZulu-Natal when asked for comment, said athletes described this year’s race as very difficult. “It was a very hot day as result of the date being moved from the original 16 July. It was extremely warm and humid. With the distance being approximately 800 m further, athletes were struggling to achieve their goals,” she explained.
Run/Walk for Life Polokwane Chairperson, Kobie Marais said out of the 11 club members who entered only six could complete the race. Emmanuel Mukondeleli, Lufuno Mudau and Casio de Sousa achieved bronze medals by finishing between nine and eleven hours.
As if all the medals were not enough a local resident, Isaac Setsiba won the Toyota Win-a-Car Competition run on the day. All he had to do was SMS the word Toyota to 34068 on Sunday and he is now the proud owner of a Toyota Quest.